Sylva is an incorporated town located in central Jackson County, in the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina, United States of America. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 2,435. It is the county seat, having taken over from nearby Webster in 1913. The town is named for William D. Sylva, a Danish handyman who spent a month in the home of General E. R. Hampton. When the town applied for a post office, Hampton asked his young daughter Mae what the town's name should be. She liked the handyman so much she said, "Sylva."