Mike Queen, a native of Spruce Pine, North Carolina, says he has always loved “junk”. Mike says as a child, his first toys were a small hammer and saw, which he used to build his own creations, and from that time on he loved working with his hands. Mike had his first job at Gunter’s Machine Shop as a blacksmith/forge assistant at the age of fourteen.
Mike served in the US Marine Corps from 1971-1973 and then returned to Spruce Pine as a self-employed businessman. In 2000, Mike bought the old Gunter’s Machine Shop building and made it the base for his own small business, Superior Construction and Repair. It was during this time that he discovered old blacksmithing records left behind at the site. Mike consulted Bea Hensley, famous ironworker and former protégé of Daniel Boone IV about the records, and then began to learn from Bea the traditional methods of blacksmithing and forging. He opened Mineral City Forge in 2004, where he creates various handcrafted ironworks.
Mike and his wife Ruth have two children; Lacey and Bethany. He is a Deacon and Sunday school teacher at Berry Chapel Baptist Church and has served as a county commissioner.