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

The Historic Mitchell County Courthouse

The Historic Mitchell County Courthouse

The first Mitchell County Courthouse, built in 1869, served the county well until 1907 with the grand opening of the new Courthouse which was built on the site of the first courthouse.  More than just a courtroom where justice was served, the building was a gateway to...

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Peterson Store in Huntdale

Peterson Store in Huntdale

The tiny town of Huntdale, NC, became a thriving community after the Clinchfield Railroad made its way through the Nolichucky Gorge in the early 1900s. In 1890, the Clinchfield tracks reached Erwin, TN, which was less than 20 miles away from Huntdale.  Many Western...

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People

Significant Individuals

A Gouge Clan of Glen Ayre

A Gouge Clan of Glen Ayre

Sometime in the 1930s, William H. and Louisa Emma Gouge, of Glen Ayre, were photographed surrounded by their 9 sons and 1 daughter.  William Gouge (1860-1938) was the son of Wiley and Millie Greene Gouge; his wife Louisa Emma Hughes (1865-1952), was the daughter of...

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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...

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History

Happenings of note

Altapass to become Mitchell County’s largest town!?

Altapass to become Mitchell County’s largest town!?

  When the Clinchfield Railroad made its way through the Roses Creek Community in the early 1900’s, the Holston Land Corporation erected a grand hotel along the railroad in 1915. They gave it the name Altapass – “Alta” (meaning a high-elevation of 2,623 feet) and...

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Spruce Pine was Hockey Town, USA

Spruce Pine was Hockey Town, USA

In 1982, Robert Bailey and Alvin Barrier, owners of the Buck Stove Corporation, embarked on a bold plan to redevelop the old Harris School property as an entertainment, shopping, dining, and lodging complex. They decided that the bridge between downtown Spruce Pine...

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Icons

These define Mitchell County

The Glen Ayre Rambler – Wayne Ledford

The Glen Ayre Rambler – Wayne Ledford

This article courtesy of Blue Ridge Natural Heritage Area  www.blueridgeheritage.com/traditional-artist-directory/wayne-ledford Wayne Ledford was born into a musical family in the Little Rock Creek community of Mitchell County, and he has been playing for more than 75...

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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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Economics

Making a living in Mitchell County

The First Volunteer Fire Department in Bakersville

The First Volunteer Fire Department in Bakersville

This Volunteer Fire Department, the first in Bakersville, NC, was originally known as the Mars Volunteer Fire Department, as noted on the truck’s hood (MVFD). O.D. Calhoun, operator of the Mars Theater in Bakersville was instrumental in helping the group raise the...

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Spruce Pine was Hockey Town, USA

Spruce Pine was Hockey Town, USA

In 1982, Robert Bailey and Alvin Barrier, owners of the Buck Stove Corporation, embarked on a bold plan to redevelop the old Harris School property as an entertainment, shopping, dining, and lodging complex. They decided that the bridge between downtown Spruce Pine...

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.

September 2018
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
August 27, 2018 August 28, 2018 August 29, 2018 August 30, 2018 August 31, 2018 September 1, 2018 September 2, 2018
September 3, 2018 September 4, 2018 September 5, 2018 September 6, 2018 September 7, 2018 September 8, 2018 September 9, 2018
September 10, 2018 September 11, 2018 September 12, 2018 September 13, 2018 September 14, 2018 September 15, 2018 September 16, 2018
September 17, 2018

Category: GeneralN/A: MCHS Program

N/A: MCHS Program
September 18, 2018 September 19, 2018 September 20, 2018 September 21, 2018 September 22, 2018 September 23, 2018
September 24, 2018 September 25, 2018 September 26, 2018 September 27, 2018 September 28, 2018 September 29, 2018 September 30, 2018
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