People

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...

Bakersville’s Uncle Sam: A Tribute

Bakersville’s Uncle Sam: A Tribute

Samuel Silver was born near Micaville, NC in March 1854 to an unknown enslaved mother belonging to Green B. Silver. In 1860, Silver had 9 enslaved people including 5 children ages 2 months to 10 years. At that time there were 21 enslaved people of African descent...

Let Me Call You Sweetheart

Let Me Call You Sweetheart

For a Valentine’s Day week Looking Back, the Mitchell County Historical Society made an appropriate selection from its collection of digitized photographs.  The young man with his shined-up car and his best girl is Edd Ray Burleson (1915-1983), while his adoring...

John Graves Heap: Union Operative?

John Graves Heap: Union Operative?

John Graves Heap and his business partner Elisha Bogue Clapp are credited with bringing large-scale mica mining operations to the Toe River Valley. They came here with their families in 1870 and within a few years owned and managed over a dozen mines that employed...

Sam Whitson

Samuel Whitson was born April 30,1865 on Whitson Branch in the Red Hill community of Mitchell Count/y, the son of Matilda Garland Whitson.  Matilda’s husband John had died in 1862; Samuel’s father was Sam McInturff, who was killed by Union raiders before his son’s...

The Rev. George Washington Martin

The Rev. George Washington Martin

The Rev. George Washington Martin The Bakersville United Methodist Church had its beginnings as “The Bakersville Methodist Society” in 1871. Early in the history of Methodism, John Wesley encouraged itinerant preachers he commissioned to establish Methodist societies...