Newland North Carolina


Newland is a town in Avery County, North Carolina. The population was 715 at the 2020 census. It is the county seat of Avery County.

Before its founding, the area was known as “Old Fields of Toe”. It was an early muster ground in the campaign against Indians and before the Battle of Kings Mountain. On November 9, 1783, the land was granted to Colonel Waightstill Avery.

The name comes from the legend of Estatoe, pronounced ‘S – ta – toe’, about an Indian chief’s daughter who fell in love with a warrior of a rival tribe. Because their love could never be accepted by either’s family, they jumped from a precipice into the depths of a nearby river. In an alternative version, their love caused a bloody war between the tribes, and Estatoe crafted a peace pipe with two stems in which both chiefs could smoke at once. The two rival chiefs assembled their respective followers on the bank of the river and smoked till peace was concluded and Estatoe married her lover.

In 1899, the Linville River Railway (LRR) began rail service in the area, with a flag stop at “Old Fields”. In 1911, upon the establishment of Avery County, Old Fields of Toe was designated as the site for the county seat and was renamed Newland, after North Carolina Lieutenant Governor William C. Newland. In 1912, the Newland Post Office was established; while in 1913, the Avery County Courthouse and Avery County Jail opened (both on the National Register of Historic Places). In that same year, Newland was incorporated as a town. In 1914, the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (ET&WNC), the successor of the LRR, opened the Newland Depot, which was equipped with telephone and telegraph services; burned down in 1921, but was soon rebuilt and continued operations until 1940.

At an elevation of 3,621 feet, it is the highest county seat in the Eastern United States (based on elevations in the USGS database).


Newland, Avery County, North Carolina
Newland, North Carolina
Column 1Column 2
Population:542 (2020)
Named ForWilliam C. Newland
Newland, Avery County, North Carolina - Topographic Map
Newland, NC - Topographic Map

Named For

Lt. Governor William C. Newland

William Calhoun “Will” Newland (October 8, 1860 – November 18, 1938) was an attorney who served a term as the 11th Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina (1909–1913).

A Democrat, Newland had previously served as mayor of his hometown, Lenoir, North Carolina, and was elected to terms in the North Carolina Senate (1881–1882) and in the North Carolina House of Representatives (1889–1890, 1903–1904). While in the General Assembly, Newland introduced and sponsored the bill that established Appalachian State University. In 1904, Newland lost a close race for Congress to E. Spencer Blackburn.

The town of Newland, North Carolina was named after him as part of a political deal to secure his aid in passage of the bill that established Avery County in 1911. Newland is the seat of Avery County.

William C. Newland - Avery County, North Carolina
William Calhoun "Will" Newland


Location: 36°5′11″N 81°55′36″W

Area – Land:  0.75 sq miles

Area – Water:  0.00 sq miles

Total Area:  0.75 sq miles

Nearby Locations

LocationDistance (mi)Driving Time (hh:mm)
Elk Park6.400:09
Sugar Mountain10.300:17
Banner Elk12.700:19


Newland North Carolina

National Register of Historic Places

NameDate ListedLocationNRHP NumberNRHP Application
Avery County CourthouseMay 10, 1979Map79001660View
Avery County JailDec 09, 1999Map99001494View
Edwin Cochran Guy HouseDec 10, 2021Map100007245View

Notable People

Johnson, Paul

Former head football coach at Georgia Southern, Navy, and Georgia Tech


Nearby Counties

*Avery County was created February 23, 1911 from Caldwell, Mitchell and Watauga Counties.

Newland, Avery County, North Carolina
Avery County Courthouse, Newland, North Carolina

Newland, NC Gallery