The History & Heritage of Mitchell County, NC
The Mitchell County Historical Society is committed to the preservation of the history, heritage, and culture of Mitchell County, North Carolina. We hope you enjoy your visit and stop by often for updated stories, photos, and videos. Make sure you stop by our online store for a selection of books and Christmas ornaments about Mitchell County and the region.
The 2017 Christmas Tour of
Historic Mitchell County Sites
Join MCHS for our Second Annual Christmas Tour on Saturday, November 25. We will tour six historic sites in Mitchell County, including a return visit to the storied English Inn located in Spruce Pine. Get more information about the tour, including purchasing tickets online here.
The 2017 Christmas Ornament – The Spruce Pine Depot
The Mitchell County Historical Society is pleased to announce our 2017 Christmas Ornament, the sixth in our series, is in stock and available for sale. This year, we honor the Spruce Pine Depot, constructed in 1923 on Lower Street. The Depot represents the opening of the first major transportation route for the Toe River Valley when the South & Western Railroad, later known as the Clinchfield Railroad, moved through the county and down the Blue Ridge at Altapass to connect with the Southern Railway in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The railroad are when roads were few and of poor quality, and it provided a way for goods and people to move and an out of the region.
The ornament is available for immediate sale in our online store. Place your orders today!
Want to learn more about what is taking place with the Historical Society? We release a quarterly newsletter with information on programs, events, updates on projects, and much, much more. MCHS members receive the newsletter as part of their membership early each quarter.
What’s New on the Site
Here are our latest posts about Mitchell County’s history. We welcome suggestions for topics to add. Please use our contact page to submit your ideas to us!
Locations with interesting stories
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...read more
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...read more
Significant people in Mitchell County
Three generations of Pates have carried the mail along the roads of Tipton Hill, beginning in 1917 with Uriah Pate. Mr. Pate first rode a horse and sometimes a mule to deliver mail. One cold winter day, his mule slipped on the ice and pinned him to the ground. He was...read more
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...read more
Happenings of note
September 2004 was a memorable time as, like in 1916, two major hurricanes struck the Toe River Valley in a short time. Hurricane Frances was first, dumping copious amounts of rainfall and sending streams out of their banks. A short time later, Hurricane Ivan...read more
A monument was erected at Gillespie Gap, near Spruce Pine and Little Switzerland to honor the Over Mountain Men who marched through the gap on the way to Kings Mountain in 1780, to Francis Marion and his battle with the Cherokee Indians, and to the 30th Division who...read more
These define Mitchell County
Article From The North Carolina Arts Council - NC Department of Cultural Resources Oscar "Red" Wilson - A MITCHELL COUNTY TREASURE Growing up in Avery County before World War II, Red Wilson learned fiddle and banjo tunes that have their origins in the pioneer musical...read more
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...read more
Making a living in Mitchell County
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,...read more
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...read more
Check out the upcoming events from the Mitchell County Historical Society. Click or tap on a date that is highlighted for information on what’s happening.
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