Banner Elk

by Todd Bush
Publisher: Don Iverson,
Tel 828-898-6441

© 2011 Todd Bush
160 pages

978-0-578-08729-0 (hard cover)

Price $45.00 plus $20 S&H



From the Back Cover --

They called her “Banner’s Elk” Prior to 1911, she was known as Banner’s Elk, as restworthy as the sound of her enchanting title. The firstpermanent settlement here, in the fertile area of theheadwaters of the Elk River, was established in 1848 by Martin L. Banner and his family, immigrants from Wales. The family eventually grew to 55 members. According to local tradition, the Banner’s portion of land through which the Elk River flowed became known as Banner’s Elk, a name that remained until incorporation and the establishment of our local post office. The first settlers to locate here were Baird and John Holtsclaw, who established their home in this area in 1825 on a spread of 480 acres. During this period, families survived off of the rich land and abundant fur trade. But, truly, Cherokee Indians were the first known inhabitants. Though there is no evidence of permanent Cherokee settlements, artifacts indicate that this area of the Blue Ridge Mountains was familiar hunting grounds for this notable tribe. Before the invention of air conditioning, and because of her pleasant summer temperatures, Banner Elk became a familiar tourist destination in the late 1800’s. The Banner Elk Hotel, framed mostly from wormy chestnut, was built in 1892 to accommodate short term vacationers as well as wealthy summer residents striving to escape the heat and bustle of neighboring metropolises like Charlotte. It was also common for traveling salesmen to arrange their overnights at the Banner Elk Hotel on Saturdays, as everyone knew the locals and gifted travelers gathered in the General Store across the road to make music. Today, Banner Elk has less than one thousand permanent residents. Though air conditioning and entertainment now abound in every corner of our state, in every season people still swarm to her. They still come for the climate, but mostly they come for that which renowned photographer, Todd Bush, has spent over 20 years of his life capturing in images for the pages of this book: her crystal streams, wildlife, crisp winters and mountain sunsets… those things that inspire locals and visitors alike to say, “Life is Just Better Here!”

Don Iverson, Publisher


About the Photographer --

Todd Bush has photographed in many locales around the world but has focused his lens on the Southern Appalachians, specifically around Banner Elk. Over the years Todd’s great love of being outdoors and photographing nature and exploring interesting nooks of the Appalachian Mountains has yielded a vast collection of images. The best of those photos, many for the first time, are displayed within the pages of this book. His photographs have been widely published including in; National Geographic Adventure, Time, USA Today and many other international, national and regional publications. Todd and his wife Lorie have operated a commercial photography studio, also offering area scenic photos in Banner Elk for over 20 years. Their website is:

Left: Don Iverson, Publisher and wife Cathy
Right: Todd Bush, Photographer with wife Lorie


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