Introduction to Morganton, North Carolina

Morganton, North Carolina, in Burke county, is 43 miles NW of Gastonia, North Carolina (center to center) and 59 miles NW of Charlotte, North Carolina. The city benefits from easy access to the nearby cities and towns with which it shares the Hickory - Morganton - Lenoir metropolitan area.

Morganton History

Morganton was founded in 1777 and officially incorporated as a town in 1784. It was named in honor of General Daniel Morgan, a Revolutionary War hero. Originally, it was called Morganborough but was later renamed Morganton. It was established as the site of North Carolina frontier’s circuit court. Morganton established a post office in 1795. Within a few years, the East/West road, now known as Highway 70, was built. This road stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to Tennessee.

Morganton and nearby Attractions

  • South Mountains State Park
  • Sam J. Ervin Jr. Library and Museum
  • Catawba Meadows Park
  • Greenway Trails
  • Lake James
  • Joara Archeological Site

Things To Do In Morganton

Morganton has been amply blessed with natural beauty. The Catawba River, which flows through the city, offers breathtaking views of the majestic Table Rock. Morganton has something special for just about everyone. It has rolling hills, abundant forests, and 154 miles of shoreline along Lake James. All of these provide opportunities for a diverse range of recreational activities.

Morganton Transportation

Charlotte/Douglas International Airport is the nearest major airport.

Morganton Higher Education

Western Piedmont Community College is the local center for higher education. Catawba Valley Community College and Appalachian State University are a short distance away.


Total Population 16,748
Male Share of the Population 47.3%
Female Share of the Population 52.7%
Senior Citizens 20.7%
Employed Population 16+ 5,921
Age of the Population 43


% of people married 39%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 25.6%
Median Earnings25+ $25,985
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $15,603
Median Earnings With High School Degree $21,442


Median Family Income $49,156
% Above Poverty Level 73.8%
% Below Poverty Level 26.2%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 18 minutes
% Working from Home 2.6%
% Walking and Biking to Work 4.1%
% Using Public Transportation %


People Living Alone 35.3%
Median Gross Rent $622
Median House Value $127,700


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 39%
US/American 0%
English 7.9%
Irish 8.4%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Morganton Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 43 miles NW of Gastonia, North Carolina (center to center)
Nearest Large City 59 miles NW of Charlotte, North Carolina
County Burke
Metro Area Hickory - Morganton - Lenoir
Standard Zip Codes 28655
P.O. Box Zip Codes 28680
Phone Area Codes 828
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 35.745
Longitude -81.685

Morganton Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 1.3 miles
Jan Temp 25 to 49 F
Apr Temp 43 to 70 F
Jul Temp 65 to 89 F
Oct Temp 44 to 71 F
Annual Precip 49.6 inches
Distance 17 miles
Jan Temp 29 to 49 F
Apr Temp 46 to 70 F
Jul Temp 68 to 88 F
Oct Temp 48 to 71 F
Annual Precip 48.9 inches
Distance 27 miles
Jan Temp 18 to 34 F
Apr Temp 36 to 51 F
Jul Temp 57 to 69 F
Oct Temp 40 to 54 F
Annual Precip 62.7 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Morganton, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Bridgewater (28655)

Brindle Town (28655)

Burkemont (28655)

Calvin (28655)

Chesterfield (28655)

Enola (28655)

Joy (28655)

Oak Hill (28655)

Petersburg (28655)

Pleasant Grove (28655)

Sunnyside (28655)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Drexel 1,869 $45,139
Gamewell 3,986 $38,097
Glen Alpine 1,513 $52,500
Hudson 3,732 $58,995
Rutherford College 1,420 $60,625
Valdese 4,471 $63,638

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Morganton Public Libraries

Burke County Public Library
Morganton, North Carolina
(828) 437-5638
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Morganton Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
(828) 580-5000
Emergency Service: Yes

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Morganton High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 2,279 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.2

A Special Education School
Serves 127 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 3.5

A Non-traditional School
Serves 98 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 6.1

Morganton Colleges

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Morganton Colleges
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