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...

Charlie Byrd’s Long Road Home

Charlie Byrd’s Long Road Home

At least three different versions of Charlie’s capture, escape, and eventful walk home from South Carolina during the Civil War have been gleaned from reliable local sources, including Harvey J. Miller.  None of those sources indicate why Charlie joined the Union Army...

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,...

Roby Buchanan: Beyond Tiffany of the Hills

Roby Buchanan: Beyond Tiffany of the Hills

In the June 1958 issue of National Geographic, he was given the title of “Tiffany of the Hills.” Tiffany and Company began and continues as a fine jewelry distribution business in New York City. The real story, as you will see, makes that label a shallow substitute...

“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...

John Sevier’s Mitchell County Connections

John Sevier’s Mitchell County Connections

Heralded hero of the Battle of Kings Mountain and first governor of the new state of Tennessee (elected 5 additional times), John Sevier has several connections to Mitchell County. John’s grandfather was Valentine “The Huguenot” Sevier, born 1678 in Paris, France, but...

The Cherokee Wars

The Cherokee Wars

When the French and Indian War ended in 1763, territory from the Atlantic to the Mississippi was ceded to Britain by France. Native Americans living in the area looked to the Crown to protect them from incursions of land-hungry settlers, but the Proclamation of 1763...

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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