Economics

The Little Boxes before the Big Boxes

The Little Boxes before the Big Boxes

Before the days of the “big box” chain stores, Spruce Pine had many “mom and pop” grocery stores that served the area. There were also many smaller stores in almost every community. There was even a branch of the Dixie Home Store on Lower Street for several years that...

Little Switzerland

Little Switzerland

This exotic European name was penned by Judge Heriot Clarkson of Charlotte who established this resort community near the Blue Ridge Parkway in 1910. The resemblance of the area to the mountains of Switzerland gave rise to the name. At an altitude of 3,500 feet above...

Railroad coming to Bakersville??

Railroad coming to Bakersville??

According to some local traditions, the railroad was to have come through Bakersville instead of Spruce Pine, but certain town leaders did not want that to happen. A variety of explanations has been suggested over the years; however, perhaps the truth lies in the...

Catching The Train

Catching The Train

Catching the Clinchfield as it wound its way northbound up the mountains, or southbound to the piedmont was an easy task when passenger service was common. The railroad, which ran from coalfields of Elkhorn City, Kentucky to the textile mills of upstate South...

Building the “Scenic”

Building the “Scenic”

On November 16, 1933, the Blue Ridge Parkway project received approval from Congress. After much debate in Washington, the Virginia – North Carolina route won out, completely leaving out the state of Tennessee. Had the Tennessee route been included, the road would...

The Story of the Spruce Pine Depots

The Story of the Spruce Pine Depots

With all the excitement of the exterior renovation of the Spruce Pine Depot, we thought we would take a look back at the history behind the two depots that have existed in Spruce Pine. The South & Western Railroad, the forerunner of the Clinchfield Railroad,...

Penland Post Office and General Store

Penland Post Office and General Store

The building which houses the Penland Post Office and, for many years, a general mercantile, was constructed in 1902 by Isaac Bailey, a Confederate Colonel and later NC Senator from Mitchell County.  Two years later, Bailey and his wife, Louisa Penland, donated land...

Peterson Store in Huntdale

Peterson Store in Huntdale

The tiny town of Huntdale, NC, became a thriving community after the Clinchfield Railroad made its way through the Nolichucky Gorge in the early 1900s. In 1890, the Clinchfield tracks reached Erwin, TN, which was less than 20 miles away from Huntdale.  Many Western...

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