The History & Heritage of Mitchell County, NC

The Mitchell County Historical Society is committed to the preservation of the history, heritage, and culture of Mitchell County, North Carolina. We hope you enjoy your visit and stop by often for updated stories, photos, and videos.

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The Red & White Strings: Isaac English in the Civil War
Presentation is May 20

Photo of The English InnThe Civil War in the Toe River Valley pitted brother against brother in more ways that expected. One famous story from that era involved Isaac English, the then-owner of the historic English Inn located in Spruce Pine. English was a staunch Union supporter and he assisted 4 Union officers who escaped from a South Carolina prison camp to get back to Union lines and Kirk’s Brigade in the middle of the conflict. The Mitchell County Historical Society will host an event telling their story on Monday, May 20th at 7:00 p.m. at the English Inn at 240 English Road in Spruce Pine. Using a recently uncovered documentation of the journey written by one of the four officers, presenters David Biddix, Amanda Biddix, and Jonathan Bennett  will paint a picture of the conflict in the Toe River Valley, giving you a drastically different idea of what many imagined the Civil War to be on both sides in the region.

The presentation is Monday, May 20 at 7:00 p.m. at the English Inn located in Spruce Pine [map]. Admission is free and we welcome anyone who has an interest to attend!

 


Front page of the 2019 MCHS Newsletter

Newsletter

Want to learn more about what is taking place with the Historical Society? We release a quarterly newsletter with information on programs, events, updates on projects, and much, much more. MCHS members receive the newsletter as part of their membership early each quarter.

Take a look at our 1ST QUARTER 2019 NEWSLETTER (PDF file – opens with the free Adobe Reader software).

What’s New on the Site

Here are our latest posts about Mitchell County’s history. We welcome suggestions for topics to add. Please use our contact page to submit your ideas to us!

Places

Interesting stories

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...

read more
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.

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People

Significant Individuals

Stylish Clothing for Mitchell County Boys One Hundred Years Ago

Stylish Clothing for Mitchell County Boys One Hundred Years Ago

Ernest McKinney was born April 6, 1903, in the McKinney Cove.  He was the son of William Alfonso “Fonzer” McKinney (1877-1963) and Maggie Wilson McKinney (1881-1916.)  In one of these photos he is with his parents, while the other pic shows him about age 8.  You may...

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History

Happenings of note

Church of the Brethren Conference at Brummetts Creek 1913

Church of the Brethren Conference at Brummetts Creek 1913

The Church of the Brethren traces its roots back over 300 years to 1708 in Germany. The first congregation in America was at Germantown, PA, in 1723, but the denomination’s missionaries soon spread its beliefs elsewhere.  The Brethren “mother church” on Lower...

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March 1993 – The Storm of the Century

March 1993 – The Storm of the Century

On March 12, 1993 snow began falling on a Friday afternoon. By Monday, March 15th, the Storm of the Century had dumped upwards of between 3 and 5 feet of snow on the region. The storm formed in the Gulf of Mexico and at its height, the storm stretched from Honduras to...

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Communities

Unique locales in Mitchell County

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...

read more
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.

read more

Icons

These define Mitchell County

The Evolution of Bakersville’s Blevins Building

The modest, but well-constructed building known by various names, beginning with “the Blevins Building,” has served the Town of Bakersville and its people for decades.  The name by which locals often call the structure comes from original owner...

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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,...

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Economics

Making a living in Mitchell County

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...

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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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Upcoming Events

Check out the upcoming events from the Mitchell County Historical Society. Click or tap on a date that is highlighted for information on what’s happening.

May 2019
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
April 29, 2019 April 30, 2019 May 1, 2019 May 2, 2019 May 3, 2019 May 4, 2019 May 5, 2019
May 6, 2019 May 7, 2019 May 8, 2019 May 9, 2019 May 10, 2019 May 11, 2019 May 12, 2019
May 13, 2019 May 14, 2019 May 15, 2019 May 16, 2019 May 17, 2019 May 18, 2019 May 19, 2019
May 20, 2019 May 21, 2019 May 22, 2019 May 23, 2019 May 24, 2019 May 25, 2019 May 26, 2019
May 27, 2019 May 28, 2019 May 29, 2019 May 30, 2019 May 31, 2019 June 1, 2019 June 2, 2019
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