About 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...

The Greenlees of Grassy Creek

The Greenlees of Grassy Creek

The Greenlee Family were of the first settlers in the Toe River Valley. Records show that the Greenlees came to what is now Mitchell County in the late 1700’s. One of the descendants of the original Greenlee settlers was George Greenlee, (son of Samuel Mitchell and...

Four Stages of a Bakersville Home

Four Stages of a Bakersville Home

Before 1920, Joseph B. Graigmiles built a house on the corner of 226 and 221 in Bakersville, just up the road from his print shop where he published a weekly newspaper, The Mitchell County Banner. He and his wife Sally Greene Craigmiles, known to local friends as...

Granny Biddix and her Bible

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. We don’t know her first name, but her face tells the stories of a long life in the mountains of Mitchell County. Noted Mitchell County photographer Jim Jones took this picture, probably in the 1930’s. The information on...

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...

The Greenlees of Grassy Creek

The Greenlees of Grassy Creek

The Greenlee Family were of the first settlers in the Toe River Valley. Records show that the Greenlees came to what is now Mitchell County in the late 1700’s. One of the descendants of the original Greenlee settlers was George Greenlee, (son of Samuel Mitchell and...

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...

CRANKING A MODEL T FORD

CRANKING A MODEL T FORD

Ford Motor Company produced 15 million Model T automobiles from October 1, 1908 through May 26, 1927.  They were sometimes referred to as “Tin Lizzies” or a “flivvers.”  Ford Model T’s relied on a removable hand crank in the front of the vehicle until 1920, when the...

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,...

The Bloody 1893 Riot in Bakersville – Well, Maybe NOT!

Not many people today talk about the terrible January 3, 1893 riot that took so many lives in Bakersville. Maybe not many know about it and those that do just want to forget that awful time. Perhaps their relatives were among the mob of over 500 angry men bent on...

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,...

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...

Keepers of the Bees

Keepers of the Bees

Settlers in Appalachia had several types of sweetnin’ – sugar from maple or other trees, syrup from sorghum, etc., and honey from the bees brought from Europe to America in the 1600s. Many mountain families first kept bees in hollowed-out black gum trees and later in...

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