Old Fort, NC

Old Fort, situated in McDowell County, is a small town made up of 1.3 square miles.

2018 Best Guide to Old Fort, NC

August 23, 2017

Old Fort was established in the early 1700s when settlers built what was then known as the farthest west colonial outpost.  


The median resident age in Old Fort is 39 years. The median estimated household income is about $29,000 making it about $19,000 less than the North Carolina average.  

The estimated per capita is about $17,000. The average price for a home in Old Fort is about $86,000 (2015) which is $74,000 less than the North Carolina Average. Expect to pay about $500 a month for rent. 

The racial makeup of Old Fort is 82% White, 14% Black, 1% Two or more races, and 3% other. 77% of the population are high school graduates, with 11% holding a Bachelor's Degree or higher.  

33% are married, 10% are divorced, 7% are separated, 14% are widowed, leaving 36% that have never been married.

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McDowell County

Old Fort belongs to McDowell County in the western part of North Carolina.

The county, which is named after Joseph McDowell, and is home to Lake James, which was a shooting location for the film The Last of the Mohicans, is part of the Marion, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area and the Hickory-Lenoir, NC Combined Statistical Area, has a population of 45,000.

Its largest city is Marion, which is also the county seat, has a population of 7,850.

McDowell County borders Buncombe, Yancey, Mitchell, Rutherford, Burke and Avery counties.

McDowell County is made up of 446 square miles. 441 of which is land with the remaining 5 as water.


The population of Old Fort, NC is about 900. The population has seen an overall increase since the town was founded.


The elevation of Old Fort, NC is 1,447 feet above sea level.

Zip Code

The zip code for Old Fort, NC is 28762.

Area Code

The area code for Old Fort, NC is 828.

Politics and Religion

Historically speaking Old Fort and McDowell County have voted mostly Republican, with 65% going to Mitt Romney during the 2012 Presidential Election.

This represents the trend for the previous four or five elections.

As of 2010, 57% of the population are religiously unafiliated (Nones). About 42% are Protestants with Catholics making up around 1%.


The unemployment rate for Old Fort is about 5% (2015), making it roughly equal to the state average of around 5%.

Production, material moving, and office administration make nearly 50% of the most common industries in the town.

Newspaper & Obituaries

McDowell News is the primary newspaper that covers the McDowell County area.


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Town of Old Fort NC
Old Fort on City Data
Old Fort on Wikipedia
Chamber of Commerce