Situated along a ridge north of the New River, Newbern is a mile-long one-street town with buildings bordering each side of the old Wilderness Road, a primary artery used by settlers heading south and west during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Laid out by Adam Hance in 1810 in twenty-nine lots, the town flourished during the first half of the nineteenth century. In 1839 Newbern was chosen as the county seat for newly formed Pulaski County and a two-story brick courthouse was soon built. When the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad bypassed the community in 1854, Newbern began to decline in economic importance, and after the courthouse burned in 1893, Newbern lost its status as county seat to Pulaski.
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