Franklin, NC

Franklin, situated in Macon County, is a town made up of 3.9 square miles.

2018 Best Guide to Franklin, NC

September 19, 2018

Franklin is named in honor of the 20th senator of North Carolina, Jesse Franklin, who was involved in the organization of Franklin as Macon County's seat. The town would later find itself officially incorporated in 1855.  

The area of Franklin NC was previously settled by the Cherokee, who called it Nikwasi (center of activity). For thousands of years the Cherokee dwelled here and the remnants of the Nikwasi Mound are within eye shot of downtown.  

This mound, kept eternally lit for hundreds of years, was the central location for spiritual ceremonies, council meetings, and other important events. In honor of their Cherokee heritage, many of Franklin's streets have Cherokee names. 

Hiking and gem mining are popular things to do in Franklin. As mentioned, the Appalachian Trail traverses nearby. And, there is an abundance of mountain trails throughout, including the Bartram Trail.  

The "Macon County Gemboree" is a jewelry and gem show held two times each year in Franklin. And plenty of people find their way to the Cowee Valley in search of gems and stones. 

Expect to find sapphires, rubies, and garnets in the area. Don't forget to visit the Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum; it's free. The museum is housed in what used to be the Macon County jail!


The median resident age in Franklin is 48 years. The median estimated household income is about $40,000 making it about $5,000 less than the North Carolina average. The estimated per capita is about $25,000. The average price for a home in Franklin is about $110,000 (2013) which is $45,000 less than the North Carolina Average. Expect to pay about $500 a month for rent.

The racial makeup of Franklin is 50% White, 41% Black, 5% Two or more races, and 4% other. 79% of the population are high school graduates, with 16% holding a Bachelor's Degree or higher. 57% are married, 5% are divorced, 1% are separated, 15% are widowed, leaving 22% that have never been married.

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Macon County

Town belongs to Macon County in the western part of North Carolina. Macon County was formed from a part Haywood County in 1828, and was named after Nathaniel Macon. Macon County has a population of 34,000 and its largest town Franklin, with a population of 3,900, is the county seat.

Macon County borders Jackson, Swain, Clay, Rabun, Cherokee, and Graham counties.

Macon County is made up of 520 square miles. 516 of which is land with the remaining 4 as water.


The population of Franklin, NC is about 520. The population has been steadily increasing since the 1980's.


The elevation of Franklin, NC is three feet above sea level.

Zip Code

The zip code for Franklin, NC is 27806.

Area Code

The area code for Franklin, NC is 252.

Politics and Religion

Historically speaking Franklin and Macon County have voted mostly Republican, with 60% going to Mitt Romney during the 2012 Presidential Election. This represents the trend for the previous four or five elections.

As of 2010, 46% of the population are religiously unafiliated (Nones). About 52% are Protestants with Catholics making up around 2%.


The unemployment rate for Franklin is about 6% (2015), making it higher than the state average of around 5%. Transportation, mining, and construction make nearly 50% of the most common industries in the town.

Newspaper & Obituaries

The Franklin Press and The Macon County News are the primary newspapers that cover the Macon County area.