Warne, North Carolina

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Unincorporated community
Motto: Where your welcome is never "Warne" out
Warne is located in North Carolina
Location within the state of North Carolina
Coordinates: 34°59′40″N 83°53′35″W / 34.99444°N 83.89306°W / 34.99444; -83.89306Coordinates: 34°59′40″N 83°53′35″W / 34.99444°N 83.89306°W / 34.99444; -83.89306
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Clay
 • Total 8.05 sq mi (20.85 km2)
 • Land 8.05 sq mi (20.85 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,736 ft (529 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 573
 • Density 71/sq mi (27/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 28909
Area code(s) 828
GNIS feature ID 1020542

Warne (/ˈwɔrn/ WORN) is an unincorporated community in the Brasstown Township of Clay County, North Carolina, United States. In 2008, Clay County was the fourth least populated county in North Carolina, inhabited by approximately 10,389 people. Like most areas in the sunbelt, the region has added considerably to its population, an 18.4% increase since 2000.[1] Warne is closer to the capitals of six other states (Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, and West Virginia) than to Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina.

Warne's elevation is 1,736 feet (529 m).[2] It has an area of 8.05 square miles (21 km2).[3] Although it is unincorporated, it has a volunteer fire department and a post office, with the ZIP code of 28909.[4]


Indigenous Peoples[edit]

Main article: Cherokee Indians

Before settlement, Clay County was home to the Cherokee Indians, who were a tribe of Native Americans that made their home in Southeastern United States (principally Georgia, the Carolinas and Eastern Tennessee) They were one of the "Five Civilized Tribes" because of their assimilation of European-American cultural and technological practices.

County Formation[edit]

In 1791, Colonel David Vance and General William Lee Davidson presented a petition to the North Carolina House of Commons that said "petition of the inhabitants of that part of Burke County lying west of the Appalachian Mountains praying that a part of said county, and part of Rutherford County, be made into a separate and distinct county." Originally, the bill to create the county had the name Union, but was changed to Buncombe in honor of Col. Edward Buncombe, a Revolutionary War hero from Tyrell County, North Carolina.

The Bill was ratified on January 14, 1792. The new county included most of Western North Carolina and was so large it was commonly referred to it as the "State of Buncombe." Approximately 1,000 people lived in the county.[5]

In 1808, the western portion of Buncombe County was separated to form Haywood County. The bill, introduced by General Thomas Love became law on December 23, 1808 and was official in March 1809.[6]

In 1838, Macon County was formed from the Western side of Haywood County.[7] 11 years later, Macon formed Cherokee County. [8]

In 1861, Part of Cherokee County formed Clay County, the last County, the area now known as Warne, to be in.[9]



Warne is located in the Southeastern United States in the southwestern portion of the North Carolina State, approximately halfway between Atlanta, GA. and Knoxville, TN.[10] The location in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Appalachia, has helped the community retain a rural character, surrounded by wildlife such as bear, deer, fox and recently reintroduced elk.[11]

According to the United States Census Bureau, Warne has a total area of 8.05 square miles (21 km2) and is 15 minutes north of Brasstown Bald, the tallest mountain in Georgia at 4,784 feet above sea level.


Warne has a humid subtropical climate, (Cfa) according to the Köppen classification, with hot, humid summers and mild, but occasionally cold winters by the standards of the southern United States.[12]

July highs average 85 °F (29 °C) or above, and lows average 55 °F (12.8 °C). Infrequently, temperatures can even exceed 100 °F (38 °C). January is the coldest month, with an average high of 48 °F (9 °C), and low of 33 °F (.6 °C).

Like the rest of the southeastern U.S., Warne receives abundant rainfall, which is relatively evenly distributed throughout the year. Average annual rainfall is 55.9 inches (1,420 mm). Blizzards are rare but possible; one nicknamed the 1993 Storm of the Century hit the entire Eastern United States in March, 1993.

Climate Data for Warne[13]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average High Fº(Cº)
47.8 (8.8)
52.2 (11.2)
61.1 (16.2)
69.9 (21.0)
77.3 (25.2)
83.3 (28.5)
85.8 (29.9)
85.6 (29.8)
80.7 (27.0)
71.8 (22.1)
61.9 (16.5)
51.4 (10.8)
Average Low Fº(Cº)
24.1 (-4.4)
26.1 (-3.3)
32.9 (0.5)
39.9 (4.4)
49.1 (9.5)
56.8 (13.8)
61.4 (16.3)
60.9 (16)
54.8 (12.7)
41.6 (5.3)
34.2 (1.2)
26.8 (-2.9)
Precipitation Inches(mm)
5.2 (132)
5.2 (132)
6.0 (152.4)
4.6 (116.8)
4.6 (116.8)
4.2 (106.7)
5.5 (139.7)
4.1 (121.9)
3.7 (94.0)
3.3 (83.2)
4.1 (104.1)
4.8 (121.9)

Adjacent Cities[edit]

These are cities within an approximate 15 mile radius of Warne.

Blank map.svg
Map pointer black.svgWarne
Small-city-symbol.svg Brasstown (5 mi)
Small-city-symbol.svg Hayesville (5 mi)
Small-city-symbol.svg Blairsville (9 mi)
Small-city-symbol.svg Young Harris (4.8 mi)
Small-city-symbol.svg Murphy (10 mi)
Small-city-symbol.svg Hiawassee (8 mi)
Small-city-symbol.svg Macedonia (10 mi)
Small-city-symbol.svg Marble (12 mi)
Small-city-symbol.svg Andrews (15 mi)
Small-city-symbol.svg Ivy Log (10 mi)
Small-city-symbol.svg Culberson (15 mi)
Small-city-symbol.svg Shooting Creek (13 mi)


According to the 2000 Census,[14] Warne had a population of 573 people living in 317 households with a population density of 71.17 people per square mile (27.48/km2). Of the 317 households, 227 were occupied, 90 were vacant, and 71 were used only occasionally such as vacation homes. 91.2% of households are owner-occupied while 8.8% rent. Average household size of rental occupied units were 12% larger than owner-occupied homes while the median house value was $81,300.00. 16.7% of rental homes remain vacant.

Of the 227 occupied households, 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.3% were married couples living together, 5.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.9% were non-families. 18.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 2.89.

The community's population is spread out with 20.8% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 15 to 19, 14.5% from 20 to 34, 33.0% from 35 to 54, and 12.6% who were 55 to 64 and 16.3% aged 65 or over. The median age was 41.9 years.

98.3% of Warne residents are White and 1.4% are African American, .3% other. 3% of all residents are Hispanic or Latino of any race.



The largest employment sector for the area is the Sales and office industries, employing about 1/3rd (32.5%) of the population, followed by production and transportation which employs close to 1/4 (22.5%) of the population. The service industry provides jobs for the next largest section of the working population at close to 1/5th (17.5%) followed closely by construction, extraction and maintenance which provides jobs for 15.7% and the remaining 12.1% work in management or professional industries.

Household Income[edit]

1.9% make less than $10,000 per year. The largest percentage at 36.9% make between $15,000 and $24,999 per year. 16.8% make between $50,000 and $74,999 per year and 20.1% make between $35,000 and $49,999 per year. 22% make between $50,000 and $74,999 per year while the remaining 2.3% make over $75,000 per year.

8.4% of Warne individuals are unemployed with 3.9% living below poverty. Median household income is $33,120.[15]

Arts and Culture[edit]

Located in the Brasstown Township of Clay County, Warne is surrounded by many locations of cultural significance such as the John C. Campbell Folk School, which offers weekly and weekend classes in traditional and contemporary crafts such as Basketry.[16]

Local Festivals and Celebrations[edit]

'Possum Drop, is an annual New Year's celebration held at a local gas station called Clay's Corner, which celebrates every New Year's by dropping a live opossum in a plexiglass pyramid from the roof of the store. They also hold the annual Miss Possum Queen, have many snacks and beverages, and Bluegrass Music.[17]

The Bi-annual Celebration of Flight Airshow, located at the Andrews-Murphy Airport, is a huge presentation of aircraft, both vintage and hi-tech. There are many vendors that sell food, drink, and other festivities.

Points of interest[edit]

Rollins Planetarium is located on the Young Harris College Campus in Young Harris, Georgia, and offers 30 shows a year. If the sky is clear, the Young Harris College Observatory is open immediately following planetarium shows. The observatory features a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope and is located about 1.5 miles from campus at Twiggs Overlook on the exit road leading from Brasstown Valley Resort.[18]

There are several WhiteWater Rafting guides and tours in northeast Cherokee County, Including Carolina Outfitters, Rafting America, and White Water.[19][20][21]


Historically, religion has been a very important part of Appalachian life. Christianity, like much of the rest of the Southern United States, is very predominant in Warne and the surrounding communities. Baptist Christian faiths are well represented here. Some local Churches are Mount Pisgah Baptist Church, Shady Grove Church and Copperhill Church. [22]

Parks and Recreation[edit]

Warne is a very rural town, surrounded by wildlife, countryside, and national forests. It lies just 0.5 miles (800 m) north of the Nantahala National Forest, 1.8 miles (2.9 km) north of the Chattahoochee National Forest, 5.5 miles (8.8 km) west of Chatuge Lake, 11.8 miles (19 km) north east of Nottely Lake, and approximately 15 miles (24.1 km) west of the Appalachian Trail, a 2,178 mile (3,505 km) long hiking trail that runs from Georgia to New York.[23]


Due to being an unincorporated community, Warne has no formal government but still gets services typically dispensed by the government through the county and other local cities.

Law Enforcement[edit]

Warne is serviced by Sheriff Vic Davis and his assistant Laura Farmer of the Clay County Sheriff's Office located in Hayesville, North Carolina.[24][25]

Crime Data[edit]

According to the 2009 Crime Rate Index,[26] Warne was rated a personal crime risk of 23 which reflects the combined risks of rape, murder, assault and robbery. Warne also scored a property crime risk of 45, which reflects the combined risks of burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft. Both scores are compared to a national average of 100.


The public school system (Clay County Schools) is run by the Clay County Board of Education with superintendent Scott Penland. The school system is small with an active enrollment of approximately 1,250 students attending a total of 3 schools on a single campus. All schools are accredited by the North Carolina State Board of Education and Hayesville High School is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Test scores are unfailingly in the top 10% of all North Carolina Schools.

Hayesville Elementary School covers grades K-4 and has an enrollment of 450 students. It has been rated Exemplary every year since the ABC's began.

Hayesville Middle School covers grades 5-8 with an enrollment of approximately 400 students. It has been classified as either a School of Distinction or School of Excellence every year since the ABC's began.

Hayesville High School covers grades 9-12 with an enrollment of approximately 400. It has the best SAT scores of any school in the area.[27]

Warne is also in close proximity to several schools and colleges including Young Harris College, in Young Harris, Georgia, Tri-County Community College in Peachtree, North Carolina, John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina, and Georgia Mountain Research and Education Center near Blairsville, Georgia.


Warne and the surrounding area is served by a few local television stations, numerous local radio stations that serve several genres of music including sports, news and talk radio in addition to three local papers.

Local Television channels include W50AB (Channel 50) based in Hiawassee, Georgia, W42AT (Channel 42) based in Hayesville, North Carolina and W31AN (Channel 31) Based in Murphy, North Carolina[28]

Warne is served by 11 local radio stations. WCVP-AM (600), WCNG-FM (102.7), and WKRK-AM (1320) are based in Murphy, North Carolina. WACF-FM (95.1) and WYHG-AM (770) are based in Young Harris, GA. WCVP-FM (95.9) in Robbinsville, WGHC-AM (1400) in Clayton, Georgia and WFSC-AM (1050), WPFJ-AM (1480), WFQS-FM (91.3), and WNCC-FM (96.7) based in Franklin, North Carolina[29][30]

The most important newspaper in Clay County is the Clay County Progress which, in addition to Clay County, covers Cherokee County, North Carolina and Towns County, Georgia. Two other notable newspapers are the Cherokee Scout and the Towns County Herald.



Warne sits on Old Hwy 64, which connects between Hayesville, North Carolina, and the Murphy Medical Center in Peachtree, North Carolina. Young Harris Road connects Warne to State Road 515 in Young Harris, Georgia.

Western Carolina Regional Airport (ICAO: KRHPFAA LID: RHP), known locally as the Murphy Airport, Andrews Airport, or Murphy-Andrews Airport, is located approximately twenty miles (32 km) north of Warne between the cities of Andrews, North Carolina and Murphy, North Carolina.

Warne is also in close proximity to Blairsville Airport (ICAO: KDZJ[31]FAA LID: DZJ, formerly 46A). It lies approximately 16.8 miles (27 km) southwest of Warne, near Blairsville, Georgia[32]


Electricity for Western North Carolina is provided by Duke Energy, sometimes referred as Duke Power. It has a total service territory covering 47,000 square miles (120,000 km2)[33] Half of its power generation for the Carolinas comes from its nuclear power plants.

Natural Gas is supplied by Piedmont Gas, which services over 1 million customers in North and South Carolina, and Tennessee.[34][35] In 2004 the company formed The Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation and has since invested over 4 Million dollars in the various communities it serves.[36]

Industrial and personal waste is landfilled.


Murphy Medical Center, located in Murphy, North Carolina, sports 57 hospital beds and a 120 bed nursing home.[37]


External links[edit]