About This Place
Banner Elk is a town in Avery County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 811 at the 2000 census.
The area surrounding the Elk River was inhabited by Cherokee Indians before western settlement, although no evidence of a permanent Cherokee settlement has ever been found. It is likely the area was used for hunting and fishing. The first permanent settlement was established by Martin L. Banner 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. This name was later shortened to Banner Elk when the town was incorporated in 1911 (Heritage, 1976).
As of the census of 2000, there were 811 people, 215 households, and 124 families residing in the town. The population density was 679.8 people per square mile (263.1/km²). There were 290 housing units at an average density of 243.1 per square mile (94.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 90.26% White, 3.95% African American, 0.62% Native American, 1.23% Asian, 0.25% Pacific Islander, 1.23% from other races, and 2.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.85% of the population.