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.

Donate to MCHS

The Mitchell County Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your contributions help us continue our work. Please consider making an online donation by clicking the button below:

Overmountain Men Radio Show/Podcast Now Underway

Footsteps for Freedom Podcast Graphic with logo and marching re-enactors in the backgroundThe Mitchell County Historical Society is pleased to unveil our new salute to the Overmountain Men and their success at the Battle of Kings Mountain. We hav e introduced our new audio program Footsteps for Freedom: The Road To Kings Mountain, plus we have a new resource page for the Overmountain Men and the Battle of Kings Mountain available now on our site. THe latest version of the program is posted mid-morning Monday-Friday. You can also hear the program at 8:15 each morning Monday through Friday on WTOE (1470 AM) and WKYK (940 AM). 

The audio files are posted daily and we will be adding articles and other information to the page on a regular basis. You will find links to online resources to learn more about the Overmountain Men, the region that they travelled through, and facts about the actual battle itself. Plus, we will provide details about local observances being held for the journey this September in our region and at the monument atop Kings Mountain on Monday, October 7th.

We hope you will enjoy the journey these next few weeks as we travel with the Overmountain Men to Kings Mountain!

Lydia Holman Program September 16

Photo of Lydia Holman with her horse

Lydia Holman with her horse

The 2019 Mitchell County Historical Society Program Series concludes at the Historic Mitchell County Courthouse in Bakersville on September 16 at 7:00 p.m. as Kathy Huie presents Looking for Lydia: A Search for Lydia Holman in Mitchell County. Huie, a former Associate Dean of the Florida Atlantic University College of Education and a volunteer for the Mitchell County Historical Society, will trace the career and life of Lydia Holman, a pioneering public health nurse who spent hearly 60 years working in Mitchell County. Admission to the program is free and open to the public.

We hope you will join us!

Photo of the 2019 Christmas Ornament of the Mitchell County Courthouse, red in colorThe 2019 Christmas Ornament

The 2019 Mitchell County Historical Society Christmas Ornament honors this historic building, built of cast stone and designed in the Classical Revival style. which is home to the MCHS offices on the first floor. The building was designed by H.L. Lewman and was constructed by the Falls City Construction Company. The Yancey County Courthouse, built in 1905, is almost a clone of the building. It is glass and comes in a box to protect it during shipment and storage.


Photo of the front page of the second quarter newsletterNewsletter

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 2019 SECOND QUARTER NEWSLETTER (PDF file – opens with the free Adobe Reader software).


Scholarship Recipient Announced

MCHS is pleased to announce that Macie Stafford, a 2019 graduate of MItchell High School, is the third recipient of the Inez McRae Scholarship. You can learn more about Macie and about the scholarship here.

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!


Interesting stories

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,...

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Significant Individuals

Working In The Mines ~ Mitchell County to Vance County

Working In The Mines ~ Mitchell County to Vance County

This article features recollections of Gary Forbes of Mocksville, NC, the son of Paul and Elsie Burleson Forbes.  He was born in 1948 in Spruce Pine at Williams Clinic.   My earliest memories are of living in the Hamme Tungsten Queen Mine Camp in Vance County, NC,...

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Happenings of note

The Cherokee Wars

The Cherokee Wars

When the French and Indian War ended in 1763, territory from the Atlantic to the Mississippi was ceded to Britain by France. Native Americans living in the area looked to the Crown to protect them from incursions of land-hungry settlers, but the Proclamation of 1763...

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Unique locales in Mitchell County

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....

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These define Mitchell County

The Historic Mitchell County Courthouse

The Historic Mitchell County Courthouse

The first Mitchell County Courthouse, built in 1869, served the county well until 1907 with the grand opening of the new Courthouse which was built on the site of the first courthouse.  More than just a courtroom where justice was served, the building was a gateway to...

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Making a living in Mitchell County

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.

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