Burke County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 90,912. Its county seat is Morganton.Burke County is part of the Hickory–Lenoir–Morganton, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area. The first European settlement in the interior of present-day North Carolina (and what would become the United States) was made by the Spanish Juan Pardo expedition in 1567, when they built Fort San Juan at Joara, a large chiefdom of the Mississippian culture. His forces built another five forts to the west along the mountains, in Cherokee and Coosa territory. In 1568 the Native Americans killed all but one of the Spanish soldiers stationed at these six forts and burned the structures down. The Joara site was abandoned and lost for centuries. The other fort sites have not been located. No other Europeans settled here for about 200 years. After excavations in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, archeologists in 2013 announced having found remains of Fort San Juan at Joara. The evidence changed the record of European colonization attempts, as the Spanish had a sustained, though brief, settlement in North America 40 years before that of the English at Jamestown, Virginia.
Blowing Rock is a town in Watauga and Caldwell counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina. The population was 1,241 at the 2010 census.The Caldwell County portion of Blowing Rock is part of the Hickory–Lenoir–Morganton Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the Watauga County portion is part of the Boone Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Alexander County is a county established in the U.S. state of North Carolina in 1847. As of the 2010 census, the population was 37,198. Its county seat is Taylorsville. Alexander County is part of the Hickory–Lenoir–Morganton, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Hickory is a city located primarily in Catawba County, with formal boundaries extending into Burke and Caldwell counties. The city lies in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Hickory's population at the 2010 census was 40,010 (primarily in Catawba County), with an estimated population in 2019 of 41,171. Hickory is the principal city in the Hickory–Lenoir–Morganton MSA, in which the population at the 2020 census was 365,276 and is located just northwest of the Charlotte–Concord Combined Statistical Area.