Economics

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...

Cutting Timber

Cutting Timber

Early Appalachia seemed to have limitless timber; settlers in our area were well supplied with wood for fuel and building their homes, and forests provided bountiful food.  The mountains were not easily accessible to logging enterprises, however, nor could the timber...

Going to the “Talkies” in Spruce Pine

Going to the “Talkies” in Spruce Pine

Spruce Pine’s first theater was not the Carolina. The Piedmont Theatre, which was originally located on Lower Street where Dellinger’s Christian Bookstore is today, was opened in 1928 by John Taylor. The theater originally hosted silent movies and featured a large...

LOADING TOBACCO

LOADING TOBACCO

Burley was the dominant strain of tobacco in Appalachia, rather than the bright leaf grown in the East.  For over 10,000 small farmers in 20 counties in Western NC, tobacco provided an essential income supplement.  Whole families worked in the tobacco fields, from...

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...

Spruce Pine’s Topliff Hotel

Spruce Pine’s Topliff Hotel

The Topliff Hotel was the center of Spruce Pine’s cultural life from 1901 to the late 1940’s. Serving businessmen, tourists, and other visitors, it was a popular destination. The older section of the hotel was one of the first structures built in the current business...

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