History of Sparta North Carolina
In 1859, Alleghany County was carved out of land that was primarily Ashe County. Three men donated land for the county seat in 1866. One of the men, James H. Parks, is credited with naming the town after the Greek city-state, Sparta.
In the earlier part of the 20th century, the Alleghany countryside consisted of small farms. Every Saturday, the farm families would travel to Sparta to trade and visit.
In the later half of the twentieth century, many small farms grew into larger operations. Sparta Industries began as D&P Pipe works in 1943 and has become the oldest manufacturer in the county.
Fire has played a crucial role in the town of Sparta’s development. In 1933, a fire began at Ray’s Lunch Room and burned half the buildings on the block. it then jumped across the street and demolished businesses. Most of the historic courthouse was destroyed before the fire was controlled. The courthouse was rebuilt, but due to the Great Depression it lacked much of the stylistic aspects of the last. This event helped establish the Sparta Fire Department, which wasn’t in existence at the time of the disaster.
Nearly 50 years later, another tragic fire broke out in the town of Sparta. A passerby stopped in a convenience store to report smoke coming out of the Sparta Restaurant. Firefighters from all over gathered to help put out the flames, battling temperatures below zero. Four of the towns businesses were destroyed, but luckily the fire had been contained to only that city block. The area was rebuilt and the town has since moved on.