A History of Burnsville, North Carolina

Yancey County Court House - Burnsville, North Carolina

On March 6, 1834, John Bailey, nicknamed "Yellow Jacket," conveyed one hundred acres of land for the county seat of Yancey County, named Burnsville. Its namesake, Captain Otway Burns, who was serving in the General Assembly in 1833, voted for the creation of the new western county. The grateful people named their county seat for Captain Burns, a naval hero of the War of 1812.

His tomb in Beaufort's Old Burying Ground is surmounted by a canon taken from his ship, "The Snap Dragon." A statue of Captain Burns stands on a forty-ton, Mount Airy granite pedestal in the center of the town's public square, which was given the official name of "Bailey Square" by the Yancey County Board of Commissioners on September 1, 1930. The statue of Captain Burns was given to the county on July 5, 1909, by Walter Francis Burns, a grandson of the sea captain.

The inscription reads: "Otway Burns - Born in Onslow County, North Carolina, 1777 - Died at Portsmouth, North Carolina, 1850. Sailor - Soldier - Statesman. North Carolina's Foremost Son in the War of 1812-1815 - For Him, This Town Is Named - He Guarded Well Our Seas, Let Our Mountains Honor Him."

© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved