History Bee

Test Your Knowledge of Mitchell County and Win!

MCHS is pleased to announce the fourth annual HISTORY BEE for young students of Mitchell County history!

Competition Information & Categories

Mitchell County History Bee LogoNOTE: Due to the Corona Virus, the March 26, 2020 History Bee has beeb postponed until a later date.

Admission to the event is $5 (individual) and $10 (for a family). Proceeds benefit the Historical Society and its mission to preserve the history and heritage of Mitchell County.

There will be two categories of competition:

  • Grades 6-8 (Younger Division)
  • Grades 9-12 (Older Division)

Winners of each category will be awarded cash prizes:

  • $500 for First Place
  • $300 for Second Place
  • $200 for Third Place

All winners get a year’s subscription to the Mitchell News-Journal.

Co-Sponsored by the Mitchell News-JournalThere is no fee to enter the competition, but students must complete and submit a registration form by March 19, 2020 to be eligible to compete.

Question Sources

Voice of the Valley BookFor All Students

All questions in the Bee will be based on Elizabeth Hunter’s Voices of the Valley, published in 2011 on the 150th anniversary of the formation of Mitchell County.  This volume is available in school and public libraries around Mitchell County or History Bee participants can purchase a copy for $20 at the MCHS office in Bakersville.

For High School Students

Along with Voices of the Valley, additional questions from Jason B. Deyton’s thesis entitled The Toe River Valley to 1865 will be included in the high school competition. An online version of Deyton’s paper can be found here. Printed copies of the paper can be requested through the MCHS Office in the Historic Mitchell County Courthouse in Bakersville.

Start studying now so you’ll be ready to answer questions!

For more information, contact our office or ask your history teacher!  And study up for pride and prizes!

History Bee Rules

  • While there is no fee to compete, all contestants must submit a completed registration form by March 19, 2020. MCHS reserves the right to reject late registration forms.

  • The History Bee will begin at 6:00 pm, with the younger division, Middle School contestants, competing first, and the older division, High School, going second.

  • All questions for Middle School participants will be based on Voices of the Valley by Elizabeth Hunter; each question is multiple choice, with 4 answer options.
  • Questions for High School participants will be based on both Voices of the Valley and Jason Deyton’s “History of the Toe River Valley to 1865.”
  • Each contestant will be eliminated from competition after he/she gives two incorrect answers.
  • Competition will continue until one individual in each division is last to answer a question correctly; that individual must answer another question correctly to become the winner for that division.
    • If he/she answers incorrectly in that round, competition will resume, with all contestants in the previous round participating in their original order.
  • Questions and the 4 potential answers will be read for contestants; the questions will also be projected for both the contestants and audience.
  • Contestants may request, only one time per question, that a question be repeated, and they will have 10 seconds from the end of the question to begin their answer.
  • Contestants have a maximum time of 10 seconds to begin their answer to avoid a wrong-answer ruling; responses must include both the correct answer and its letter.
    • Ruling on the validity of contestant answers by a panel of 3 judges is final.
  • The contestant in each division who is last to answer correctly will win first place, with a prize of $500; first runner-up wins second place and a prize of $300, and second runner up wins third place and a prize of $200.
    • MCHS will award only three (3) prizes in each division.
    • In case of a tie between two or three contestants with the same number of correct answers, MCHS will declare them co-champions and award the same cash prize.
    • No one will be declared the winner in any of the three places if there is another contestant/s who has the same number of questions correct.
  • There will be no more than 20 consecutive rounds of questions in each division.
  • To ensure no contestant has an unfair advantage, all contestants are required to sign an affidavit proclaiming that, while preparing for the History Bee, they have not reviewed or been quizzed using actual questions from previous History Bees by any means, oral, written or through photographs.
  • Any contestant who receives any type of assistance during the History Bee will be disqualified.
  • Contestants and the audience will be asked to turn off their phones and other devices during the competition. Time will be allowed at the end of the contests for photos. Recording of the competition rounds by any means will not be permitted.


Register for the 2020 History Bee

Bee CarocatireTo participate in the competition, please download and complete the application. It can be returned to your history  teacher, dropped off at the MCHS Office in the Mitchell County Historic Courthouse in Bakersville during regular office hours of Tuesday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., or mailed in:

Mitchell County Historical Society
P.O. Box 651
Bakersville, NC 28705

Entries should be submitted (or postmarked) by March 19, 2020.

MCHS reserves the right to reject applications received after March 19.


Need Assistance with the Registration Form?

If you have problems accessing the form, please fill out our Contact Form online and someone will be in touch with to help.


Feel free to contact us or call the MCHS at (828) 688-4371 or (828) 385-0564.

The 2017 History Bee

Take a look back at the first History Bee, held April 6, 2017.