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.


Links From the July 17 Program

Photo of Steve Gilly and Rod Mullins

Steve Gilly & Rod Mullins

We had several requests for links to websites associated with our guests Steve Gilly and Rod Mullins who presented the July program on George Carter. Here are links to their blogs and podcasts:

Info on the August program by Rhonda Gouge is coming soon. Stay tuned for details that will be posted here.


Photo of Samantha Fortner and Inez McRae2017 McRae Scholarship Winner Announced

Mitchell County Historical Society is excited to announce that Samantha Fortner is the recipient of its First Annual Inez McRae Scholarship. Samantha, the daughter of Larry Scott Fortner of Bakersville and Sheila Howe Fortner of Hendersonville, NC, graduated from Mitchell High School in 2017 at the top of her class. Superlative academics were not Samantha’s only achievement; she participated in student government, several sports, and extracurricular activities, as well as working and volunteering in the community. She plans to attend Wake Forest University and hopes to be an elementary teacher.

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The 2017 Christmas Ornament – The Spruce Pine Depot

Photo of the Spruce Pine Christmas Depot ornament, which is gold in colorThe 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!


image of the front page of the MCHS 2nd quarter newsletter for 2017Newsletter

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 for topics we should cover.

Places

Locations with interesting stories

The Greenlees of Grassy Creek

The Greenlees of Grassy Creek

The Greenlee Family were of the first settlers in the Toe River Valley. Records show that the Greenlees came to what is now Mitchell County in the late 1700’s. One of the descendants of the original Greenlee settlers was George Greenlee, (son of Samuel Mitchell and...

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Decoration Day in the Mountains

Decoration Day in the Mountains

  While most of America honors their dead on Memorial Day with flowers, wreaths, and special services, there is a distinctive tradition that has endured for generations in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Beginning in June of every year and lasting through October,...

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People

Significant people in Mitchell County

The Greenlees of Grassy Creek

The Greenlees of Grassy Creek

The Greenlee Family were of the first settlers in the Toe River Valley. Records show that the Greenlees came to what is now Mitchell County in the late 1700’s. One of the descendants of the original Greenlee settlers was George Greenlee, (son of Samuel Mitchell and...

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Joseph Ellis, Father of 17

Joseph Ellis, Father of 17

Born in 1828 in what would become Mitchell County, Joseph Ellis was the son of William Ellis (ca 1797-1854) and Elizabeth Buchanan (ca 1800-ca 1880).   In 1847 Joseph married 16-year old Catherine “Katie” Buchanan.  Between 1849 and 1874 this prolific couple had 17...

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History

Happenings of note

The Bloody 1893 Riot in Bakersville – Well, Maybe NOT!

Not many people today talk about the terrible January 3, 1893 riot that took so many lives in Bakersville. Maybe not many know about it and those that do just want to forget that awful time. Perhaps their relatives were among the mob of over 500 angry men bent on...

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An Abandoned House

An Abandoned House

An Abandoned House by Pat Turner Mitchell It makes me sad to see this picture. Once a home, an abandoned house becomes an empty shell when there is no one alive who made memories here. But they are here – the memories. William Buchanan was 56 and Nancy was 53 when...

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Icons

These define Mitchell County

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...

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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...

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Economics

Making a living in Mitchell County

Keepers of the Bees

Keepers of the Bees

Settlers in Appalachia had several types of sweetnin’ – sugar from maple or other trees, syrup from sorghum, etc., and honey from the bees brought from Europe to America in the 1600s. Many mountain families first kept bees in hollowed-out black gum trees and later in...

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Red Hill

Red Hill

The Mitchell County community of Red Hill earned its name when a family over-farmed one of it’s hillsides. When heavy rains came, washing all of the topsoil away, all that was left was a “red hill”.    ...

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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.

July 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
June 26, 2017 June 27, 2017 June 28, 2017 June 29, 2017 June 30, 2017 July 1, 2017 July 2, 2017
July 3, 2017 July 4, 2017 July 5, 2017 July 6, 2017 July 7, 2017 July 8, 2017 July 9, 2017
July 10, 2017 July 11, 2017 July 12, 2017 July 13, 2017 July 14, 2017 July 15, 2017 July 16, 2017
July 17, 2017

Category: General7:00 pm: MCHS Program

7:00 pm: MCHS Program
July 18, 2017 July 19, 2017 July 20, 2017 July 21, 2017 July 22, 2017 July 23, 2017
July 24, 2017 July 25, 2017 July 26, 2017 July 27, 2017 July 28, 2017 July 29, 2017 July 30, 2017
July 31, 2017 August 1, 2017 August 2, 2017 August 3, 2017 August 4, 2017 August 5, 2017 August 6, 2017
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