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Bakersville

4.4
Bakersville is a town in Mitchell County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 464 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Mitchell County.HistoryIn prehistoric times, local mica deposits were extensively mined by Native Americans. The first Euro-American settlers arrived in the area after the American Revolution, establishing scattered homesteads. The town of Bakersville dates from the 1850s and was named for David Baker, one of the first to live in the area around 1790 and described as "a large land owner, innkeeper, merchant and political leader until about 1859, when he and his family migrated to the far west." Situated on the main route leading over Roan Mountain and westward into Tennessee, the town developed slowly. Traveler Frederick Law Olmsted passed through Bakersville in the early 1850s and noted that the "town" consisted of only a couple of cabins within a quarter-mile radius. In 1861, a post office was established and named Davis after Jefferson Davis. Following the Civil War, the county seat of newly created Mitchell County was relocated to the town that had been renamed Bakersville by the Republican state government, leading to the construction of a courthouse and a growth in population. In the 1870s, as mica became commercially valuable, the rich local deposits of the mineral caused a temporary economic boom. Bakersville is also home to the North Carolina Rhododendron Festival. The pageant attracts visitors from across the state and nation, most notably Richard Nixon in 1968.
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