About Mitchell County

Estatoe

This Mitchell County community in southern Mitchell County lies along Brushy Creek. The name comes from an Indian Princess who fell in love with a brave from a rival tribe. Because their love would never be accepted by either’s families, they jumped from a precipice...

Roan Mountain

Mitchell County’s most famous mountain straddles the Tennessee border at an elevation of 6,200 feet above sea level. It was probably named for its roan color when seen from a distance when the rhododendron are in bloom. Legend, however has it, that it was named for...

Penland

Penland

This world-renown community in southern Mitchell County, is famous for it’s School of Handicrafts. At an elevation of 2,462 feet, it was named for Milton Penland, pioneer settler and businessman. The Penland School of Crafts was founded in 1910 by Miss Lucy Morgan.

Fox Hunters on the Roan

Fox Hunters on the Roan

The July 21, 1955 edition of the Tri-County News featured this photo taken in 1905 at Roan Mountain in front of the bowling alley of the old Cloudland Hotel. These fox hunters are posing with their dogs. They are (left to right): Reverend Molt Buchanan, Bergin Gouge,...

Mrs. Nellie Stewart Buchanan and the Stewart Family

Mrs. Nellie Stewart Buchanan and the Stewart Family

The following story was written by the late Jack L. English in February 2009. It is used with permission from his family. My great grandmother was Nellie Stewart born May 11, 1877. She married Doss Buchanan. They had the first telephone in the county and the rising...

The Lewis Men of Pigeon Roost and their Mustaches

The Lewis Men of Pigeon Roost and their Mustaches

  This photograph, made in 1886, appeared in a Tri-County News article on 2/27/1969.  It shows several men from the Lewis family of Pigeon Roost.  Massey Lewis, who supplied the photo, said that the men all “let the hair grow on their lips” specifically in...

“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...

An Early History of the Bakersville United Methodist Church

An Early History of the Bakersville United Methodist Church

Critically important pieces of Mitchell County History are the stories of our churches. Some works of note such as Lloyd Bailey, A History of the Methodist Church in the Toe River Valley, from which the current story draws significantly and James Oliver Young, A...

April Fools

April Fools

According to Wikipedia, April Fools’ Day is “an annual custom on April 1, consisting of practical jokes and hoaxes.”  April Fools’ Day is not a public holiday in any nation, but it is commonly observed around the world. Some historians suggest the basis of the April...

The Spanish Lady Visits Mitchell County

The Spanish Lady Visits Mitchell County

A lot of older folks recall their parents and grandparents telling stories about the deadly “grippe” that many Mitchell County families suffered 100 years ago. One grandson remembers being told: “They said that some took sick and died in two or three days. It was...

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...

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,...