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,...

The Mother of Little Switzerland ~ Nancy Buchanan

The Mother of Little Switzerland ~ Nancy Buchanan

Nancy M. DeWeese was born 2/2/1842 in Missouri, where her parents, Louis DeWeese and Rachel Matilda McKinney DeWeese, had moved.  Her father died when she was 5, and her mother took her and her two sisters, Jane Elizabeth (1837-1889) and Mary (1844-1929) back to North...

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...

Ms. Viney Spotswood and the Heap Family

Ms. Viney Spotswood and the Heap Family

J.G. Heap and his wife Anna Lyons are buried in the Bakersville Historic Cemetery. He and his business partner E.B. Clapp are credited with bringing the first large-scale mica mining operation to Mitchell County: a story well known. But there is another worth telling...

Buster Brown Comes To Town!

Buster Brown Comes To Town!

Turning out when a celebrity visits town has always been commonplace, and when Buster Brown and his dog Tige stopped by the new Spruce Pine Store building in the 1920s, the whole town turned out to say hello. “I’m Buster Brown, and I live in a shoe. That’s my dog,...

The Glen Ayre Rambler – Wayne Ledford

The Glen Ayre Rambler – Wayne Ledford

This article courtesy of Blue Ridge Natural Heritage Area  www.blueridgeheritage.com/traditional-artist-directory/wayne-ledford Wayne Ledford was born into a musical family in the Little Rock Creek community of Mitchell County, and he has been playing for more than 75...

Spanning The Toe

Spanning The Toe

This downtown landmark, labeled the “bottleneck bridge”, was built in 1922. At that time, it was the intersection of NC 226 and US 19E, as the Minpro bypass had not yet been built. Traffic congestion was a nightmare at times, not only because of the large number of...

The First Episcopal Church in the Toe River Valley

The First Episcopal Church in the Toe River Valley

The story of the Bakersville Episcopal Church begins with the story of the Episcopal Church in North Carolina on Roanoke Island in 1587, continues with its reunification after the Civil War by Bishop Thomas Atkinson, and moves closer with his efforts that resulted in...

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...

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