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Mount Airy, North Carolina
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Mount Airy, North Carolina
Mount Airy, North Carolina
Downtown Mount Airy
Downtown Mount Airy
Mayberry, Granite City
Mount Airy, North Carolina is located in North Carolina
Mount Airy, North Carolina
Mount Airy, North Carolina
Location within the state of North Carolina
Coordinates: 36°30?N 80°37?W / 36.500°N 80.617°W / 36.500; -80.617Coordinates: 36°30?N 80°37?W / 36.500°N 80.617°W / 36.500; -80.617
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
 o MayorDavid Rowe
 o Total8.4 sq mi (21.7 km2)
 o Land8.4 sq mi (21.7 km2)
 o Water0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
1,115 ft (340 m)
 o Total10,388
 o Estimate 
 o Density1,200/sq mi (480/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 o Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)336
FIPS code37-44800[3]
GNIS feature ID0990306[4]

Mount Airy [5] is a city in Surry County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 10,388.[1] The town is the birthplace and hometown of actor Andy Griffith. Andy Griffith retired to Manteo, NC where he lived for the remainder of his life.


Mount Airy was settled in the 1750s as a stagecoach stop on the road between Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Galax, Virginia. It was named for a nearby plantation. Mount Airy was incorporated in 1885.[6] The City's official seal was established in 1977, which depicts major industries that are home to Mount Airy including: furniture, textiles, and the granite quarry.[7] In 1994, Mount Airy was named an All American City.[7]

The W. F. Carter House, William Carter House, Edgar Harvey Hennis House, William Alfred Moore House, Mount Airy Historic District, North Carolina Granite Corporation Quarry Complex, Renfro Mill, and Trinity Episcopal Church are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[8]


Mount Airy is located at 36°30?N 80°37?W / 36.500°N 80.617°W / 36.500; -80.617 (36.5006, -80.6093),[9] along the Ararat River, about 5 km (3 mi) south of the Virginia state line. The United States Census Bureau says the city has a total area of 8.4 square miles (22 km2), all of it land. The city is located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, about 14 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway.[10]

Climate data for Mount Airy, North Carolina (1981-2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 46.7
Average low °F (°C) 23.3
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.67
Average snowfall inches (cm) 3.6
Average precipitation days 10.6 10.0 11.1 10.9 13.2 11.7 13.6 11.6 10.0 8.4 9.5 10.8 131.4
Average snowy days 1.4 1.5 .3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .9 4.1
Source: NOAA[11]


As of the census of 2010, there were 10,388 people in 4,934 households. The people per square mile was 891.4. There were 5,296 housing units. The Population percent change from 2000 to 2010 was 22.4% up. The racial makeup of the city was 84.1% White descent, 8.2% African American, 0.3% American Indian and Alaska Native, 1.4% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 2.2% Persons reporting two or more races, 6.7% Hispanic or Latino. Persons per household was 2.10. Average household income was $35,428. Persons below poverty level was 21.1%. High school graduates were 76.9% and bachelor's degree or higher was 25.9%.

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 8,484 people, 3,667 households, and 2,130 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,010.8 people per square mile (390.4/km²). There were 4,129 housing units at an average density of 491.9 per square mile (190.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.34% White descent, 7.99% African American, 0.35% Native American, 2.55% Asian American, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.49% from other races, and 1.24% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.87% of the population.

World's largest open faced granite quarry, near Mount Airy.

There were 3,667 households out of which 24.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.6% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.9% were non-families. 38.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the city, the population was spread out with 21.6% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 25.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,910, and the median income for a family was $33,412. Males had a median income of $27,299 versus $24,830 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,237. About 17.4% of families and 19.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.7% of those under age 18 and 20.7% of those age 65 or over.


Actor Andy Griffith was born in Mount Airy, and the town is believed[13] to have been the basis for Mayberry, the setting of the TV shows The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry RFD.[14] The community holds an annual "Mayberry Days" celebration during the last weekend of September; 30,000 attended in 2009, and 50,000 attended for the show's 50th anniversary in 2010. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro estimates the town receives $5 million each year as a result. Surviving members of the cast, along with family members of other cast members, often visit. The 2012 event was slated to have Karen Knotts (Don's daughter) and George Lindsey Jr. (eponymous son of the actor who portrayed Goober).

Three Ford Galaxie police cars, painted to resemble those used on the show, give rides to tourists.[15] A barber shop has been named "Floyd's."

The Andy Griffith Museum, founded in 2009 by Emmett Forrest, attracts 200 visitors a day.[16][17] The 2,500-square-feet museum, located half a mile from Griffith's childhood home, houses the world's largest collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia.[18]

The Autumn Leaves Festival

Held the second weekend in October, the Autumn Leaves Festival attracts over 200,000 people to the city during the festival weekend.[19] The festival is home to artisans and local vendors selling their unique goods. Around 200 vendors attend the Autumn Leaves Festival, including many food vendors that serve regional favorites such as ground steak sandwiches and collard green sandwiches.[19] With a rich heritage in bluegrass and old-time music, a main stage is set up for local artists to carry on traditional and contemporary bluegrass, gospel, and old-time music.[19]

Bluegrass and old-time music

The home of old-time music legend Tommy Jarrell, bluegrass gospel legends The Easter Brothers, country singer Donna Fargo, Mount Airy has a long history with regional music. Mount Airy's WPAQ 740 AM radio is one of the few Bluegrass and Old-Time music stations still operating and has been airing the live radio show Merry-Go-Round from the Downtown Cinema Theatre since 1948. Weekly bluegrass jam sessions at The Andy Griffith Playhouse and the annual Mount Airy Fiddlers Convention also serve to attract old-time musicians from across the region and the world. The Fiddlers Convention first began in 1972, and is held the first weekend in June at Veterans Memorial Park.[20] The Blue Ridge Music Center with its amphitheater and music museum of old-time music is just a few miles away on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 213, near Galax, Virginia. This area is home to the Round Peak style of old-time music, which started in the Round Peak community, just west of Mount Airy.[21]

Chang and Eng Bunker

Mount Airy was the residence of Chang and Eng Bunker (1811-1874), conjoined twins joined by a band of cartilage at the chest (xiphopagus).[14] They are buried at White Plains Baptist Church about 2 miles from Mt Airy Main street. Many of their descendants still live in the Mount Airy area.


The Mt. Airy Public Library serves the community. The library won the American Institute of Architects Design Award.[22]

Mount Airy has a city-funded school district consisting of four schools.

Mount Airy High School was selected as a North Carolina Blue Ribbon School in 2011.[23]

Mount Airy City Schools

  • Mount Airy High School
  • Mount Airy Middle School
  • Jones Intermediate School
  • Tharrington Primary School
  • White Plains Christian School

There are also other schools in Mount Airy that are controlled by Surry County.

High schools

  • North Surry High School

Middle schools

  • Gentry Middle School
  • Meadowview Magnet Middle School

Elementary schools

  • Cedar Ridge Elementary School
  • Flat Rock Elementary School
  • Franklin Elementary School
  • White Plains Elementary School

One other school in Mount Airy, a k-12 public-funded charter school. *Millennium Charter Academy

Notable people

The Easter Brothers Gospel Music and they have won lots of Dove Awards in Nashville, Tn. Melva Houston highly acclaimed jazz vocalist also well known as a blues and gospel singer. Ken Lowe who owns-Home and Garden Channel was born in Mt. Airy, N.C. Ralph Epperson who owned WPAQ and WSYD. wpaq opened up Ground Hod Day 1948 and is known for their Ole Time and Mountain Music and Gospel Singing and Preaching.


  1. ^ a b "2010 City Population and Housing Occupancy Status". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved .
  5. ^ Rick Aschmann (2 May 2018). "North American English Dialects, Based on Pronunciation Patterns". Aschmann.net. Retrieved 2019.
  6. ^ Dickson, Scott (2005). In Search of Mayberry. Boone, North Carolina: Parkway Publishers, Inc. p. 75. ISBN 1-887905-98-7.
  7. ^ a b "History of Mount Airy | Mount Airy, NC - Official Website". www.mountairy.org. Retrieved .
  8. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved .
  10. ^ "Blue Ridge Parkway « Visit Mayberry". www.visitmayberry.com. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved .
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved 2015.
  13. ^ "The Andy Griffith Show built North Carolina on the backlot". avclub.com. Retrieved 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Famous Citizens/History". mountairydowntown.org. Archived from the original on April 30, 2013. Retrieved 2012.
  15. ^ "Squad Car Tours". VisitNC.com. Archived from the original on 2018-02-14. Retrieved .
  16. ^ Washburn, Mark (2010-08-28). "Goober's suit enshrined in town Mayberry built". The Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on 2013-01-05. Retrieved .
  17. ^ a b Stange, Keith (2013-01-12). "Emmett Forrest, long-time Andy Griffith friend, has died". The Mount Airy News. Archived from the original on 2013-01-31. Retrieved .
  18. ^ "Well, I'll be: Andy Griffith Museum opens". The Business Journal. 2010-01-13. Retrieved .
  19. ^ a b c "Mayberry North Carolina | Bluegrass Music Festivals | NC Events". Autumn Leaves Festival. Retrieved .
  20. ^ www.paleosun.com, PaleoSun, Inc. Web Development. "Mount Airy Bluegrass and Old-Time Fiddlers' Convention | Blue Ridge Music Trails". Blue Ridge Music Trails. Retrieved .
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-21. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Mt. Airy Public Library." Mazria Inc. Retrieved on August 28, 2012.
  23. ^ "North Carolina Blue Ribbon Public Schools | PublicSchoolReview.com". www.publicschoolreview.com. Retrieved .
  24. ^ "Bill Hayes".
  25. ^ "Luke Lambert makes dream come true with NASCAR", Mount Airy News, 22 October 2012, Accessed: 25 January 2016.

Further reading

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes