NOTICE: The MCHS Office has re-opened.

Visitors are welcome to stop by our office, but we would appreciate a phone call (828-688-4371) before your visit.
Social distancing and other suggested measures by the State of North Carolina are in effect.
Office hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays.

The Corona Times

MCHS Documents the
Corona Virus Pandemic

 

Photo of Inez Blevins McRae

Inez McRae
Memorial Scholarship

Emma Carpenter is  the
2020 recipient.


Vendor Applications
Now Being Taken

 

SAVE THE DATE: October 17, 2020

Tell Your Story.

We are committed to saving and sharing
the stories of Mitchell County’s
people, places, and events.
Won’t you join us?

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, which means your donations are tex-deductible under the limitations of tax law. Your contributions help us continue our work.

Please consider making an online donation by clicking the button below.




Penland Cemetery Project

MCHS is seeking help with an important project we have undertaken. The historic Penland Cemetery in Bakersville has suffered from years of neglect, with vandals overturning tombstones and the plot becoming grown-over with trees and underbrush. We have begun efforts to repair the road to the cemetery and restore it so visitors and researchers have easy access. Learn more about the Penland Cemetery project and how you can help..

The 2020 Christmas Ornament

Photo of the Good Will Free Library Christmas OrnamentThe 2020 Mitchell County Historical Society Christmas Ornament honors the Good Will Free Library, constructed by Dr. Charles H. Wing who retired to Mitchell County after a distinguished academic career. He made it his mission to bring education to residents, providing vocational training and opening a library filled with many of his own books that he loaned throughout the county. It was during its time the largest public library in North Carolina.

VISIT THE MCHS ONLINE STORE FOR DETAILS >> 

MCHS Membership & Newsletter

Image of the front cover of the Third Quarter MCHS NewsletterBig changes are coming soon for members of the Mitchell County Historical Society in 2020

Discounts on merchandise purchased from the MCHS store are but one of the many goodies for members of MCHS. In fact, we have a preview of one of the new features available right now: our redesigned newsletter, 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 2020 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!

 


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

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....

read more

People

Significant Individuals

The Lewis Men of Pigeon Roost and their Mustaches

The Lewis Men of Pigeon Roost and their Mustaches

  This photograph, made in 1886, appeared in a Tri-County News article on 2/27/1969.  It shows several men from the Lewis family of Pigeon Roost.  Massey Lewis, who supplied the photo, said that the men all “let the hair grow on their lips” specifically in...

read more

History

Happenings of note

April Fools

April Fools

According to Wikipedia, April Fools’ Day is “an annual custom on April 1, consisting of practical jokes and hoaxes.”  April Fools’ Day is not a public holiday in any nation, but it is commonly observed around the world. Some historians suggest the basis of the April...

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Communities

Unique locales in Mitchell County

Estatoe

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. Because their love would never be accepted by either’s families, they jumped from a precipice...

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Icons

These define Mitchell County

“Doc” Hoppes – The Minstrel of Brushy Creek

“Doc” Hoppes – The Minstrel of Brushy Creek

Mitchell County was well represented at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1933. Miss Lucy Morgan of Penland unveiled the “Carolina Cabin” at the event that showcased the handicrafts, music, folklore, and people of the Southern Highlands. An unusual attraction was scheduled...

read more

Economics

Making a living in Mitchell County

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Oh, Christmas Tree!

In 2005 the Fraser fir (Abies fraseri) was adopted as the official state Christmas tree of North Carolina. The idea came from eighth-graders in Mr. Chris Hollifield's North Carolina History Class at Spruce Pine’s Harris Middle School who petitioned legislators to...

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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.

June 2020
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
May 31, 2020 June 1, 2020 June 2, 2020 June 3, 2020 June 4, 2020 June 5, 2020 June 6, 2020
June 7, 2020 June 8, 2020 June 9, 2020 June 10, 2020 June 11, 2020 June 12, 2020 June 13, 2020
June 14, 2020 June 15, 2020 June 16, 2020 June 17, 2020 June 18, 2020 June 19, 2020 June 20, 2020
June 21, 2020 June 22, 2020 June 23, 2020 June 24, 2020 June 25, 2020 June 26, 2020 June 27, 2020
June 28, 2020 June 29, 2020 June 30, 2020 July 1, 2020 July 2, 2020 July 3, 2020 July 4, 2020
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