The Historic Burke County Courthouse is managed by Historic Burke Foundation, Inc. (Historic Burke) including foundation offices, exhibit areas, and the historic courtroom. Historic Burke neither owns nor holds responsibility for any monuments, structures, or installations on the grounds of the Historic Burke County Courthouse Square.

Enriching Our Future By Preserving Our Past

Historic Burke Foundation promotes knowledge of local culture and history through

educational programming and historic site preservation.


The seed for the formation of Historic Burke Foundation came from the Historical Buildings Committee of the Morganton Service League. The committee, headed in 1978 by Mary Adair Phifer (Mrs. Edward W., Jr.), was instrumental in getting support for the preservation of the Historic Burke County Courthouse. Within a few years, the committee had increased in size. As a result, Historic Burke Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization, was chartered in 1982. Barbara Cornwell Norvell (Mrs. Jerry T., Jr.) was elected the organization’s first president.

Historic Burke Foundation Activities



Historic Properties


Due to COVID-19, all properties including the Historic Burke County Courthouse and Captain Charles McDowell, Jr. House will be scheduled by appointment only until further notice. Please email us at historicburke@gmail.com to schedule your tour.


Our office and Heritage Museum are on the first floor of the Historic Burke County Courthouse. Hours are by appointment. Please email us at historicburke@gmail.com to schedule a tour. For group tours, please schedule an appointment well in advance!

More information and  brochures: