HOURS AND ADMISSION
Admission: $7 per adult, $5 per child (under 14), under 5 free
Spring -Fall Hours of operation
April through October
Thursday - Saturday: 10am - 4pm
Sunday: 1pm - 4pm
Winter Hours of Operation
November through March
Saturday & Sunday: 10am - 4pm
Last tour 1 hour before closing
Fort Defiance the home was built by William Lenoir beginning in 1788 finishing in 1792. When the house was originally constructed there were five additional outbuildings constructed within a 75 yard radius, smokehouse, loom house, dairy, summer kitchen and corn crib. Today the only other original building still standing is the smokehouse.
Lenoir's home was named for the original Fort Defiance built prior to the American Revolution. By the time construction of the house started the fort was abandoned. Today nothing remains of the frontier fort.
The home was altered by the family over the years with additions and moving parts of the home around to suit the family's needs. When the home underwent restoration, the additions were removed and parts reattached to bring the house back to its 1792 appearance.
During the history of the house, parts of it were used as a lumber office, and US Post Office. The Lenoir family lived in the house from 1792 until 1961.
The home reopened in 1976 operated by a 501(c)3 nonprofit, Fort Defiance, Inc., which oversees the operation of the historic home and grounds.
Common Questions About Fort Defiance
WHAT ABOUT THE ORIGINAL STOCKADE FORT DEFIANCE?
Fort Defiance, the stockade, was built prior to the American Revolution and utilized during the Second Cherokee War in 1776. Sometime during the revolution the fort was abandoned. Fort Defiance the military site is not owned by Fort Defiance, Inc.
HOW OLD IS THE HOUSE?
The house Fort Defiance was built between 1788 - 1792. The family lived in the house until 1961.
WHAT IS INSIDE FORT DEFIANCE?
The house has over 300 piece of original furnishings and artifacts. Take a tour to learn more!
HOW MUCH LAND DID WILLIAM LENOIR OWN?
William Lenoir at one time owned over 22,000 in Happy Valley alone. Today the nonprofit that operates Fort Defiance owns 5 acres.
WHO IS BURIED IN THE CEMETERY?
All Lenoir family members who lived in the house and married into the family are in the cemetery. The oldest grave is 1785, the newest is 2000.
WHEN WAS THE HOUSE LAST OCCUPIED?
Charles and Shirley Lenoir were the last occupants moving out in January 1961 so the house could be restored to the condition it is in today.
IS THERE A GIFT SHOP ON SITE?
The nonprofit operates a small gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs and tee-shirts.
CAN I USE THE INTERIOR OF THE HOUSE WHEN RENTING THE SITE?
We do not allow interior use of the house. However you can reserve a spot on the historic grounds. Contact us today for rates and availability.
DOES FORT DEFIANCE OFFER GROUP TOURS?
Fort Defiance offer discounts for groups of 20 people are more. We ask that you call ahead of time, at least two weeks, prior to your visit.
WHAT ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY?
Individuals are welcome to take casual personal exterior photos during open hours.
Arrangements for professional portrait photography, which includes bridal, individual, and family portraits, can be scheduled with Fort Defiance staff. A fee may be charged, please contact for information.
Donations can be sent to:
Fort Defiance, Inc.
PO Box 686
Lenoir, NC 28645
For GPS and directions use the address directly below
1792 Fort Defiance Drive, Lenoir, NC 28645, USA