Avery County, North Carolina facts for kids

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Avery County, North Carolina
Map

Location in the state of North Carolina
Map of the USA highlighting North Carolina
North Carolina's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded 1911
Seat Newland
Largest town Banner Elk
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

247 sq mi (640 km²)
247 sq mi (640 km²)
0.1 sq mi (0 km²), 0.06%
Population
 - (2010)
 - Density

17,797
186/sq mi (72/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website: www.averycountync.gov
Named for: Waightstill Avery

Avery County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,797. The county seat is Newland. The county seat was initially established in Elk Park when the county was first formed, but was moved to Newland upon completion of the courthouse in 1912. Founded in 1911, it is the youngest of North Carolina's 100 counties.

History

The county is the newest of North Carolina's 100 counties. It was formed in 1911 from parts of Caldwell County, Mitchell County, and Watauga County. It was named for Waightstill Avery, a colonel in the American Revolutionary War and the first Attorney General of North Carolina (1777–1779). It is often noted for the large amount of Christmas trees that the county produces.

Geography

Stream in Linville
Stream within a Linville community

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 247 square miles (640 km2), of which 247 square miles (640 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.06%) is water.

Avery County is extremely rural and mountainous with all of the county's terrain located within the Appalachian Mountains range. The highest point in the county is Grassy Ridge Bald, 6,165 feet (1,879 m) above sea level. Most of Grandfather Mountain (whose highest point is Calloway Peak 5,946 feet (1,812 m) shared with Watauga and Caldwell counties) is within Avery county. At 5,526 feet (1,678 m), Beech Mountain (also shared with Watauga county) is the highest incorporated community east of the Mississippi River. At 3,606 feet (1,099 m) Newland is the highest county seat in the Eastern USA.

National & state protected areas

  • Blue Ridge Parkway (part)
  • Pisgah National Forest (part)
  • Grandfather Mountain State Park (part)

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 10,335
1930 11,803 14.2%
1940 13,561 14.9%
1950 13,352 −1.5%
1960 12,009 −10.1%
1970 12,655 5.4%
1980 14,409 13.9%
1990 14,867 3.2%
2000 17,167 15.5%
2010 17,797 3.7%
Est. 2015 17,689 −0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the census of 2000, there were 17,167 people, 6,532 households, and 4,546 families residing in the county. The population density was 70 people per square mile (27/km²). There were 11,911 housing units at an average density of 48 per square mile (19/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.95% White, 3.48% Black or African American, 0.34% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.28% from other races, and 0.71% from two or more races. 2.41% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,532 households out of which 27.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.10% were married couples living together, 9.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.40% were non-families. 26.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.82.

In the county, the population was spread out with 19.40% under the age of 18, 10.30% from 18 to 24, 30.10% from 25 to 44, 24.40% from 45 to 64, and 15.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age of Avery County is aging, with it at 38 years. For every 100 females there were 111.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 112.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,627, and the median income for a family was $37,454. Males had a median income of $25,983 versus $21,652 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,176. About 10.90% of families and 15.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.30% of those under age 18 and 19.00% of those age 65 or over.

Medical

The county's public hospital is Charles A. Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville, a campus of Appalachian Healthcare System. The hospital is centrally located in Linville and opened in 2000, to consolidate and replace the old Cannon Hospital located in Banner Elk and Sloop Hospital located in Crossnore. The new campus also hosts the Sloop Medical Building, which houses various doctor's offices, the local YMCA complex, and a pharmacy. The hospital is a critical care facility with a 24-hour emergency department as well as imagery, lab, surgery, and other services. It has 25 medical beds and ten psychiatric beds. Critical illnesses and injuries and trauma patients are often stabilized at Cannon, then flown or transported by ambulance to hospitals in Charlotte, Asheville, or Johnson City, Tennessee.

The Avery County Emergency Medical Service (EMS) is a full-time county department (since 1994). They provide paramedic-level emergency medical care via three ambulances and a supervisor's SUV at all times, at station locations across the county. Backup is provided by fire departments, a rescue squad and law enforcement first responders.

Communities

Map of Avery County North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels
Map of Avery County, North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels

Towns

Villages

Townships

  • Altamont
  • Banner Elk
  • Beech Mountain
  • Carey's Flat
  • Cranberry
  • Elk Park
  • Frank
  • Heaton
  • Hughes
  • Ingalls
  • Linville
  • Minneapolis
  • Montezuma
  • Newland No. 1
  • Newland No. 2
  • Pineola
  • Plumtree
  • Pyatte
  • Roaring Creek

Unincorporated communities

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Avery County.

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Banner Elk Town 1,028
2 Newland Town 698
3 Elk Park Town 452
4 Beech Mountain (partially in Watauga County) Town 320
5 Sugar Mountain Village 198
t-6 Crossnore Town 192
t-6 Seven Devils (partially in Watauga County) Town 192
7 Grandfather Village 25

Transportation

Aviation

Avery County Airport (7A8) is a small, public general aviation facility with no control tower. It primarily serves private aircraft and has no regularly scheduled commercial or cargo flights or major carriers. The facility jointly serves Avery and Mitchell Counties and is located on Grassy Creek Road, just off US19E near the Mitchell County Line in Green valley, 10 miles south of Newland and 4 miles east of Spruce Pine. It is jointly operated by both counties and has a 3000-foot long runway that is 60 feet wide, with over runs at both ends in excess of 110 feet. The facility has private contractors who offer private air services, flying lessons and charter flights. The airport has seen increased usage in recent years and has been upgraded several times. The county has made cursory inquiries into resurfacing the airport to a heavier weight rating, to allow NC Air National Guard C-130 aircraft from Charlotte Douglass International Airport Air National Guard Base to conduct intermittent landing and "touch and go" combat exercises. The US Marine Corps on the NC coast at New River and Cherry Point Air Stations has also expressed an interest in conducting mountain landing training for Osprey vertical takeoff aircraft if the airport runway is thickened, as has the NC Army National Guard for its helicopters located in Salisbury. The Avery County runway is of sufficient length to accommodate large military aircraft, but not of sufficient surface thickness. Mission Hospital in Asheville has also been approached to possibly establish an air ambulance base at the airport.

A smaller private airport is also located in Banner Elk parallel to NC 194 at the Elk River Club resort; which is for residents and approved guests of the Elk River Property Owners Association.

Public transportation

Avery County Transportation (ACT) provides general public transportation vans for a fee. The service is by call, offering rides to various locations in the county and out-of-county medical rides.

Major highways

  • US 19E
  • US 221
  • US 321
  • NC 105
  • NC 181
  • NC 184
  • NC 194

Images for kids


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