Madison County, North Carolina

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Madison County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is part of the Asheville, North Carolina, Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2000, the population was 19,635. Its county seat is Marshall.[1]



The county was formed in 1851 from parts of Buncombe County and Yancey County. It was named for James Madison, fourth President of the United States (1809-1817).

Law and government

Madison County is governed by a five-member board of commissioners who are elected every two years. The board selects its own chairman and holds scheduled meetings on the second Monday of each month.[2] Madison County is a member of the Land-of-Sky Regional Council of governments. Madison County is considered a "dry" county, meaning that the sale and/or public consumption of alcoholic beverages is illegal within the county limits. However, individual towns have right of self determination regarding alcohol sales. Hot Springs, Marshall and Mars Hill[3] all allow beer and wine sales, but not liquor.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 452 square miles (1,170 km²), of which, 449 square miles (1,164 km²) of it is land and 2 square miles (6 km²) of it (0.48%) is water.

Madison County is located deep in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina, and much of the county's terrain is rugged, heavily forested, and sparsely populated. The county's northern border is with the State of Tennessee. Madison County's largest river is the French Broad River, which flows north-northwest through the county, first past the county seat of Marshall, then past the resort town of Hot Springs.

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