About Mitchell County

Glen Ayre

Glen Ayre

Located at the base of  Roan Mountain, Glen Ayre was originally called Brighton. When the post office there closed in 1916, the community was renamed Glen Ayre for the Ayers family, many of whom still live there today.  

John and Jonathon and the almost State of Franklin

John and Jonathon and the almost State of Franklin

The western Mitchell County community of Tipton Hill was named for Major Jonathon Tipton III. Major Jonathon became embroiled in a 1784 dispute over the new state of Franklin.  The dispute was actually between him and his older brother Colonel John Tipton and Colonel...

Toecane

Toecane

This central Mitchell County community is located at the junction of the North Toe River and Cane Creek. At an elevation of 2,058 feet, it was once a major stop on the Clinchfield Railroad line. Many goods that came into the county by train were unloaded at the...

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...

Hollow Poplar Creek

Hollow Poplar Creek

  Hollow Poplar Creek was the original name of this community near where the Toe River becomes the Nolichucky as it flows into the Nolichucky Gorge and Tennessee. It was named for an enormous poplar tree that once stood there. This hollowed tree supposedly served...

Scan Day This Saturday, February 18, in Spruce Pine

Scan Day This Saturday, February 18, in Spruce Pine

The Mitchell County Historical Society (MCHS) is dedicated to collecting, preserving, protecting and publicly displaying materials that are historically significant for the county. To do this, we need your help, and we have scheduled our second scan day for this...

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...

Sam Cresawn – The Snake Man of Turkey Cove

Sam Cresawn – The Snake Man of Turkey Cove

Just "off the mountain" below Little Switzerland, in Turkey Cove, lived "the snake man" - Sam Cresawn. In the early part of the twentieth century, Mr. Cresawn concocted and sold a cure-all for tuberculosis made of rattlesnakes that he caught and cut up, mixing the...

Glen Ayre

Glen Ayre

Located at the base of  Roan Mountain, Glen Ayre was originally called Brighton. When the post office there closed in 1916, the community was renamed Glen Ayre for the Ayers family, many of whom still live there today.  

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...

Belk-Broome Store in Spruce Pine

Belk-Broome Store in Spruce Pine

The Belk store was a large part of the Spruce Pine community for nearly 75 years. Initially opening in 1928 in a building next to today’s Dellinger’s Christian Book Store, it was operated like many other Belk enterprises: the Charlotte-based company joined with...

Bakersville Cafes

Bakersville Cafes

Bakersville has had a fair share of eating establishments over the years. The first were probably the dining rooms of the two hotels in town. Among standalones in the 1940’s was Mike White’s Café, located where the Bakersville Town Hall is today. Wash Sparks’ Café was...

Save Our Mitchell County Heritage

Save Our Mitchell County Heritage

The Mitchell County Historical Society (MCHS) is dedicated to collecting, preserving, protecting and publicly displaying materials that are historically significant for the county. To do this, we need your help, and we have scheduled 2 days in February where you can...

Born In A Hollow Tree

In the 1930's Mrs. Amelia Meares Greenlee asked the students in her classroom to collect stories that told of the "pioneer days" in our community - (Spruce Pine and Grassy Creek.) This is one of the stories which was shared. Born In A Hollow Tree About one hundred and...

What Mitchell County looked like in 1904

What Mitchell County looked like in 1904

Mitchell County was created in 1861. The original boundary of Mitchell County ran from the top of Grandfather Mountain to Bearwallow Gap at Little Switzerland, then to Three Knobs at the Yancey/McDowell border, turning down Crabtree Creek and continuing on to the...

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...

Red Hill

Red Hill

The Mitchell County community of Red Hill earned its name when a family over-farmed one of it’s hillsides. When heavy rains came, washing all of the topsoil away, all that was left was a “red hill”.    ...

Grazing Sheep in Mitchell County

Grazing Sheep in Mitchell County

Raising sheep has always been difficult in the mountains due to predation by wolves, to begin, and later on, dogs and coyotes.  Through the years some Mitchell County landowners have attempted to bring sheep back to Mitchell County with electric fencing and the...

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