Soon after the Civil War, Decoration Day began to be observed in many cemeteries around the Mountain South. Southerners often claim the custom was copied in the North and became our national holiday, Memorial Day. Generally held in the summer, Decoration Day involved cleaning the cemetery and decorating graves with flowers. If the graveyard was connected to a church, there might have been a religious service, and there was often dinner on the ground.
While observation of Decoration Day has declined, the Mitchell County Historical Society maintains the time-honored tradition, setting aside a Sunday every September to gather at the Old Bakersville Town Cemetery. One of those buried in this cemetery on the hill above the Historic Mitchell County Courthouse is David Baker, for whom Bakersville was named. Baker, the son of Thomas and Dorothy Davenport Baker, was born in Culpeper County, VA, in 1749, settled in what is now Mitchell County around the time of the Revolutionary War and died here in 1838. He was the father of 13 children by his two wives, Mary Webb (1762-1794) and Sophia Wiseman (1765-1855), so he has a multitude of descendants both locally and around the nation.