Elkin is a town in Surry and Wilkes counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina, along the Yadkin River. Elkin shares its name with the surrounding township of Elkin Township. The population was 4,109 at the 2000 census.
Elkin is located at .
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 6.3 square miles, of which, 6.3 square miles of it is land and 0.1 square miles of it is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,109 people, 1,690 households, and 1,051 families residing in the town. The population density was 655.6 people per square mile. There were 1,854 housing units at an average density of 295.8/sq mi. The racial makeup of the town was 84.11% White, 7.23% African American, 0.02% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 6.81% from other races, and 1.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.43% of the population.
There were 1,690 households out of which 26.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.8% were non-families. 34.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the town the population was spread out with 22.1% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 23.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 87.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.4 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $31,698, and the median income for a family was $38,667. Males had a median income of $29,514 versus $22,108 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,123. About 6.3% of families and 12.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.6% of those under age 18 and 18.5% of those age 65 or over.
The flowing together of the Yadkin River and the Big Elkin Creek has drawn people to the area of what is now Elkin, since the coming of the Paleo-Indians 10,000 years ago. The Sioux Indians settled along the Yadkin River as early as 500 BC. The first English colonists came in the mid-eighteenth century, Cherokee Indians were also in the area, although the Cherokees had been active in the French and Indian War, they had joined in treaties with the English in 1763, followed by the events of the American Revolution.
Alexander Chatham opened a small woolen mill in 1877 that grew to become Elkin’s largest industry for many decades, but as other mills in the area it has dwindled. The Northwestern North Carolina Railroad arrived in 1890; the town was ready to take the opportunities the railroad brought for commercial and industrial expansion. It’s strategic location near the Yadkin River and the Big Elkin Creek and as a stop on the railroad caused prosperity that produced brick stores, many industries, and fine houses.
The beginning of industry with the cotton mill, the Civil War involvement, the coming of the railroad, the town’s coping with the depression of the Thirties, and the two world wars heavily influenced the town's development.
Elkin had the biggest cruising community on the east coast during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. USA TODAY once featured Elkin and its cruisers on the front page of the national news paper. However, a crackdown by local police in the early 1990s completely wiped out the once-vibrant weekend cruising scene leaving downtown Elkin deserted on weekend nights.
On Saturday, October 10, 2009, cruising life returned to downtown Elkin for the first time in almost 20 years. A fundraiser was held to raise money to restore the historic Reeves Theater in downtown Elkin. For a $5 donation, participants would be given a decal for their car and then be allowed cruise the former downtown cruising loop. Many people both young and old participated, with many parents who were crusiers in their younger days bringing their children out to show them how fun downtown Elkin used to be.
Elkin is served by the Elkin city school system. It operates an elementary school (Grades 1-6) with a population of approximately 700, a middle school (Grades 7-8) and a high school (Grades 9-12) with approximately 384 students. The high school has had new developments made to the building; the construction of the new science, math, and CTE programs completed in the 2006-2007 school year, leaving construction of the English and history building to be completed later on.
Elkin, NC Links
Official Elkin, NC website
Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce
GoSurry.com, the Community Website for Surry County
Elkin City School System
Elkin Business Development Council
Reeves Theater Restoration Project
Elkin, NC Community Website
This page was last updated October 10, 2010.
© 1997-2010 by the Surry County