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.

Photo of the English Inn, Spruce Pine, NCThe 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

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 3rd quarter 2017 MCHS NesletterNewsletter

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

Locations with interesting stories

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...

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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...

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People

Significant people in Mitchell County

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...

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History

Happenings of note

Hurricanes in the Mountains

Hurricanes in the Mountains

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...

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A Monumental July 4th at Gillespie Gap

A Monumental July 4th at Gillespie Gap

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...

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Icons

These define Mitchell County

Oscar “Red” Wilson – A Mitchell County Treasure

Oscar “Red” Wilson – A Mitchell County Treasure

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...

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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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Economics

Making a living in Mitchell County

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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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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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.

November 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
October 30, 2017 October 31, 2017 November 1, 2017 November 2, 2017 November 3, 2017 November 4, 2017 November 5, 2017
November 6, 2017 November 7, 2017 November 8, 2017 November 9, 2017 November 10, 2017 November 11, 2017 November 12, 2017
November 13, 2017 November 14, 2017 November 15, 2017 November 16, 2017 November 17, 2017 November 18, 2017 November 19, 2017
November 20, 2017 November 21, 2017 November 22, 2017 November 23, 2017 November 24, 2017 November 25, 2017 November 26, 2017
November 27, 2017 November 28, 2017 November 29, 2017 November 30, 2017 December 1, 2017 December 2, 2017 December 3, 2017
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