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.

The 2017 Apple Butter Festival returns to Bakersville October 21 from 10 AM to 4 PM

It’s almost apple butter-making time!

The Mitchell County Historical Society’s annual Apple Butter Festival returns October 21 to the Bakersville Creekwalk. We invite you to learn more about the festival and consider operating a vendor’s booth at the event.


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 3rd quarter 2017 MCHS NesletterNewsletter

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 to us!

Places

Locations with interesting stories

Loafers Glory

Loafers Glory

This old postcard shows Loafers Glory, a community with one of the more evocative place names in Mitchell County.   It’s located at the intersection of Highways 226 and 226A, near the confluence of Cane Creek and Toe River. Close by is the distinctive old Master’s...

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The Early Days of Art in our Mountain Community

The Early Days of Art in our Mountain Community

  Our ancestors here wove flax and wool to make their clothing and coverlets; they used bellows and fire to weld a fire box, make shoes for their horses and mules. They shaped and fired clay pots to store drink and food. There were those who painted portraits of...

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People

Significant people in Mitchell County

Stacy Buchanan Grist Mill

Stacy Buchanan Grist Mill

Joseph Stacy Buchanan (1866-1950) ground wheat and corn for many around Mitchell County.  He caught his right arm in a belt and had to have it amputated above the elbow.  He continued to work at the mill even after he lost his arm.  Stacy Buchanan was the son of...

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The Early Days of Art in our Mountain Community

The Early Days of Art in our Mountain Community

  Our ancestors here wove flax and wool to make their clothing and coverlets; they used bellows and fire to weld a fire box, make shoes for their horses and mules. They shaped and fired clay pots to store drink and food. There were those who painted portraits of...

read more

History

Happenings of note

Hurricanes in the Mountains

Hurricanes in the Mountains

September 2004 was a memorable time as, like in 1916, two major hurricanes struck the Toe River Valley in a short time. Hurricane Frances was first, dumping copious amounts of rainfall and sending streams out of their banks. A short time later, Hurricane Ivan...

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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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Icons

These define Mitchell County

Buster Brown Comes To Town!

Buster Brown Comes To Town!

Turning out when a celebrity visits town has always been commonplace, and when Buster Brown and his dog Tige stopped by the new Spruce Pine Store building in the 1920s, the whole town turned out to say hello. “I’m Buster Brown, and I live in a shoe. That’s my dog,...

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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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Economics

Making a living in Mitchell County

Buster Brown Comes To Town!

Buster Brown Comes To Town!

Turning out when a celebrity visits town has always been commonplace, and when Buster Brown and his dog Tige stopped by the new Spruce Pine Store building in the 1920s, the whole town turned out to say hello. “I’m Buster Brown, and I live in a shoe. That’s my dog,...

read more
SUMMERTIME!

SUMMERTIME!

These days our summer recreation and relaxation might involve kayaking or canoeing on the river or cooking hamburgers and hotdogs on a gas grill.  However, the 2 photos from the 1950s in this week’s Looking Back show that Mitchell County residents have long enjoyed...

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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.

October 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
September 25, 2017 September 26, 2017 September 27, 2017 September 28, 2017 September 29, 2017 September 30, 2017 October 1, 2017
October 2, 2017 October 3, 2017 October 4, 2017 October 5, 2017 October 6, 2017 October 7, 2017 October 8, 2017
October 9, 2017 October 10, 2017 October 11, 2017 October 12, 2017 October 13, 2017 October 14, 2017 October 15, 2017
October 16, 2017 October 17, 2017 October 18, 2017 October 19, 2017 October 20, 2017 October 21, 2017

Category: GeneralN/A: Apple Butter Festival

N/A: Apple Butter Festival
October 22, 2017
October 23, 2017 October 24, 2017 October 25, 2017 October 26, 2017 October 27, 2017 October 28, 2017 October 29, 2017
October 30, 2017 October 31, 2017 November 1, 2017 November 2, 2017 November 3, 2017 November 4, 2017 November 5, 2017
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