Banner Elk NC is located in the northwest quadrant of Avery
County in the Appalachian Highlands 3,739 feet above sea
level (Banner Elk Development Plan, 1967). High peaks and
rugged ridges surround Banner Elk NC. This mountainous area in
many respects, has stronger historic and cultural ties with
the neighboring mountainous regions of Tennessee and
Virginia than with all other regions of North Carolina.
Banner Elk NC is beautiful during all seasons of the year. Fall
foliage produces a dazzling panorama of color. The area is
famous for its flora and fauna. Rhododendron, mountain
laurel, flame azalea, and wild flowers are abundant. Bear,
deer, and other wildlife inhabit the forests that surround
Banner Elk (Cooper, 1964).
Now days Banner Elk NC is known for skiing, golf, and four
seasons of vacation fun and relaxing lifestyles. We have
many summer residents as well as vacation home owners that
make Banner Elk a home away from home for a variety of
reasons. Lees McCrae College offers cultural arts and
entertainment and there's always the assortment of shops and
restaurants to keep you busy!
Thousands of people discover Banner Elk NC and choose to
explore owning their piece of Banner Elk Real Estate and we invite you to SEE OUR
BANNER ELK NC REAL ESTATE listings and call us
The first human inhabitants of the Banner Elk area were the
Cherokee Indians. The Cherokee used the Elk River Valley as
hunting grounds, but evidence of a permanent settlement has
never been discovered (Cooper, 1964). The first white
settlers of Banner Elk were Delilah Baird and John Holtsclaw,
who came to the Big Bottoms of Elk in 1825, and settled on a
tract of land containing 480 acres. This land included the
Whitehead farm and extended to the present site of
Grandfather Home for Children situated near Wildcat Lake.
John and Delilah's first child, Alfred B. Baird, was the
first white child born in what is now the Banner Elk
Township (Banner Elk Development Plan, 1967). Martin L.
Banner established the first permanent settlement in 1848.
Although the Banner family originally came from Wales,
Martin Banner moved from Forsyth County located in the
piedmont region of North Carolina. Eventually, the Banner
family grew to 55 members, and the area where they lived
became known as Banner's Elk (Heritage, 1976). Other early
settlers include the Moody, Dugger, Abrams, Von Canon,
Keller, Smith, Lineback, and Foster families. The early
settlers of the area were the people of northern European
stock from what may be called the yeoman class: English,
Scottish, Irish, Welsh, German, and Dutch (Cooper, 1964).
The community changed its name to Banner Elk when the North
Carolina General Assembly incorporated the town in 1911.
Agriculture, Industry, and Tourism
The rugged terrain made it difficult to travel,
therefore the early settlers had to be self-sufficient. The
climate and elevation supported vegetable crops, especially
cabbage and beans. Early settlers also traded furs and
raised cattle. Today, the major agricultural cash crop is
Christmas trees. Banner Elk NC has never had a large industrial
base. The community is dominated by small, locally owned
businesses. With an increasing dependence on tourism since
the 1960's, the area is a magnet to vacationers and summer
residents. Banner Elk offers beautiful scenery, cool
summers, a location between three ski resorts, and a
friendly atmosphere. Tourism has been important to Banner
Elk for over 100 years. The Banner Elk Hotel was built in
1892 to accommodate tourists (Heritage, 1976). In the early
1900's people began to build summer homes in the area to
enjoy the pleasant mountain environment. The ability to
manufacture snow made Banner Elk a year round tourist
attraction. Grover Robbins built Beech Mountain Ski Resort
in 1965, and Sugar Mountain Ski Resort opened in 1969.
Hawk's Nest Ski Resort opened in 1968.
Lees-McRae College has been a catalyst in the Banner
area for about 100 years. Edgar Tufts founded the Elizabeth
McRae Institute for Girls in 1900. The objective of the
institute was to promote Christian values by providing
academic curricula that encouraged intellectual, spiritual,
physical, and social growth (Heritage, 1976). Several
institutional changes occurred over the years. Mrs. S.P.
Lees was a major benefactor, and a name change occurred in
1903 to the Lees-McRae Institute (Neal, 1983). The addition
of Plumtree School for Boys in 1927 made the institute
coeducational (Heritage, 1976). The institute became
Lees-McRae Junior College in 1929, and when it received
accreditation as a four-year college in 1990, the name
changed to Lees-McRae College.
Health and Child Care Facilities
Health care facilities date back to 1908 when Edgar Tufts
recruited Dr. Charles Reed to the Banner Elk area. Grace
Hospital in opened in 1908. Edgar Tufts also founded the
Grandfather Orphan's Home to provide a caring and home-like
atmosphere for orphaned children of the mountains (Neal,
1983). Grace Hospital was replaced by the Charles A. Cannon,
Jr. Memorial Hospital in 1962. The original orphan's home
evolved into Grandfather Home for Children, which was
inaugurated in 1939 (Banner Elk Development Plan, 1967).
Avery Middle School
Banner Elk Elementary
Beech Mountain Elementary
Cranberry Middle School
Freedom Trail Elementary
convenience we have provided some additional information about other
Western North Carolina Communities and we invite you to click on
your choice for more info!
Rock NC Real Estate |
NC Real Estate |
Real Estate |
NC Real Estate
If you have any
questions or would like more information, please contact us
us, or use our online request form.