Burnsville, NC

Burnsville, situated in Yancey County, is a small town made up of 1.6 square miles...

2018 Best Guide to Burnsville, NC

June 9, 2018

In 1834, the Town of Burnsville was founded, and is named after Captain Otway Burns (a naval hero in the War of 1812). The town received a statue of Otway Burns from his grandson, Walter Francis Burns, Sr. The statue was put in the center of the town on a granite pedestal. The statue was replace in the early 2000's because of damages.

In 2010, Burnsville held a referendum to allow the sale of alcohol in town limits. The referendum passed, and ended prohibition in Yancey County. Graham County remains the last dry county in North Carolina.


The median resident age in Burnsville is 46 years. The median estimated household income is about $23,000 making it about $22,000 less than the North Carolina average. The estimated per capita is about $21,000. The average price for a home in Burnsville is about $163,000 (2013) which is $8,000 more than the North Carolina Average. Expect to pay about $560 a month for rent.

The racial makeup of Burnsville is 87% White, 8% Hispanic, 3% Black, and 2% other. 79% of the population are high school graduates, with 17% holding a Bachelor's Degree or higher. 45% are married, 7% are separated, 14% are divorced, 12% are widowed, leaving 22% that have never been married.

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Yancey County

Burnsville belongs to Yancey County in the western part of North Carolina. Yancey County has a population of 18,000 and its largest city Burnsville, with a population of 1,700, is the county seat.

Yancey County was founded in 1833, and borders the state of Tennessee. The county was named after Bartlett Yancey; he was a congressman that helped the development of North Carolina's public schooling. The Cherokee tribe lived in the area of modern day Yancey county, and an archeological dig site found a burial mound as well as a primitive settlement in 1989.

In the 1700's, the area was settled by Irish, Scotch-Irish, and the English. The main focus of these settlers was agriculture. Through the history of Yancey County, Burley tobacco was the primary crop, and you can still find storage barns to this day.

With the arrival of the railroad industry in the early 1900's; the economy changed from being agricultural based into a mining community. In 1911, the Black Mountain Railroad reached Yancey County, and enabled easy transportation of mica. This allowed for the mica industry to prosper. The Town of Micaville got it's name for being a central mining position in the county.

Yancey County borders Mitchell, McDowell, Buncombe, Madison, and Unicoi (Tennessee) counties.

Yancey County is made up of 313 square miles. Almost all of it being land.


The population of Burnsville, NC is about 1,700. The town has been steadily increasing since the 1980's.


The elevation of Burnsville, NC is 2,822 feet above sea level.

Zip Code

The zip code for Burnsville, NC is 28714.

Area Code

The area code for Burnsville, NC is 828.

Politics and Religion

Historically speaking Burnsville and Yancey County have voted mostly Republican, with 56% going to Mitt Romney during the 2012 Presidential Election. This represents the trend for the previous four or five elections.

As of 2010, 63% of the population are religiously unaffiliated (Nones). About 36% are Protestants with Catholics making up around 1%.


The unemployment rate for Burnsville is about 5% (2015), making it the same as the state average of around 5%. Construction, health care, and retail make more than 50% of the most common industries in the town.

Newspaper & Obituaries

The Yancey Times Journal is the primary newspaper that covers the Yancey County area.