Common Questions About The Fort
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. The photo to the right is a rendering of the original Fort, artist unknown.
How old is the house?
The house, Fort Defiance, was built between 1788-1792. The family lived in the house until 1961.
What's inside Fort Defiance?
The house has over 300 pieces 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 acres in Happy Valley. Today the non-profit that operates Fort Defiance owns 5 acres.
Who is buried in the cemetery?
All William Lenoir family members, and those married into the family, can be buried in the cemetery if they so choose. The oldest grave is from 1785, the newest is from 2021.
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.
Can I use the interior of the house when renting the site?
We do not allow interior usage of the house. However, you can reserve a spot on the historic grounds. Contact us for rates and availability.
Does Fort Defiance offer group tours?
Fort Defiance offers discounts for groups of 20 people or more. We ask that you call ahead of time, at least 2 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 such as bridal, individual, and family portraits can be scheduled with the Fort Defiance staff. A fee may be charged, please contact for information.