About Mitchell County

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....

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...

Nathan Garland and the Old Bloody Sock

Nathan Garland and the Old Bloody Sock

Nathan Garland was born in Bakersville on January 15, 1857. He was the son of Stephen Garland and Elizabeth Forbes. Nathan married Cordelia “Celia” Hopson in 1879. Nathan and Celia lived in the Fork Mountain township and raised ten children together as follows:...

Charlie B. and Margaret Willis Norman and Their Large Family

Charlie B. and Margaret Willis Norman and Their Large Family

Recently discovered in the news clippings collection at the office of Mitchell County Historical Society was this photo from the Tri-County News of 2/28/1974.  The family was likely photographed 1905-1910 based on the number and ages of the children.  The article’s...

Mrs. Ruby Sisk Gouge

Mrs. Ruby Sisk Gouge

Ruby Juanita Sisk was born December 18, 1898 in Franklin, North Carolina to Ray Dean and Emma Lou Guy Sisk. Her father was a successful attorney, state senator, and highly respected community citizen.She was an honor graduate from Woman’s College, UNC, which is now...

Helen McBee: Teacher, Philanthropist, and Woman of Some Mark

Helen McBee: Teacher, Philanthropist, and Woman of Some Mark

Helen McBee was born 1/10/1909 in Los Angeles, CA to John Calhoun and Margaret Chambers Thomas McBee. Her father served in Company B of the 16th Infantry and had spent most of the Philippines-American War in the islands where Helen’s brothers Paul Thomas (1905) and...

“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...

Ringing the Bells of Bakersville

Ringing the Bells of Bakersville

The first large bell in Bakersville is the one in the Historic Courthouse today, which, we are told, was the one that rang from the belfry of the first Mitchell County Courthouse built in 1868. Photos of the 1868 courthouse show clearly a belfry and the design of the...

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...

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