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.

Donate to MCHS

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:




Photo of the front page of the fourth 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 4TH QUARTER 2018 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

Estatoe

This Mitchell County community in southern Mitchell County lies along Brushy Creek. The name comes from an Indian Princess who fell in love with a brave from a rival tribe. Because their love would never be accepted by either’s families, they jumped from a precipice...

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Roan Mountain

Mitchell County’s most famous mountain straddles the Tennessee border at an elevation of 6,200 feet above sea level. It was probably named for its roan color when seen from a distance when the rhododendron are in bloom. Legend, however has it, that it was named for...

read more

People

Significant Individuals

Joshua of the Mountains

Joshua of the Mountains

When Stephen Morgan Collis came to what is now Mitchell County is uncertain. However, we can speculate fairly accurately using a family Bible entry which says he married Mary “Polly” Sparks in 1839 along with the 1840 census showing that he and a female were living in...

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Mitchell County for Me

Mitchell County for Me

As Americans, we show our patriotism through the singing of the national anthem of the United States called the Star Spangled Banner. As North Carolinians we also want to show our state pride in the state song named The Old North State. However, most Mitchell County...

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History

Happenings of note

March 1993 – The Storm of the Century

March 1993 – The Storm of the Century

On March 12, 1993 snow began falling on a Friday afternoon. By Monday, March 15th, the Storm of the Century had dumped upwards of between 3 and 5 feet of snow on the region. The storm formed in the Gulf of Mexico and at its height, the storm stretched from Honduras to...

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School Days on Beaver Creek

School Days on Beaver Creek

One-room schools, with many grades in that one room, were once the norm in this nation; they lingered a long while in the mountain South, which struggled economically in the decades following the Civil War.  Even after the move to tax-supported high schools was made...

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Communities

Unique locales in Mitchell County

Estatoe

This Mitchell County community in southern Mitchell County lies along Brushy Creek. The name comes from an Indian Princess who fell in love with a brave from a rival tribe. Because their love would never be accepted by either’s families, they jumped from a precipice...

read more

Roan Mountain

Mitchell County’s most famous mountain straddles the Tennessee border at an elevation of 6,200 feet above sea level. It was probably named for its roan color when seen from a distance when the rhododendron are in bloom. Legend, however has it, that it was named for...

read more

Icons

These define Mitchell County

“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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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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Economics

Making a living in Mitchell County

Little Switzerland

Little Switzerland

This exotic European name was penned by Judge Heriot Clarkson of Charlotte who established this resort community near the Blue Ridge Parkway in 1910. The resemblance of the area to the mountains of Switzerland gave rise to the name. At an altitude of 3,500 feet above...

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Railroad coming to Bakersville??

Railroad coming to Bakersville??

According to some local traditions, the railroad was to have come through Bakersville instead of Spruce Pine, but certain town leaders did not want that to happen. A variety of explanations has been suggested over the years; however, perhaps the truth lies in the...

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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.

March 2019
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
February 25, 2019 February 26, 2019 February 27, 2019 February 28, 2019 March 1, 2019 March 2, 2019 March 3, 2019
March 4, 2019 March 5, 2019 March 6, 2019 March 7, 2019 March 8, 2019 March 9, 2019 March 10, 2019
March 11, 2019 March 12, 2019 March 13, 2019 March 14, 2019 March 15, 2019 March 16, 2019 March 17, 2019
March 18, 2019 March 19, 2019 March 20, 2019 March 21, 2019 March 22, 2019 March 23, 2019 March 24, 2019
March 25, 2019 March 26, 2019 March 27, 2019 March 28, 2019 March 29, 2019 March 30, 2019 March 31, 2019
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