Originally, Morganton served as the Fannin County seat. Controversy arose, however, when the railroads proposed to build a rail line through the mountains. Naturally, Morganton residents felt the track should go through their hometown.
Although much controversy erupted before the final decision, the railroad felt the Blue Ridge area offered a better route through the county and selected it as the railroad hub. Much to Morganton residents' chagrin, the county seat moved to Blue Ridge shortly thereafter.