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We are committed to saving and sharing
the stories of Mitchell County’s
people, places, and events.
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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, which means your donations are tex-deductible under the limitations of tax law. Your contributions help us continue our work.

Please consider making an online donation by clicking the button below.



Penland Cemetery Project

MCHS is seeking help with an important project we have undertaken. The historic Penland Cemetery in Bakersville has suffered from years of neglect, with vandals overturning tombstones and the plot becoming grown-over with trees and underbrush. We have begun efforts to repair the road to the cemetery and restore it so visitors and researchers have easy access. Learn more about the Penland Cemetery project and how you can help..

The 2019 Christmas Ornament

Photo of the 2019 Christmas Ornament of the Mitchell County Courthouse, red in color

The 2019 Mitchell County Historical Society Christmas Ornament honors the Historic Mitchell County Courthouse, built in 1907. This historic building, built of cast stone and designed in the Classical Revival style. which is home to the MCHS offices on the first floor. The building was designed by H.L. Lewman and was constructed by the Falls City Construction Company. The Yancey County Courthouse, built in 1905, is almost a clone of the building. The ornament is glass and comes in a box to protect it during shipment and storage.

VISIT THE MCHS ONLINE STORE FOR DETAILS >> 

MCHS Membership & Newsletter

Image of the front cover of the Third Quarter MCHS NewsletterBig changes are coming soon for members of the Mitchell County Historical Society in 2020

Discounts on merchandise purchased from the MCHS store are but one of the many goodies for members of MCHS. In fact, we have a preview of one of the new features available right now: our redesigned newsletter, the Quarterly Review. Download a copy (PDF file – opens with the free Adobe Reader software) and see what members will be receiving beginning in the new year. Plus, you will get advance notice (and input) on our 2020 presentation series, opportunities to volunteer to help preserve our history, and access to online resources to research topics and genealogy in our office located in the Historic Mitchell County Courthouse.

Not a member? Join today!

 


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

Kilmichael Tower and Little Switzerland

Kilmichael Tower and Little Switzerland

Judge Heriot Clarkson of Charlotte and his family were the developers of the resort community of Little Switzerland in 1910. The community between Grassy Mountain and Chestnut Ridge had been settled by several generations of hardy pioneers by the time Clarkson arrived...

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People

Significant Individuals

The Rev. George Washington Martin

The Rev. George Washington Martin

The Rev. George Washington Martin The Bakersville United Methodist Church had its beginnings as “The Bakersville Methodist Society” in 1871. Early in the history of Methodism, John Wesley encouraged itinerant preachers he commissioned to establish Methodist societies...

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History

Happenings of note

The First Episcopal Church in the Toe River Valley

The First Episcopal Church in the Toe River Valley

The story of the Bakersville Episcopal Church begins with the story of the Episcopal Church in North Carolina on Roanoke Island in 1587, continues with its reunification after the Civil War by Bishop Thomas Atkinson, and moves closer with his efforts that resulted in...

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Communities

Unique locales in Mitchell County

Kilmichael Tower and Little Switzerland

Kilmichael Tower and Little Switzerland

Judge Heriot Clarkson of Charlotte and his family were the developers of the resort community of Little Switzerland in 1910. The community between Grassy Mountain and Chestnut Ridge had been settled by several generations of hardy pioneers by the time Clarkson arrived...

read more

Icons

These define Mitchell County

Helen McBee: Teacher, Philanthropist, and Woman of Some Mark

Helen McBee: Teacher, Philanthropist, and Woman of Some Mark

Helen McBee was born 1/10/1909 in Los Angeles, CA to John Calhoun and Margaret Chambers Thomas McBee. Her father served in Company B of the 16th Infantry and had spent most of the Philippines-American War in the islands where Helen’s brothers Paul Thomas (1905) and...

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Economics

Making a living in Mitchell County

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Oh, Christmas Tree!

In 2005 the Fraser fir (Abies fraseri) was adopted as the official state Christmas tree of North Carolina. The idea came from eighth-graders in Mr. Chris Hollifield's North Carolina History Class at Spruce Pine’s Harris Middle School who petitioned legislators to...

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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.

January 2020
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
December 29, 2019 December 30, 2019 December 31, 2019 January 1, 2020 January 2, 2020 January 3, 2020 January 4, 2020
January 5, 2020 January 6, 2020 January 7, 2020 January 8, 2020 January 9, 2020 January 10, 2020 January 11, 2020
January 12, 2020 January 13, 2020 January 14, 2020 January 15, 2020 January 16, 2020 January 17, 2020 January 18, 2020
January 19, 2020 January 20, 2020 January 21, 2020 January 22, 2020 January 23, 2020 January 24, 2020 January 25, 2020
January 26, 2020 January 27, 2020 January 28, 2020 January 29, 2020 January 30, 2020 January 31, 2020 February 1, 2020
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