Economics

Spruce Pine’s Gunter Building

Spruce Pine’s Gunter Building

The structure known as the Gunter Building, on the corner of Oak Avenue and Topaz Street, was erected about 1941; Spruce Pine was in the midst of a commercial boom based on the mining industry, which had greatly expanded in the first 2 decades of the 20th century and...

Got Milk? The Carnation Dairy Plant in Spruce Pine

Got Milk? The Carnation Dairy Plant in Spruce Pine

When the Carnation Dairy receiving station opened in Spruce Pine on September 4, 1941, the Asheville Citizen reported that a large crowd was in attendance to hear speeches by state and corporate officials.  An open house was held prior to the speechmaking, and “iced...

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...

The “Burleson” of “Burleson Hill”

The “Burleson” of “Burleson Hill”

  J.E. Burleson operated this mica house atop Burleson Hill, the location of the current Spruce Pine Town Cemetery. Burleson began opening mica mines in 1894 and ground mica beginning in the 1900s. He was the largest individual mica operator in the region. His...

The Little Boxes before the Big Boxes

The Little Boxes before the Big Boxes

Before the days of the “big box” chain stores, Spruce Pine had many “mom and pop” grocery stores that served the area. There were also many smaller stores in almost every community. There was even a branch of the Dixie Home Store on Lower Street for several years that...