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.

Coming June 19: The Frankie & Charlie Silver Story

Photo of the Old Kona Baptist Church, site of Charlie Silver's GravesFrankie Silver became the first woman to be executed in Burke County, North Carolina when she was hanged for the murder of her husband Charlie Silver on July 12, 1833. John Silver will present the story of his ancestors and how the famous murder and legend from it continues to endure to this day.

John Silver, a descendant of the Silver family who shares a keen interest in their history, will present the fabled story in a special place:  the Old Kona Baptist Church, site of the 3 graves that hold Charlie’s dismembered body, along with graves of other family and community members that that date from the Revolutionary War period. The old church also contains memorabilia about the Silver family and will be open for you to tour as part of the program.

The Frankie & Charlie Silver Story will be presented Monday, June 19, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. A map and directions to the Old Kona Baptist Church are available here.

We invite you to learn more about all of the MCHS programs for 2017. All are free and are open to the general public.


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 NewsletterNewsletter

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

Crabtree Falls vs Murphy Falls vs Crabtree Falls

Crabtree Falls vs Murphy Falls vs Crabtree Falls

CRABTREE FALLS VS MURPHY FALLS VS CRABTREE FALLS Crabtree Falls, located at Milepost 339.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, cascades 70 feet over the Blue Ridge escarpment on its journey to the Toe River. A part of the original land grant to the Penland family by the King,...

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Downtown Little Switzerland

Downtown Little Switzerland

This rare photo shows the entire complex of buildings that originally made up “downtown Little Switzerland”. Judge Heriot Clarkson of Charlotte came to the community in 1909 and would establish a resort community here in 1910, giving it the name Little Switzerland –...

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People

Significant people in 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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History

Happenings of note

An Abandoned House

An Abandoned House

An Abandoned House by Pat Turner Mitchell It makes me sad to see this picture. Once a home, an abandoned house becomes an empty shell when there is no one alive who made memories here. But they are here – the memories. William Buchanan was 56 and Nancy was 53 when...

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Crabtree Falls vs Murphy Falls vs Crabtree Falls

Crabtree Falls vs Murphy Falls vs Crabtree Falls

CRABTREE FALLS VS MURPHY FALLS VS CRABTREE FALLS Crabtree Falls, located at Milepost 339.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, cascades 70 feet over the Blue Ridge escarpment on its journey to the Toe River. A part of the original land grant to the Penland family by the King,...

read more

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.

May 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
May 1, 2017 May 2, 2017 May 3, 2017 May 4, 2017 May 5, 2017 May 6, 2017 May 7, 2017
May 8, 2017 May 9, 2017 May 10, 2017 May 11, 2017 May 12, 2017 May 13, 2017 May 14, 2017
May 15, 2017

Category: General7:00 pm: MCHS Program

7:00 pm: MCHS Program
May 16, 2017 May 17, 2017 May 18, 2017 May 19, 2017 May 20, 2017 May 21, 2017
May 22, 2017 May 23, 2017 May 24, 2017 May 25, 2017 May 26, 2017 May 27, 2017 May 28, 2017
May 29, 2017 May 30, 2017 May 31, 2017 June 1, 2017 June 2, 2017 June 3, 2017 June 4, 2017
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