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.

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The Mitchell County Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your contributions help us continue our work. Please consider making an online donation by clicking the button below:




William Ritter Headlines August Presentation

Photo of William RitterWe hope you will make plans to join us Monday, August 20 at 7:00 p.m. at the Historic Courthouse in Bakersville and join us for Mitchell County’s own William Ritter as he presents Saving Songs and Seeds. It will be an evening of traditional mountain music and talk about the old mountain tradition of “seed-savin,” where families would save seeds from their gardens and pass down the old mountain crop strains from generation to generation. Plus, Will welcomes anyone who has seeds to share to bring them to the presentation.

William  is a native of Bakersville and an alum of Western Carolina University.  He graduated with a degree in Technical Theatre, but spent most of his time in school studying the musical folk traditions of Western North Carolina.  Recently, William  received his Master of Arts in Appalachian Culture and Music from  Appalachian State University.  William plays banjo, fiddle, guitar, and other “string-ed things.” He is particularly interested in old apple trees and  mountain humor–ever eager to swap lies, half-truths,  jokes, and seeds.

You can learn more about William and his wife Sarah Ogletree at their website.


Graphic of the front page of the Second Quarter 2018 NewsletterNewsletter

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.

Take a look at our CURRENT NEWSLETTER (PDF file – opens with the free Adobe Reader software).

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!

Places

Interesting stories

Davis to Bakersville: 150th Anniversary of Name Change

Davis to Bakersville: 150th Anniversary of Name Change

On the 16th of February 1861, the North Carolina Legislature ratified a bill to establish a new county by the name of Mitchell. The act goes on to specify that “a permanent seat of justice” be determined, which “said town shall be called and known by the name of...

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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...

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People

Significant Individuals

“Doc” Hoppes – The Minstrel of Brushy Creek

“Doc” Hoppes – The Minstrel of Brushy Creek

Mitchell County was well represented at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1933. Miss Lucy Morgan of Penland unveiled the “Carolina Cabin” at the event that showcased the handicrafts, music, folklore, and people of the Southern Highlands. An unusual attraction was scheduled...

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THREE YOUNG BROTHERS

THREE YOUNG BROTHERS

This photo was likely made in the early years of the 20th century when Thomas Baker Young (photo center) came up from his home on Toms Creek in McDowell County to visit his brothers in Mitchell County.  Mack Young (photo left) lived on Cane Creek; Reuben J. Young...

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History

Happenings of note

Grassy Creek Golf Course has Storied Past

Grassy Creek Golf Course has Storied Past

The Spruce Pine Golf Course had its beginnings prior to World War II, when a nine-hole-course was built on what was then part of the S.T. Henry Dairy Farm at Grassy Creek. This land was once used as a hunting ground by both the Cherokee and Catawba Indians before the...

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Veterans of the Great War

Veterans of the Great War

The Great War, which was referred to as World War I only after the Second World War, ended on November 11, 1918, when an armistice was arranged at the Western Front in France.   The cessation of hostilities between the Allied Forces and Germany took effect at 11:00 AM...

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Icons

These define Mitchell County

The Evolution of Bakersville’s Blevins Building

The modest, but well-constructed building known by various names, beginning with “the Blevins Building,” has served the Town of Bakersville and its people for decades.  The name by which locals often call the structure comes from original owner...

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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,...

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Economics

Making a living in Mitchell County

The Greene Building in Bakersville

The Greene Building in Bakersville

The Greene Building, which currently houses the Bakersville Emporium, was constructed on the site left vacant by the 1922 fire that destroyed part of Bakersville. The Green Building was constructed by David MacDonald Greene, who owned a big white two-story general...

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Grassy Creek Golf Course has Storied Past

Grassy Creek Golf Course has Storied Past

The Spruce Pine Golf Course had its beginnings prior to World War II, when a nine-hole-course was built on what was then part of the S.T. Henry Dairy Farm at Grassy Creek. This land was once used as a hunting ground by both the Cherokee and Catawba Indians before the...

read more

Upcoming Events

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.

October 2018
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
October 1, 2018 October 2, 2018 October 3, 2018 October 4, 2018 October 5, 2018 October 6, 2018 October 7, 2018
October 8, 2018 October 9, 2018 October 10, 2018 October 11, 2018 October 12, 2018 October 13, 2018

Category: General10:00 am: Apple Butter Festival

10:00 am: Apple Butter Festival
October 14, 2018
October 15, 2018 October 16, 2018 October 17, 2018 October 18, 2018 October 19, 2018 October 20, 2018 October 21, 2018
October 22, 2018 October 23, 2018 October 24, 2018 October 25, 2018 October 26, 2018 October 27, 2018 October 28, 2018
October 29, 2018 October 30, 2018 October 31, 2018 November 1, 2018 November 2, 2018 November 3, 2018 November 4, 2018
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