Andrews, NC

Andrews, situated in Cherokee County, is a small town made up of 1.6 square miles.

2018 Best Guide to Andrews, NC

April 18, 2018

The area where Andrews was founded was known as Toonatla by the Cherokee, and the area was a prominent location for the Cherokee Nation in the mid-19th century prior to their removal.  

Andrews rests on the southern side of the Valley River on 1.6 square miles of land at an elevation of 2,350 feet above sea level. It is situated in the Great Smoky Mountains. It is considered an outdoorsmen's locale, with plenty of fresh mountain waters, hiking, hunting, and fishing areas.

The area where Andrews rests previously was inhabited by the Cherokee Indians. Their forced removal along the Trail of Tears in 1838, opened the door for white settlers moving westward from the Asheville area. Andrews was then called Jamesville, and then Valley Town. Fort Delaney was a outpost built by the Army to oversee the Cherokee removal.

A land auction and the railroad helped establish the town. In 1888, one of the leaders of the Richmond/Danville Railroad, Colonel A. B. Andrews purchased land for the purpose of building stores to support the construction workers in the Nantahala area. Two years later he sold the 50 acres, which was then surveyed for lots.

According to town historian, Dee Whitt Sharp, the railroad and a depot in Andrews was completed in 1890. A few years later J. Q. Barker built a lumber mill and the Snowbird Valley Railroad line, connecting the town to Andrews. This encouraged growth in the town. He was also influential in helping to gain incorporation of Andrews.

The first tannery business opened in 1898, courtesy F. P Cover from Virginia. A schoolhouse and two churches were also built, and by 1905, the town incorporated. It was named in honor of Colonel Andrews.

Another saw mill was in operation by 1911, followed by another standard gauge rail line, this one from Rainbow Springs to Andrews. And, in 1920 Hayesville was connected to Andrews via the Peavine Railroad. It provided movement of heavy goods between the two towns, but failed in the early 1950s.

A portion of the line (Andrews to Dillsboro) is now used by the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad (previously Railway), a tourist company offering trips in the area, who purchased it from the state.

In 1923, the First Baptist Church of Andrews was built The large building would later become the Valleytown Cultural Arts Center, after the Society and townspeople worked to secure the historic building in 1986.

Today, Andrews is a quiet American town, protected from the big city noise by the mountain valley in which is sits. People take it easy here. You can go fishing in one of the crisp, cold streams or take an adventurous trip down the rapids of the Nantahala River. No matter what you choose to do, one thing is for certain... life is slow and relaxing in Andrews NC.

AreaVibes gives Andrews NC a low livability score of 66. Even though there is a low cost of living and sunny weather, the town fails in crime, and scores low in amenities, education, employment, and housing.

Andrews was incorporated in 1905.


The median resident age in Andrews is 31 years. The median estimated household income is about $23,000 making it about $27,000 less than the North Carolina average. The estimated per capita is about $13,000. The average price for a home in Andrews is about $50,000 (2016) which is $115,000 less than the North Carolina Average. Expect to pay about $470 a month for rent.

The racial makeup of Andrews is 81% White, 10% Hispanic, and 9% other. 72% of the population are high school graduates, with 15% holding a Bachelor's Degree or higher. 46% are married, 17% are divorced, 8% are widowed, 6% are separated, leaving 23% that have never been married.

Towns Nearby

Marble, NC
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Hayesville, NC
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Murphy, NC
Hiawassee, GA
Young Harris, GA
Macedonia, GA

Cherokee County

Andrews belongs to Cherokee County in the western part of North Carolina. The county, which is named in honor of the Cherokee Native American Tribe. Cherokee County has a population of 27,000. It's largest town is Andrews, which has a population of 1,700, while it's county seat Murphy has a population of 1,600.

Many of the Cherokee Tribe still live in the area. Clay County and Graham County were formed when they broke off southeast and northeast parts of Cherokee County, respectively.

Cherokee County borders Graham, Macon, Clay, Union, Fannin, Polk, and Monroe counties.

Cherokee County is comprised of 467 square miles. 455 square mils of which are land, with the remaining 11 as water.


The population of Andrews, NC is about 1,800. The population peaked in the 1990s but saw a decrease by 2010, though the population has seen a steady increase since.


The elevation of Andrews, NC is 1,781 feet above sea level.

Zip Code

The zip code for Andrews, NC is 28901.

Area Code

The area code for Andrews, NC is 828.

Politics and Religion

Historically speaking Andrews and Cherokee County have voted mostly Republican, with 77% going to Donald Trump during the 2016 Presidential Election. This represents the trend for the previous four or five elections.

As of 2010, 54% of the population are religiously unafiliated (Nones). About 41% are Protestants, Catholics make up around 4%, and 1% other.


The unemployment rate for Andrews is about 6% (2015), making it higher than the state average of 5%. Food service and agriculture make nearly 50% of the most common industries in the town.

Newspaper & Obituaries

The Cherokee Scout and My Andrews Journal are the primary newspapers in the Cherokee County and Andrews area.