The History & Heritage of Mitchell County, NC

The Mitchell County Historical Society is committed to the preservation of the history, heritage, and culture of Mitchell County, North Carolina. We hope you enjoy your visit and stop by often for updated stories, photos, and videos. Make sure you stop by our online store for a selection of books and Christmas ornaments about Mitchell County and the region.


Links From the July 17 Program

Photo of Steve Gilly and Rod Mullins

Steve Gilly & Rod Mullins

We had several requests for links to websites associated with our guests Steve Gilly and Rod Mullins who presented the July program on George Carter. Here are links to their blogs and podcasts:

Info on the August program by Rhonda Gouge is coming soon. Stay tuned for details that will be posted here.


Photo of Samantha Fortner and Inez McRae2017 McRae Scholarship Winner Announced

Mitchell County Historical Society is excited to announce that Samantha Fortner is the recipient of its First Annual Inez McRae Scholarship. Samantha, the daughter of Larry Scott Fortner of Bakersville and Sheila Howe Fortner of Hendersonville, NC, graduated from Mitchell High School in 2017 at the top of her class. Superlative academics were not Samantha’s only achievement; she participated in student government, several sports, and extracurricular activities, as well as working and volunteering in the community. She plans to attend Wake Forest University and hopes to be an elementary teacher.

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The 2017 Christmas Ornament – The Spruce Pine Depot

Photo of the Spruce Pine Christmas Depot ornament, which is gold in colorThe Mitchell County Historical Society is pleased to announce our 2017 Christmas Ornament, the sixth in our series, is in stock and available for sale. This year, we honor the Spruce Pine Depot, constructed in 1923 on Lower Street. The Depot represents the opening of the first major transportation route for the Toe River Valley when the South & Western Railroad, later known as the Clinchfield Railroad, moved through the county and down the Blue Ridge at Altapass to connect with the Southern Railway in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The railroad are when roads were few and of poor quality, and it provided a way for goods and people to move and an out of the region.

The ornament is available for immediate sale in our online store. Place your orders today!


image of the front page of the MCHS 2nd quarter newsletter for 2017Newsletter

Want to learn more about what is taking place with the Historical Society? We release a quarterly newsletter with information on programs, events, updates on projects, and much, much more. MCHS members receive the newsletter as part of their membership early each quarter.

Take a look at our current newsletter (PDF file – opens with the free Adobe Reader software).

What’s New on the Site

Here are our latest posts about Mitchell County’s history. We welcome suggestions for topics to add. Please use our contact page to submit your ideas for topics we should cover.

Places

Locations with interesting stories

Summer Camps in Little Switzerland

Summer Camps in Little Switzerland

Shortly after Judge Heriot Clarkson established the resort community of Little Switzerland in 1910, others came with their vision of establishing summer camps in the beautiful mountain community. In 1914, a Charleston, SC resident, Miss Marie Gaillard Dwight, started...

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A Monumental July 4th at Gillespie Gap

A Monumental July 4th at Gillespie Gap

A monument was erected at Gillespie Gap, near Spruce Pine and Little Switzerland to honor the Over Mountain Men who marched through the gap on the way to Kings Mountain in 1780, to Francis Marion and his battle with the Cherokee Indians, and to the 30th Division who...

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People

Significant people in Mitchell County

Summer Camps in Little Switzerland

Summer Camps in Little Switzerland

Shortly after Judge Heriot Clarkson established the resort community of Little Switzerland in 1910, others came with their vision of establishing summer camps in the beautiful mountain community. In 1914, a Charleston, SC resident, Miss Marie Gaillard Dwight, started...

read more
A Monumental July 4th at Gillespie Gap

A Monumental July 4th at Gillespie Gap

A monument was erected at Gillespie Gap, near Spruce Pine and Little Switzerland to honor the Over Mountain Men who marched through the gap on the way to Kings Mountain in 1780, to Francis Marion and his battle with the Cherokee Indians, and to the 30th Division who...

read more

History

Happenings of note

A Monumental July 4th at Gillespie Gap

A Monumental July 4th at Gillespie Gap

A monument was erected at Gillespie Gap, near Spruce Pine and Little Switzerland to honor the Over Mountain Men who marched through the gap on the way to Kings Mountain in 1780, to Francis Marion and his battle with the Cherokee Indians, and to the 30th Division who...

read more
Decoration Day in the Mountains

Decoration Day in the Mountains

  While most of America honors their dead on Memorial Day with flowers, wreaths, and special services, there is a distinctive tradition that has endured for generations in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Beginning in June of every year and lasting through October,...

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Icons

These define Mitchell County

The Glen Ayre Rambler – Wayne Ledford

The Glen Ayre Rambler – Wayne Ledford

This article courtesy of Blue Ridge Natural Heritage Area  www.blueridgeheritage.com/traditional-artist-directory/wayne-ledford Wayne Ledford was born into a musical family in the Little Rock Creek community of Mitchell County, and he has been playing for more than 75...

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Oscar “Red” Wilson – A Mitchell County Treasure

Oscar “Red” Wilson – A Mitchell County Treasure

Article From The North Carolina Arts Council - NC Department of Cultural Resources Oscar "Red" Wilson - A MITCHELL COUNTY TREASURE Growing up in Avery County before World War II, Red Wilson learned fiddle and banjo tunes that have their origins in the pioneer musical...

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Economics

Making a living in Mitchell County

Chestnut Flats Mine

Chestnut Flats Mine

Initial mining in Mitchell County, in the 1880s, was for mica, dug in a few large operations but also in small family mines which brought in extra money when men were not busy farming.  By the 20th century, however, the county was found to be rich in other minerals,...

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Blacksmith Wilson Smith Jones

Blacksmith Wilson Smith Jones

Blacksmiths were once an essential element in any community, manufacturing and repairing items which couldn’t be purchased – or if they could be, were too difficult or expensive to bring into the mountains.  These skilled tradesmen produced axe heads, plowshares, pots...

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Upcoming Events

Check out the upcoming events from the Mitchell County Historical Society. Click or tap on a date that is highlighted for information on what’s happening.

July 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
June 26, 2017 June 27, 2017 June 28, 2017 June 29, 2017 June 30, 2017 July 1, 2017 July 2, 2017
July 3, 2017 July 4, 2017 July 5, 2017 July 6, 2017 July 7, 2017 July 8, 2017 July 9, 2017
July 10, 2017 July 11, 2017 July 12, 2017 July 13, 2017 July 14, 2017 July 15, 2017 July 16, 2017
July 17, 2017

Category: General7:00 pm: MCHS Program

7:00 pm: MCHS Program
July 18, 2017 July 19, 2017 July 20, 2017 July 21, 2017 July 22, 2017 July 23, 2017
July 24, 2017 July 25, 2017 July 26, 2017 July 27, 2017 July 28, 2017 July 29, 2017 July 30, 2017
July 31, 2017 August 1, 2017 August 2, 2017 August 3, 2017 August 4, 2017 August 5, 2017 August 6, 2017
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