About 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...

North Carolina Rhododendron Festival: Roots and Twigs

North Carolina Rhododendron Festival: Roots and Twigs

The beautiful Rhododendron flower is celebrated worldwide. These celebrations include festivals in Port Logan, England; Edinburgh, Scotland; Muroji, Japan; Taranaki, a bit south of New Plymouth, New Zealand: Florence, OR; Me, CA; Plymouth, MA; and tad closer to home,...

Mitchell County and the May Fresh of 1901

Mitchell County and the May Fresh of 1901

David Crockett described the flood of the Nolichucky in 1791 as “the second epistle to Noah’s fresh.” Most likely, since the Toe River feeds the Nolichucky and Cane Creek feeds the Toe River, the folks in what’s now Mitchell County also had to deal with high water....

Sergeant Simon Harrell and General John Hunt Morgan

Sergeant Simon Harrell and General John Hunt Morgan

In the Tipton Hill Community Cemetery rests a Union soldier whose company helped kill “the best man in the Southern Confederacy,” General John Hunt Morgan. The phrase comes from one of Morgan’s Captains, Henry B. Clay, who was present at the killing and is quoted in...

Cloyd Decatur Thomas, World War I Veteran

Cloyd Decatur Thomas, World War I Veteran

  Cloyd Decatur Thomas, born 11/21/1894 in Mitchell County, was the son of William Malone Thomas (1871-1945) and Amanda (Thomas) Thomas (1875-1957).  When he registered for the draft in June 1917, Cloyd listed his occupation as farmer and laborer at a clay...

Biss Peterson ~ World War II Veteran and Prisoner of War

Biss Peterson ~ World War II Veteran and Prisoner of War

  Biss Peterson was a Prisoner of War in Stalag II B, a work camp west of Hammerstein, a village in Pomerania; it is now the town of CzSarne in Poland.  Germany had used the camp for Russian POWs during the First World War and as a concentration camp for German...

“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...

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...

The Battle of Kings Mountain ~ The Turn of the Tide of Success

The Battle of Kings Mountain ~ The Turn of the Tide of Success

The Battle of King’s Mountain was a crucial American victory in the War for Independence.  The British had taken the fighting to the South, confident the large number of Loyalists there would bring a Patriot defeat, and the fall of Charleston in May 1780 had indeed...

Working In The Mines ~ Mitchell County to Vance County

Working In The Mines ~ Mitchell County to Vance County

This article features recollections of Gary Forbes of Mocksville, NC, the son of Paul and Elsie Burleson Forbes.  He was born in 1948 in Spruce Pine at Williams Clinic.   My earliest memories are of living in the Hamme Tungsten Queen Mine Camp in Vance County, NC,...

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