No one knows for sure when the original part of the English Inn was built, but we do know that it has set, for at least two centuries, as the anchor of our community. The Inn was originally built by the Rowe family, at the busy crossing point of the Marion to Bakersville and Burnsville to Cranberry Roads. Isaac English bought the inn from his wife’s family, Alice Rowe English, in the mid 1800’s. As the little hamlet around the English Inn began to grow, a need arose for a post office. Given the task of naming the new post office, Mrs. Alice English chose the name “Spruce Pine” because of the stalwart, beautiful tree she admired from her window every morning.
This tree gave Spruce Pine its name on April 26, 1859. The old hostelry witnessed the conflicts of the Civil War, hiding escaping Union soldiers. A few years later, the English Mica Company, and thus, the mining industry in the region, originated from the within the logs of the old structure. As the years passed, the old inn would play host to the first school in Spruce Pine. Students who attended the school boarded there during the week and walked home on the weekends. The English Inn is one of the oldest log structures still standing in North Carolina and has many stories to tell! The Mitchell County Historical Society invites you to come hear these stories and see inside this magnificent building this Saturday, November 25, as part of our Christmas Tour of Historic Structures in Mitchell County. For tickets or more information contact the Mitchell County Historical Society Office at 828-688-4371, or visit our website at mitchellnchistory.org.