About Mitchell County

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...

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 their...

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...

Decoration at Old Town Cemetery in Bakersville

Decoration at Old Town Cemetery in Bakersville

Soon after the Civil War, Decoration Day began to be observed in many cemeteries around the Mountain South.  Southerners often claim the custom was copied in the North and became our national holiday, Memorial Day.  Generally held in the summer, Decoration Day...

The Tradition of Apple Butter

This photo appeared in the Tri-County News, precursor to the Mitchell News-Journal, on September 13, 1973, with the following caption: “Once again it is apple butter making time in the tri-county area.  Many people still make it the ‘old-timey way’ over an open fire...

Fox Hunters on the Roan

Fox Hunters on the Roan

The July 21, 1955 edition of the Tri-County News featured this photo taken in 1905 at Roan Mountain in front of the bowling alley of the old Cloudland Hotel. These fox hunters are posing with their dogs. They are (left to right): Reverend Molt Buchanan, Bergin Gouge,...

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...

A Local Author Writes About The Civil War

The following series of stories were written and submitted by local author Pat Turner Mitchell. They were originally published in the Mitchell News Journal on the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War - 2011. OFF TO WAR Most of us have heard of an ancestor who fought in...

The English Inn – Spruce Pine’s Foundation

The English Inn – Spruce Pine’s Foundation

No one knows for sure when the original part of the English Inn was built, but we do know that it has set, for at least two centuries, as the anchor of our community. The Inn was originally built by the Rowe family, at the busy crossing point of the Marion to...

The Revolutionary War Marches Through Mitchell County

The Revolutionary War Marches Through Mitchell County

In September and October of 1780, Overmountain Patriots made their way through the Toe River Valley to quash a threat from British Major Patrick Ferguson. Hundreds of families had settled “over the mountains” in what is now Western North Carolina, East Tennessee, and...

Skillful Mountain Girl

Pictured at her loom is Mae Gouge Huskins (1911-1984), daughter of Rev. John Anderson and Hulda Thomas Gouge.  This photo belongs to Mae’s daughter, Betty Conley; it also appears in Cabins in the Laurel by Muriel Earley Sheppard.  That 1935 volume about Mitchell...

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,...

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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