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:



NOW: FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS!

Just in time for the holidays, all orders from the MCHS Online Store feature FREE SHIPPING. There is no minimum purchase. Select your items and check out. It’s that simple!

VISIT THE STORE

2018 Christmas Ornament

Photo of the 2018 Cloudland Hotel OrnamentThe 2018 Mitchell County Historical Society Christmas Ornament celebrates the heyday of the Cloudland Hotel. It is decorated with a drawing of the famous resort that appeared in a newspaper ad in the 1890s along with a sprig of the famous rhododendron that appears in the largest naturally-occurring rhododendron gardens in the world atop Roan Mountain. A brief version of its history is included on the back.

This keepsake is perfect for anyone who has an interest in Roan Mountain and the grandeur of resort hotels from the late 19th Century. It is glass and comes in a box to protect it during shipment and storage.

The ornament is $22 and can be ordered online by clicking the button below. You can also purchase ornaments at the MCHS office located in the Mitchell County Historic Courthouse in Bakersville during business hours (Wednesday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.).





Photo of the front page of the Third-Quarter MCHS 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 CURRENT 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

Toecane

Toecane

This central Mitchell County community is located at the junction of the North Toe River and Cane Creek. At an elevation of 2,058 feet, it was once a major stop on the Clinchfield Railroad line. Many goods that came into the county by train were unloaded at the...

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Kalmia

Kalmia

Located in southeastern Mitchell County, Kalmia is named for the shrub that is commonly known as mountain laurel. Kalmia grows naturally in the area and was named for named after the Finnish botanist Pehr Kalm, who collected it in eastern North America during the 18th...

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People

Significant Individuals

1950 Pitman Reunion on Hawkins Branch

1950 Pitman Reunion on Hawkins Branch

Summer is the time for family reunions!  This photo shows a reunion held in the Summer of 1950 at the home of Adam and Kate Pitman on Hawkins Branch Road.  Those gathered are the descendants of Gilbert and Mary Turbyfill Pitman. Gilbert Pitman was one of the 13 men...

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History

Happenings of note

Baptism at Pigeon Roost

Baptism at Pigeon Roost

Baptisms in a creek or river were once the rule rather than the exception for Appalachian Christians. Even if they hadn’t believed immersion in an outside body of water was appropriate, it was some time before indoor plumbing would have made a baptistery inside a...

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The Roan may become Sun Valley of the South

Don’t go looking for your skis just yet; however, this idea has an interesting history going back at least to 1920. It is well known that General John Wilder had a smaller retreat constructed on the Roan in 1877 and then in 1885 built the iconic Cloudland Hotel, which...

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Communities

Unique locales in Mitchell County

Toecane

Toecane

This central Mitchell County community is located at the junction of the North Toe River and Cane Creek. At an elevation of 2,058 feet, it was once a major stop on the Clinchfield Railroad line. Many goods that came into the county by train were unloaded at the...

read more
Kalmia

Kalmia

Located in southeastern Mitchell County, Kalmia is named for the shrub that is commonly known as mountain laurel. Kalmia grows naturally in the area and was named for named after the Finnish botanist Pehr Kalm, who collected it in eastern North America during the 18th...

read more

Icons

These define Mitchell County

The Glen Ayre Rambler – Wayne Ledford

The Glen Ayre Rambler – Wayne Ledford

This article courtesy of Blue Ridge Natural Heritage Area  www.blueridgeheritage.com/traditional-artist-directory/wayne-ledford Wayne Ledford was born into a musical family in the Little Rock Creek community of Mitchell County, and he has been playing for more than 75...

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Oscar “Red” Wilson – A Mitchell County Treasure

Oscar “Red” Wilson – A Mitchell County Treasure

Article From The North Carolina Arts Council - NC Department of Cultural Resources Oscar "Red" Wilson - A MITCHELL COUNTY TREASURE Growing up in Avery County before World War II, Red Wilson learned fiddle and banjo tunes that have their origins in the pioneer musical...

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Economics

Making a living in Mitchell County

Penland Post Office and General Store

Penland Post Office and General Store

The building which houses the Penland Post Office and, for many years, a general mercantile, was constructed in 1902 by Isaac Bailey, a Confederate Colonel and later NC Senator from Mitchell County.  Two years later, Bailey and his wife, Louisa Penland, donated land...

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Peterson Store in Huntdale

Peterson Store in Huntdale

The tiny town of Huntdale, NC, became a thriving community after the Clinchfield Railroad made its way through the Nolichucky Gorge in the early 1900s. In 1890, the Clinchfield tracks reached Erwin, TN, which was less than 20 miles away from Huntdale.  Many Western...

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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.

December 2018
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
November 26, 2018 November 27, 2018 November 28, 2018 November 29, 2018 November 30, 2018 December 1, 2018 December 2, 2018
December 3, 2018 December 4, 2018 December 5, 2018 December 6, 2018 December 7, 2018 December 8, 2018 December 9, 2018
December 10, 2018 December 11, 2018 December 12, 2018 December 13, 2018 December 14, 2018 December 15, 2018 December 16, 2018
December 17, 2018 December 18, 2018 December 19, 2018 December 20, 2018 December 21, 2018 December 22, 2018 December 23, 2018
December 24, 2018 December 25, 2018 December 26, 2018 December 27, 2018 December 28, 2018 December 29, 2018 December 30, 2018
December 31, 2018 January 1, 2019 January 2, 2019 January 3, 2019 January 4, 2019 January 5, 2019 January 6, 2019
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