The community of Mills River is not only nature’s wonderland, with Pisgah National Forest now located in the historic community and the beautiful agricultural valley, but it is also a treasure trove of the county’s history.
Much of the history of the people of Henderson County can be found in each community’s cemeteries and in the history of the churches.
There are three churches of early historical significance in the Mills River community – Mills River Presbyterian Church, Mills River United Methodist Church and Mills River Baptist Church on South Mills River Road.
There are separate articles for the Presbyterian and Methodist churches. There is no cemetery at Mills River Baptist Church, but the church is connected to three family cemeteries – Rickman Family Cemetery, Sitton-Gillespie Family Cemetery and Whitaker Family Cemetery.
There are other family cemeteries located in Mills River – Bryson, Stuart, Owenby-Moore, Ballard – and an old slave cemetery.
There are three other churches with cemeteries in the historic community of Mills River. These churches were organized later, but have histories and cemeteries of historic value: Mount Gilead Baptist Church, Fanning Chapel United Methodist Church and Boyleston Baptist Church.
Please click on the links below to read more detailed information on some of the historic churches and cemeteries in Mills River.