The first people in Banner Elk were the Cherokee Indians. Cherokee artifacts indicate that the tribe used the land around the Elk River Valley as hunting grounds. The first white settlers to the area were Delilah Baird and John Holtsclaw, who made their home on 480 acres of land in 1825. During the next few decades, the area was settled by many people who came from various European countries. In 1911, the town was incorporated by the North Carolina General Assembly and officially became called Banner Elk.


Early settlers were farmers and some fur traders. Today agriculture is still a large part of the economy of Banner Elk, as the area is known as the “Christmas tree capital of the world." For many years, Banner Elk was comprised of a few small, locally owned and operated businesses. In the early 1900’s people started coming to Banner Elk for vacations and short visits to the mountains. In 1892, the Banner Elk Hotel was built to accommodate the vacationers, and today Banner Elk is the premier place to visit in the Blue Ridge Mountains for a great vacation.


Banner Elk has always been, and continues to be, a close knit community offering visitors and residents scenic views and outdoor adventures.


Want to know more about Banner Elk's History?

Visit the Banner House Museum:

Banner Elk, NC is a great place to make your vacation destination!  The town offers all varieties of lodging to suit every need and budget, great locally owned restaurants, and fun activities year round. Whether you are looking for a fun outdoor adventure with friends, a romantic getaway, or an unforgettable family vacation you will find it in Banner Elk!  Our Chamber prides itself in providing information to our visitors and is always available to help you find the information you need.  Call 828-898-8395 or email us at