About Mitchell County

Buladean

Buladean

Magnetic City and Wilder’s Forge were the original names of this community on Big Rock Creek in northern Mitchell County. The name Magnetic City comes from the story that when the survey lines were being conducted for the boundary of North Carolina and Tennessee, the...

Wing

Wing

This community on Snow Creek, was named for Professor Charles Hallet Wing who settled in the area in 1887. Professor Wing had taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and established in the community a lending library of some 15,000 books. This was the...

Pigeon Roost

The simple name of this community on Pigeon Roost Creek in northern Mitchell County, comes from the large number of carrier pigeons, now extinct, that once roosted in the area.

Decoration at Old Town Cemetery in Bakersville

Decoration at Old Town Cemetery in Bakersville

Soon after the Civil War, Decoration Day began to be observed in many cemeteries around the Mountain South.  Southerners often claim the custom was copied in the North and became our national holiday, Memorial Day.  Generally held in the summer, Decoration Day...

The Tradition of Apple Butter

This photo appeared in the Tri-County News, precursor to the Mitchell News-Journal, on September 13, 1973, with the following caption: “Once again it is apple butter making time in the tri-county area.  Many people still make it the ‘old-timey way’ over an open fire...

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,...

Uncle Bill Keller

Uncle Bill Keller

William E. Keller was born 10/15/1855 near Taylorsville in Alexander County, NC, the son of Joseph and Rinda Keller.  When he died on 5/26/1969 in Mitchell County at 111, he was the state’s longest living Social Security pensioner, and may also have been the oldest in...

What Goes Up ~ Will Come Down

What Goes Up ~ Will Come Down

In the early part of the Twentieth Century, Jason Burleson was known as the mica king of Mitchell County, and unbeknownst to most travelers today, “Burleson Hill” in Spruce Pine was named for him. He lived atop that hill in a large white house where the Spruce Pine...

CRANKING A MODEL T FORD

CRANKING A MODEL T FORD

Ford Motor Company produced 15 million Model T automobiles from October 1, 1908 through May 26, 1927.  They were sometimes referred to as “Tin Lizzies” or a “flivvers.”  Ford Model T’s relied on a removable hand crank in the front of the vehicle until 1920, when the...

Belk-Broome Store in Spruce Pine

Belk-Broome Store in Spruce Pine

The Belk store was a large part of the Spruce Pine community for nearly 75 years. Initially opening in 1928 in a building next to today’s Dellinger’s Christian Book Store, it was operated like many other Belk enterprises: the Charlotte-based company joined with...

With Fire and Sword

With Fire and Sword

It was September of 1780, and British Major Patrick Ferguson had had enough. The Revolutionary War was in its fifth year and the British turned their attention to the southern colonies. British leaders believed that many citizens in this south remained loyal to King...

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...

Little Switzerland

Little Switzerland

This exotic European name was penned by Judge Heriot Clarkson of Charlotte who established this resort community near the Blue Ridge Parkway in 1910. The resemblance of the area to the mountains of Switzerland gave rise to the name. At an altitude of 3,500 feet above...

Railroad coming to Bakersville??

Railroad coming to Bakersville??

According to some local traditions, the railroad was to have come through Bakersville instead of Spruce Pine, but certain town leaders did not want that to happen. A variety of explanations has been suggested over the years; however, perhaps the truth lies in the...

Catching The Train

Catching The Train

Catching the Clinchfield as it wound its way northbound up the mountains, or southbound to the piedmont was an easy task when passenger service was common. The railroad, which ran from coalfields of Elkhorn City, Kentucky to the textile mills of upstate South...

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