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 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!
2017 Program Schedule Released
The MCHS is pleased to announce a memorable collection of public programs for 2017. The season kicks off April 17 at 7:00 p.m. with Dr. Daniel Barron presenting Mitchell County: Early Crossroads of Cultures. We will be posting additional information about the series shortly, so please check back for more information about our events.
We invite you to learn more about the programs. All programs are free and open to the public.
MCHS Scholarship Information
The Society is currently accepting applications for our scholarship which will be awarded in May. For information on requirements and access to an application, please visit our Scholarship page.
History Bee Set for April 6
Attention students…demonstrate your knowledge of Mitchell County and win cash prizes at the first Mitchell County History Bee on April 6. Learn more about the Bee, sign up, and we’ll see you in April!
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 for topics we should cover.
Locations with interesting stories
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...read more
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...read more
Notorious people in Mitchell County
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.read more
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...read more
Happenings of note
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...read more
These define Mitchell County
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...read more
Sam Brinkley just purely got tired of shaving. At 26 years old his beard grew so fast that he had to shave several times a day to be presentable. At that point he said enough was enough and was determined never to shave again – and he famously kept that promise....read more
Making a living 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...read more
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...read more
Winter in Mitchell County
Enjoy some beautiful views of the cold season in Mitchell County.
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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March 31, 2017
N/A: History Bee Registration Deadline
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