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

Sunday Go-To-Meeting Best

Sunday Go-To-Meeting Best

This notable photograph of the congregation of Liberty Hill Baptist Church was taken on April 12, 1908. The church was officially chartered in 1866, but had been meeting since the 1840’s. A log building with dirt floors was erected in the Estatoe Community near the...

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“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...

read more

People

Significant Individuals

Isaac Hollifield – The Iconic Mountaineer

Isaac Hollifield – The Iconic Mountaineer

This classic photograph portrays the hardy mountain settlers who created a community out of the wilderness that was the Blue Ridge Mountains. Isaac Hollifield was a descendent of one of five Hollifield brothers who moved into the area that is now McDowell and Mitchell...

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Harris High Football Stars

Harris High Football Stars

Sometime in the early 1970s, standout football players from Harris High School in Spruce Pine gathered to share tales of past glory on the field and be honored for their prowess on the field.  Those honored included the Blue Devils shown here, who have been identified...

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History

Happenings of note

Sunday Go-To-Meeting Best

Sunday Go-To-Meeting Best

This notable photograph of the congregation of Liberty Hill Baptist Church was taken on April 12, 1908. The church was officially chartered in 1866, but had been meeting since the 1840’s. A log building with dirt floors was erected in the Estatoe Community near the...

read more
Isaac Hollifield – The Iconic Mountaineer

Isaac Hollifield – The Iconic Mountaineer

This classic photograph portrays the hardy mountain settlers who created a community out of the wilderness that was the Blue Ridge Mountains. Isaac Hollifield was a descendent of one of five Hollifield brothers who moved into the area that is now McDowell and Mitchell...

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...

read more
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

Penland Post Office and General Store

Penland Post Office and General Store

The building which houses the Penland Post Office and, for many years, a general mercantile, was constructed in 1902 by Isaac Bailey, a Confederate Colonel and later NC Senator from Mitchell County.  Two years later, Bailey and his wife, Louisa Penland, donated land...

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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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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.

February 2018
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
January 29, 2018 January 30, 2018 January 31, 2018 February 1, 2018 February 2, 2018 February 3, 2018

Category: General10:00 am: Scan Day - Historic Courthouse

10:00 am: Scan Day - Historic Courthouse
February 4, 2018
February 5, 2018 February 6, 2018 February 7, 2018 February 8, 2018 February 9, 2018 February 10, 2018 February 11, 2018
February 12, 2018 February 13, 2018 February 14, 2018 February 15, 2018 February 16, 2018 February 17, 2018

Category: General10:00 am: Scan Day - Spruce Pine Main Street

10:00 am: Scan Day - Spruce Pine Main Street
February 18, 2018
February 19, 2018 February 20, 2018 February 21, 2018 February 22, 2018 February 23, 2018 February 24, 2018 February 25, 2018
February 26, 2018 February 27, 2018 February 28, 2018 March 1, 2018 March 2, 2018 March 3, 2018

Category: General10:00 am: Scan Day - Peterson Store Huntdale

10:00 am: Scan Day - Peterson Store Huntdale
March 4, 2018
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