- Graham County, North Carolina
Infobox U.S. County
county = Graham County
state = North Carolina
map size = 250
founded = 1872
seat = Robbinsville | area_total_sq_mi =302
area percentage = 3.16%
census yr = 2000
pop = 7993
Graham County is a
countylocated in the U.S. stateof North Carolina. As of 2000, the population was 7,993. Its county seatis RobbinsvilleGR|6. Graham County is one of the four dry counties in North Carolina, along with Clay, Mitchell, and Yancey.
The county was formed
January 30, 1872, from the northeastern part of Cherokee County. It was named for William A. Graham, United States Senator from North Carolina (1840-1843) and Governor of North Carolina (1845-1849).
Law and government
Graham County is a member of the regional
Southwestern Commissioncouncil of governments.
Graham County covers 433 square miles with elevation ranges from 1,177 to 5,560 feet. Two-thirds of the county is the
Nantahala National Forest. Fontana Lake, an impoundment of the Little Tennessee River, forms most of the the northern border of the county, with the Great Smoky Mountains National Parkon the other side of the lake. Fontana Lake is formed by Fontana Dam, the tallest dam in the eastern U.S. The northern boundary of Graham County is also formed by an impoundment of the Cheoah River created by Cheoah Dam.
Fontana Dam and Cheoah Dam are both operated by the
Tennessee Valley Authority.
Cheoah Riveris noted for its Class IV and Class V whitewater rapids. The river is used for whitewater rafting about 17 days per year, based on a water-release schedule from Cheoah Dam.
Appalachian Trailwinds through Graham County. Part of the trail is located on top of Fontana Dam. Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, a rare example of an old growth cove hardwood forest, is located in northwestern Graham County. Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is part of the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wildernessarea.
The eastern terminus of the
Cherohala Skywayis located in northwestern Graham County. The 36-mile Cherohala Skyway connects Graham County with Tellico Plains, Tennessee.
Seventy-five percent of
Lake Santeetlahshoreline borders national forest.
The county is divided into three townships: Cheoah, Stecoah, and Yellow Creek.
Other communities in Graham County include Fontana Village, Tapoco and Tuskeegee. Topton is located just outside the Graham County boundary, where Graham, Cherokee, Swain and Macon counties converge.
Parts of the
Qualla Boundary, also known as the Eastern Cherokee Indian Reservation, are located in Graham County. These sections of the Qualla Boundary are non-contiguous from the primary part of the Qualla Boundary located in Swain and Jackson counties. The Cherokees who live in Graham County form the Snowbird Cherokee community.
Swain County, North Carolina- north and east
Macon County, North Carolina- southeast
Cherokee County, North Carolina- south
Monroe County, Tennessee- west
Blount County, Tennessee- northwest
As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 7,993 people, 3,354 households, and 2,411 families residing in the county. The population densitywas 27 people per square mile (11/km²). There were 5,084 housing units at an average density of 17 per square mile (7/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 91.91% White, 0.19% Black or African American, 6.84% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.13% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. 0.75% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 27.6% were of American, 15.1% Irish, 12.7% English, 10.6% German and 5.1% Scots-Irishancestry according to Census 2000. 97.7% spoke English and 1.3% Cherokee as their first language.
There were 3,354 households out of which 27.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.80% were married couples living together, 8.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.10% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.82.
In the county the population was spread out with 22.00% under the age of 18, 7.30% from 18 to 24, 25.20% from 25 to 44, 27.50% from 45 to 64, and 18.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 95.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.60 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $26,645, and the median income for a family was $32,750. Males had a median income of $24,207 versus $18,668 for females. The
per capita incomefor the county was $14,237. About 14.40% of families and 19.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.30% of those under age 18 and 20.40% of those age 65 or over.
* The county is the birthplace of country music legend
* Graham County is home to the
Tail of the Dragon, a stretch of 318 curves in 11 miles of US Highway 129. It is popular with motorcyclists and sports car enthusiasts.
* Portions of the 1994 movie
Nellstarring Jodie Foster were filmed near Robbinsville.
* Portions of the 1993 movie
The Fugitivestarring Harrison Ford were filmed at Cheoah Dam.
Junaluska, a leader of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, lived in Graham County. His grave and a museum about his life is located in Graham County.
Cities and towns
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