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.
Coming June 19: The Frankie & Charlie Silver Story
Frankie Silver became the first woman to be executed in Burke County, North Carolina when she was hanged for the murder of her husband Charlie Silver on July 12, 1833. John Silver will present the story of his ancestors and how the famous murder and legend from it continues to endure to this day.
John Silver, a descendant of the Silver family who shares a keen interest in their history, will present the fabled story in a special place: the Old Kona Baptist Church, site of the 3 graves that hold Charlie’s dismembered body, along with graves of other family and community members that that date from the Revolutionary War period. The old church also contains memorabilia about the Silver family and will be open for you to tour as part of the program.
The Frankie & Charlie Silver Story will be presented Monday, June 19, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. A map and directions to the Old Kona Baptist Church are available here.
We invite you to learn more about all of the MCHS programs for 2017. All are free and are open to the general public.
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 for topics we should cover.
Locations with interesting stories
The legendary Cloudland Hotel was built atop Roan Mountain in 1885, garnering its name from the fact that clouds, almost 75 percent of the time, enshrouded the mountain. Union General John T. Wilder, who had moved to Tennessee after his tenure in the Civil War, built...read more
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
Significant people in Mitchell County
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...read more
Happenings of note
Mitchell County’s law enforcement community poses for this picture circa 1960. Left to right are: James Edwards, Mitchell County Deputy, Joe Stewart, Mitchell County Deputy, Sam Gouge, Mitchell County Sheriff, Jim Burleson, Chief of Police, Ray Gunter, Spruce Pine...read more
In April 1917, one hundred years ago this month, the United States declared war on Germany. Mitchell Countians joined United States forces as they hoped to fight in a “war to end all wars.” Several groups of enlistees would depart at different times. Pictured above,...read more
These define Mitchell County
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
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...read more
Making a living in Mitchell County
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...read more
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”. ...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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May 15, 2017
7:00 pm: MCHS Program
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