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.
Help Renovate & Enhance The McBee Museum
MCHS is undertaking work to renovate and enhance the McBee Museum, one of the oldest buildings in Bakersville. We have worked with structural specialists and museum archivists to develop a plan that will protect the building and enhance its displays. Won’t you help us? Learn more about the project.
MCHS Membership & Newsletter
Please consider becoming a member of the Mitchell County Historical Society.
Discounts on merchandise purchased from the MCHS store are but one of the many goodies for members of MCHS. Here is a preview of the newsletter members receive, the Quarterly Review. Download a copy (PDF file – opens with the free Adobe Reader software) and see what members will be receiving beginning in the new year. Plus, you will get advance notice (and input) on our presentation series, opportunities to volunteer to help preserve our history, and access to online resources to research topics and genealogy in our office located in the Historic Mitchell County Courthouse.
Not a member? Join today!
Watch The Presentation:
In the Shadow of the Roan
Allen Cooke, Mitchell County Manager and noted author, gave a presentation on his new book to start the 2022 MCHS programs.
Shop Our Online Store
The MCHS Online Store offers a variety of gift ideas for that special someone, or for yourself! Plus, all proceeds from sales go to support our mission of preserving the history and heritage of Mitchell County.
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What’s New on the Site
Here are our latest posts about Mitchell County’s history. We welcome suggestions for topics. Please contact us to submit your ideas!
November Rain: Remembering the Flood of 1977
On November 6, 1977, the mountains of North Carolina saw one of the worst natural disasters to hit the area in nearly sixty-one years. On Friday, the 4th, heavy rain began to...
Silent Witness – The Mitchell County Courthouse Ghost
The Historic Mitchell County Courthouse has been a landmark in Bakersville since 1907. For over one hundred years, the courthouse has served the community in many different...
George Rufus Dale Built an Ideal Community
On June 17, 1940, an article appeared in the Asheville Citizen entitled “Mitchell County Farmer Uses Own Family to Build an Ideal Community.” The piece, written by Mrs. Romulus...
Roy Williams: Western North Carolina Legend
The legendary basketball coach announced his retirement on April 1, after 48 years of coaching. Roy Williams was born on August 1, 1950. His family lived in Spruce Pine at the...
Early Medical Practice In Bakersville
Early Medical Practice in Bakersville Over 40 physicians, 25 of whom served Bakersville and the northern end of the county, have been identified as having practiced in Mitchell...
Mary Whitson Byrd, “Mountain Gal”
Mary Elizabeth Whitson Byrd was born 11-27-1882 in Tipton Hill, and except for 2 years, she lived in that Mitchell County community her entire life. She was the daughter of...
Happenings of note
Cleaning Our Toes
According to the Cherokee, a river is referred to as the Long Man with his head in the mountains and his feet in the sea. The North Toe River’s head is at Sugar Gap in the...
Tragedy at Berry Gap
The coming of the Clinchfield Railroad to the region in the early 1900s was a boon for the area and opened up the isolated mountain region to the outside world. The building of...
J.J. Britt: Defender of Freedom
On 19 October 1899, J.J. Britt, presiding over the North Carolina Republican Party meeting in Statesville opposing the suffrage amendment, the Campaign for Freedom In North...
Unique locales in Mitchell County
This Mitchell County community in southern Mitchell County lies along Brushy Creek. The name comes from an Indian Princess who fell in love with a brave from a rival tribe....
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...
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...
These define Mitchell County
Robert G. Young Was an Educator of Merit
Robert George Young was born 6/19/1926 in Mitchell County, the son of Frank B. Young (1894-1986) and Isabella Wilson Young (1897-1982). His great- grandfather was Greenberry...
W.G. Honeycutt – A Mitchell County Hero
Veterans Day is a holiday created to celebrate our real-life heroes. When we think of heroes, they often seem larger than life and we tend to forget they are real people. One...
James Oliver Young: World War II and Christian Hero
James Oliver Young was born to William Patrick Henry and Dora Sina Buchanan Young 31 August 1910 in the Clarissa community on Cane Creek. His siblings included Ethel Eve, Robert...
Making a living in Mitchell County
Mitchell County’s Mica Mine Murders
Waightstill Avery Anderson was a Mitchell County revenue officer. Anderson married Nora Bowman, the daughter of J.W. Bowman and Mary Garland. Anderson had the reputation as a man...
Thomas Greene: Soldier, Miner, Philanthropist
In 1870, the Mitchell County census listed three people as miners by profession or occupation. The 1880 census lists 81 people as being associated with mines and mining. At the...
Brad Ragan ~ Spruce Pine’s “hard-driving, cigar-chomping businessman.”
Bradley Eugene Ragan was born 14 May 1915 in Coleman, Georgia, the son of W.E. and Lillian Brown Ragan. Ragan was the founder and Chairman of the Board of Brad Ragan, Inc.,...
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.
Events in May 2023
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