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Palmer-Marsh House in Historic Bath, NC, built 1751.  Historic Photos.

Palmer-Marsh House in Bath, NC, built 1751.

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Historical Museum Guide for North Carolina

A directory of Historical Museums in North Carolina, categorized by county and place.

Taking a trip to North Carolina?  A visit to these local North Carolina history museums and historic sites will allow you to soak up some local history and culture while you are there.  Visit a historical museum and gain insight into the history of early North Carolina peoples.

Some history museums have virtual tours, place histories, history timelines, genealogy data and historic old photos to view online.  They have been included to give you an opportunity to visit them without leaving home.

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A historian has many duties. Allow me to remind you of two which are important. The first is not to slander; the second is not to bore.... Voltaire

 

 

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North Carolina History Museums

NC Museums Museum of the Albemarle

The museum is focused on the history of 13 counties in the northeastern part of North Carolina.  These counties include Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, Northampton, Perquimans, Pasquotank, Tyrell and Washington.  The area was once known as the Albemarle region.  Located at 501 South Water Street in Elizabeth City, NC.

 

Alamance County Museums

Alamance Battleground

[History of Battle of Alamance]

The battle of Alamance was fought between the Regulators and the royal governor William Tryon's militia in 1771.  Living history re-enactments are featured during special events.  Also located on the grounds is the Allen House, a log structure like those lived in by the frontier people of the colony in the time period of the Battle of Alamance.  Located at 5803 N.C. 62 South in Burlington, NC.

Alamance County Historical Museum

[History]  [Photos]

Housed inside the 1790 plantation home of Michael Holt III, the museum features three period rooms with mid-nineteenth century furnishings on the first floor.  Upstairs, visitors will find a period bedroom and two rooms filled with exhibits and artifacts related to the history of Alamance County, North Carolina.  Located outside on the property are a restored granary and carriage house along with vintage gardens.  Located at 4777 NC Highway 62 South in Burlington, NC.

Cedarock Park

Cedarock Historical Farm is located inside the park.  It has been restored to the 1900 time period, complete with farm animals and antique farm equipment.  The farm represents what life was like in North Carolina during the 19th century.  Located inside Cedarock Park at 4242 R. Dean Coleman Road in Burlington, NC.

Haw River Museum

[Photo Gallery]  [History]

Operated by the Haw River Historical Association, the museum is housed in the former firehall built in the 1800s and features many historic artifacts, photos and memorabilia related to the history of Haw River.  Located at 201 East Main Street in Haw River, NC.

Mebane Historical Society & Museum

The museum is housed inside the old Mebane High School and features historical items and artifacts related to the history of Mebane.  Located at 209 West Jackson Street in Mebane, NC.

Textile Heritage Museum at Glencoe

[History]  [View the Exhibits]

Focus is on the textile history of Alamance County and the surrounding Piedmont area.  The Textile Heritage Museum is housed inside the former 1880 Company Store and Office Building in the Glencoe Mill Village.  Located at 2406 Glencoe Street in historic Glencoe Village.

 

Alexander County Museums Linney's Mill

Linney's Mill was originally built in 1790 by Richard Cook.  It has stood on the same spot in Alexander County, North Carolina for over 220 years.  Today, it is a working mill and produces corn meal.  Visitors can watch the grinding process which is powered by a water wheel on Rocky Creek.  Located off of NC Highway 115 about 20 miles north of Statesville by Rock Creek on Linney's Mill Road.

Lucas Mansion / Hiddenite Center

[Photos]

Lucas Mansion was built ca 1900.  It has been restored and features exhibits of art and local history along with large collections of dolls and local gemstones.  Located at 316 Hiddenite Church Road in Hiddenite, NC.

Old Jail Museum

[Photos]

The historic 1913 jailhouse of Taylorsville was closed in 1970 and has been preserved.  It is considered one of the oldest public buildings in Alexander County and one of the oldest jailhouses still standing in North Carolina.  The jailhouse features a small museum about the former jailers and their families who lived in the jail and supervised the prisoners.  The old jailhouse also holds a genealogical research library for those researching their family history.  Located at 205 Main Avenue SE in downtown Taylorsville, NC.

 

Alleghany County Museums Alleghany Historical Museum

Operated by the Alleghany Historical-Genealogical Society, the primary focus of the museum is on the local heritage of Alleghany County and features a variety of historic artifacts and exhibits.  Located at 7 North Main Street in downtown Sparta, NC.

 

Anson County Museums Alexander-Little Wing

Alexander Little added the wing to the the original structure in 1839.  The house today is operated by the Anson County Historical Society as a museum and features beautiful antique furnishings.  Located at 206 E. Wade Street in Wadesoro, NC.

Ashe-Covington Medical Museum

Housed inside the small building built around 1890 and owned by Dr. Edmund S. Ashe, the museum has a collection of medical artifacts and items showing the vital role of the medical profession in the lives of Anson County residents.  Located at East Wade and Washington Street in Wadesboro NC.

Boggan-Hammond House

The 18th-century house was built by Captain Patrick Boggan, one of the founders of Wadesboro, North Carolina.  The house has been restored and is furnished with period furnishings, some original.  Located at 206 E. Wade Street in Wadesboro, NC.

Museum of Early America in the Leavitt House

Built in 1832, the Leavitt House is the oldest commercial building still in use in Anson County.  In the mid 1800s, the house was used as an Inn and in later years, it was used as a Funeral Home.  Today, it is a museum and houses the Tom Little artifacts, the F. C. Allen Arrowhead collection and a Wadesboro High School Memorabilia room along with other collections of historical artifacts and antiquities.  Located at 101 W. Martin Street in Wadesboro, NC.

 

Ashe County Museums Museum of Ashe County History, Inc.

Museum of Ashe County History on Facebook

Housed inside the historic 1904 Ashe County Courthouse building, the museum is devoted to the preservation of the rich heritage of Ashe County,  The museum is still a work in progress.  Located at 301 East Main Street in Jefferson, NC.

Oconaluftee Visitor Center

[History, Stories and Photos]

The Visitor Center museum exhibits relate the history of the Great Smoky Mountains from the time of the Native Americans and early European settlement through the CCC and development of the national park.  The Mountain Farm Museum features several log structures and depicts what farm life was like here in earlier times.  Located inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at 527 Ashe Park Road in Jefferson, NC.

 

Avery County Museums

Avery County Historical Museum

Devoted to the preservation and display of artifacts, photographs and documents related to the rich history of Avery County and the surrounding Toe River Valley.  Housed in the old county jail, the museum also includes a new research room where you will find material to help with family research.  Located at 1829 Shultz Circle in Newland, NC.

Burleson Cabin

[Burlesons of Plumtree, NC]

Built by the Burleson family, Burleson Cabin is known as the oldest log cabin still standing in Avery County, the cabin dates to the Revolutionary War time period.  The cabin has been restored and is being preserved in Plumtree, NC.

 

Beaufort County Museums

Aurora Fossil Museum

Focused on increasing the knowledge of the geology and paleontology of the coastal plains of North Carolina.  The museum features the "Pit of the Pungo", an unlimited source of Miocene age fossils where visitors, young and old, may find their own fossils.  Located at 400 Main Street in Aurora, NC.

Belhaven Memorial Museum

The Belhaven Memorial Museum is focused on the collection, preservation and display of historical artifacts and items related to the local history of the Belhaven area and eastern North Carolina.  Located on East Main Street (Business 264) on the second floor of the old Belhaven Town Hall.

Historic Bath State Historic Site

[Historic Postcard Photos]  [Virtual Tour of Historic Bath]

The original Bath town boundaries are today considered the Bath Historic District.  The site boasts the restored 1734 St. Thomas Episcopal Church, the Palmer-Marsh House, the ca. 1790 Van Der Veer House, Glebe House (a private residence) and the 1830 Bonner House.  See the Map and Directions to the historic Bath site.

North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort

[View the Exhibits]  [NC Maritime Museum in Beaufort on Facebook]

The North Carolina Maritime Museum features exhibits about North Carolina's rich seafood industry, lighthouse, sailboats and motorboats.  The museum is the official repository for artifacts from Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge, the pirate ship that ran aground in Beaufort in 1718.

Pantego Academy Historical Museum

Housed in the old Pantego Academy (Ye Olde Academy), the museum offers a glimpse into the past days of Pantego, North Carolina.  Located at 46 Academy Street in Pantego, NC.

 

Bertie County Museums

Historic Homes of Bertie County

Hope Plantation  [History and Info]

Built in 1803 by NC Governor David Stone, the beautiful mansion has been restored and is open to the public with guided tours.  The 1763 King Bazemore House has been moved to the site and is also open for tours.  132 Hope House Road, Windsor, NC.

 

Bladen County Museums

Bladenboro Farm Life School

Operating from 1917-1991, the Farm Life School building today, houses the Bladenboro Historical Society along with a variety of museums and other activities.  Along with the many museums housed in the historical school building, there is a Family History Room operated by the Mother County Genealogical Society, the BVAC art gallery, a schoolroom,  .  Museums include:

  • Town Museum where historical data, photos and other memorabilia relate the history of Bladenboro. 

  • Crafts Museum features a wonderful variety of crafted buildings and other craft items on display.

  • Colonel Earl E. Frink Military Museum is a memorial dedicated to the men and women of Bladenboro who have served in the armed forces.

The Bladenboro Historical Society is located at 818 South Main Street in Bladenboro, NC.

Harmony Hall Plantation

Harmony Hall Plantation on Facebook

Harmony Hall Plantation is the 1760s home of Colonel James Richardson.  Along with the historic plantation house, there are several historical buildings on the grounds including a one-room schoolhouse.  Located on the Cape Fear River at 1615 River Road in White Oak, NC.

 

Brunswick County Museums

Brunswick Town / Fort Anderson

Brunswick Town  / Fort Anderson on Facebook

Brunswick Town was a major pre-Revolutionary port on Cape Fear River.  It was destroyed by British troops in 1776, never to be rebuilt.  Fort Anderson was built on top of the old Brunswick Town site during the Civil War.  A Visitors Center features a museum with exhibits, artifacts and even a video relating the history of Brunswick Town / Fort Anderson.  Located at 8884 St. Phillips Road SE in Winnabow, NC.

North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport

The museum tells the story of the Cape Fear region, the people and their relationship to the water.  Located at 204 E. Moore Street in Southport, NC.

Old Jail Museum

Built in 1904, the Old Brunswick County Jail serves today as a museum.  Operated by the Southport Historical Society, it is located on the corner of Nash and Rhett Streets in Southport, NC.

 

Buncombe County Museums

aSHEville Museum

The premier women's cultural museum in the southeast.  Located at 35 Wall Street in Asheville, NC.

Basilica of St. Lawrence

[Brochure PDF File]

Built in 1909, the Basilica of St. Lawrence is a beautiful Catholic Church still holding services.  Visitors are welcome to tour the historic church.  Located at 97 Haywood Street in Asheville, NC.

Biltmore

America's largest home has 250 rooms with an 8000 acre backyard where visitors can enjoy hiking, fishing, horseback riding and many other activities.  Located at One Lodge Street in Asheville, NC.

Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center

The museum is focused on the history of Black Mountain College and the arts.  Located at 56 Broadway in Asheville, NC.

Grove Arcade

[History]

The historic Grove Arcade first opened in 1929, full of shops and merchants.  During WWII, the Federal Government took over use of the building.  Today, the building has been declared a National Historical Place and has been restored and reopened in 2002.  Featuring shops, restaurants, offices and apartments, the Arcade is thriving and a fun place to visit.  Located at 1 Page Avenue in Asheville, NC.

Pack Place

Pack Place is a complex in the Pack Square Cultural District and includes several museums.  The Ashville Art Museum, Colburn Earth Science Museum, the Diana Wortham Theatre and the YMI Cultural Center are all part of the complex.  Guided tours and walking tours of Asheville, North Carolina are also offered from this location. Pack Place is a recommended starting point for visitors to Asheville.  Located at 2 South Pack Square in Asheville, NC.

Smith-McDowell House Museum

Built ca.1840, the mansion is the oldest surviving house in Asheville and the oldest brick house still standing in Buncombe County, North Carolina.  The beautifully restored mansion was once the home of mayors, a Civil War major and friends of the Vanderbilts.  Exhibits are focused on the history of the area, the house and the people.  Located at 283 Victoria Road in Asheville, NC.

The Southern Appalachian Radio Museum

[Inside the Museum]

The museum features exhibits of vintage radios, radio equipment, microphones and other items related to radio.  Located in Room 315 of the Elm Building at A-B Technical Community College at 340 Victoria Road in Asheville, NC.

Swannanoa Valley Museum

[History]  [Virtual Tour]

This Buncombe County Museum is focused on the preservation and interpretation of the social, cultural and natural history of the Swannanoa Valley.    Located at 223 West State Street in Black Mountain, NC.

Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site

The historic house known as "Old Kentucky Home" was novelist Thomas Wolfe's childhood home.  Tours of the home are featured and a visitor's center provides information on the life of Thomas Wolfe and his contributions to literature.  Located at 52 North Market Street in Asheville, NC.

YMI Cultural Center

Built in 1893, the Young Men's Institute (YMI) is one of America's oldest African American Institutions.  This celebration of culture is located at 39 South Market Street in Asheville, NC.

 

Burke County Museums

Burke Heritage Museum

Housed inside the historic Old Burke County Courthouse, the museum features changing exhibits related to Burke County history.  Other exhibits educate visitor about the NC Supreme Court sessions held during the 19th century in the Old Burke County Courthouse.  Located on Courthouse Square in Morganton, NC.

Burke County Historic Sites  

[County History]

Greene Street Railroad Depot

Built in 1886, this train depot has been restored to it's 1916 appearance and opened as a museum displaying artifacts related to the railroad in North Carolina and in particular, Morganton.  Located at 624 South Green Street in Morganton, NC.

The History Museum of Burke County

Visitors will find artifacts, photographs and documents related to the history of Burke County.  The museum has an extensive collection of early photos of Valdese, Morganton and the surrounding areas in Burke County.  Located at 201 West Meeting Street in Morganton, NC.

McDowell House at Quaker Meadows

The historic home built by Captain Charles McDowell Jr. in 1812 has been restored and allows visitors to get a glimpse of what life was like in the 19th century.  the house is available for rental for special events.  Located at 119 St. Mary's Church Road in Morganton, NC.

North Carolina School for the Deaf Museum

Housed inside the 1870 home of the former school superintendent, the museum features displays of historical artifacts, vintage clothing, yearbooks, school publications, photographs, scrapbooks and other documentation of the school.  The museum also provides information about the first deaf school in Raleigh, NC.  Located at 517 W Fleming Drive in Morganton, NC.

Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr. Library and Museum

[Photo Albums]  [Museum Virtual Tour]

The museum presents memorabilia, the Senator's library and other items related to the life and times of Senator Sam J. Ervin Jr.  Located at 1001 Burkemont Avenue in Morganton, NC.

Waldensian Museum

Devoted to the history of the early Italian settlers of Burke County.  Located on Rodoret Street in Valdese, NC.  The Trail of Faith is an exhibit depicting the events of the Waldensian people and their persecution and migration to Valdese, NC.  This exhibit is found next to the Old Colony Players Amphitheater where an outdoor drama of these events is held during summer months.  The Amphitheater is located on Church Street in Valdese.

 

Cabarrus County Museums Bost Grist Mill   [History]

Established ca 1810 and operating since the early 1800s, the Bost Mill is still using the same French Buhr Millstone to grind conrmeal and grits.  The mill is opened for tours during special events.  The mill and grounds are quite picturesque.  Located on NC Hwy 200, a few miles from Reed Gold Mine.

Cabarrus County Historical Moments on YouTube

A collection of YouTube videos with retired Judge Clarence Horton as the host telling much about the history of Cabarrus County, NC.

The Cabarrus County Veterans Museum

The museum is operated by the Cabarrus Historical Association is devoted to honoring the Cabarrus County servicemen and women who have served in the armed services.  Located at 65 Church Street in Concord, NC.

The Concord Museum

The museum houses historical artifacts from the pioneer days of Cabarrus County through the twentieth century.  Located in the historic courthouse at 65 Union Street in downtown Concord, NC.

Eastern Cabarrus Historical Society Museum

Located in the Mt. Pleasant Collegiate Institute building which was erected in 1855.  Over 30 rooms hold the history of the people and culture of Eastern Cabarrus County.  Located at 1100 Main Street North in Mount Pleasant, NC.

GI Memorial House Museum

The museum is a memorial to the small GI Houses built after WWII for the returning GI's who wanted to marry and had no place to live.  Located at 905 King Street in Kannopolis, NC.

Reed Gold Mine   [History]

Declared a NC state historic site, it is the first documented gold discovery in the United States.  Discovered on the property of German John Reed in 1799 by his son Conrad Reed while fishing, the first find weighed over 17 pounds and was used as a doorstop for several years before it was known that the discovery was gold. Reed and his subsequent partners became quite wealthy.  Since 1977, the site provides a visitor center, underground tunnels, information and film about early mining history, an operating stamp mill and trails.  Visitors can pan for gold just as in the "olden days".  Located at 9621 Reed Mine Rd. in Midland, NC.  Phone number is (704) 721-GOLD.

 

Caldwell County Museums Caldwell Heritage Museum

[Caldwell County History]

Focused on the collection, preservation and dissemination of the history of Caldwell County for generations to come, the museum is housed inside a historical building which was once part of Davenport College.  Exhibits take visitors on a chronological history tour of Caldwell County from pre-colonial days to the present time.  Located at 112 Valden Street SW in Lenoir, NC.

Fort Defiance

[History]

Living History Days is held on the rounds of historic Fort Defiance annually.  Visitors will learn about life on the 18th century frontier through demonstrations by skilled interpreters and craftsmen.  Located off of Highway 268, 5.5 miles northeast of Highway 321. Physical address is 1792 Fort Defiance Drive in Lenoir, NC.

Hudson Depot Railroad Museum

Housed inside the former train depot, the museum chronicles the history of the town of Hudson and the local railroad industry.  Located at 550 Central Street in Hudson, NC.

 

Camden County Museums Camden County Heritage Museum

Housed in the old Camden County Jail built ca 1910, exhibits are displayed related to the early history of Camden County.  Located at the Camden County Courthouse, 117 North Highway 343 in Camden, NC.

Dismal Swamp State Park

The Visitor Center / Exhibit Hall features exhibits about the history of Dismal Swamp and why it was important in the Underground Railroad.  Located at 2294 US 17 North in South Mills, NC.

 

Carteret County Museums

Fort Macon State Park

[Virtual Tour of Fort Macon]  [History]

Construction of Fort Macon began in 1826 and the fort was garrisoned in 1834.  Fort Macon was actively used through the Civil War and after the was was used as a Civil & Military Prison until 1877.  It was again used during the Spanish American War and in 1903, the fort was abandoned.  In 1924, it became a North Carolina State Park.  Visitors to the park may tour the old Fort Macon.  Exhibits and displays will educate visitors about the history of Fort Macon and the people who have occupied it over the years.  Located at 2303 East Fort Macon Road in Atlantic Beach, NC.

North Carolina Maritime Museum  

[Photo Gallery]

Discover North Carolina's maritime heritage through exhibits, hands-on programs and field trips.  Located at 315 Front Street in Beaufort, NC.

 

Caswell County Museums Richmond-Miles History Museum

Housed in the 1822 Gatewood House, the museum is devoted to the history of Caswell County.  Open for tours but check for days and times.  Located at 15 Main Street in Yanceyville, NC.

 

Catawba County Museums

Bunker Hill Covered Bridge

The Bunker Hill Bridge was built in 1895 and today is one of only two original covered bridges in North Carolina which remain.  Located on Hwy 70, two miles east of Claremont, NC.

Catawba County Firefighters Museum

[Virtual Tour]

The museum features vintage fire trucks, firefighting equipment, fire warning lights, signals, alarms and other items related to the firefighting history of Catawba County.  Located at 3957 Herman Sipe Road in Conover, NC.

Catawba County Museum of History

This history museum is housed in the stately old 1924 Catawba County courthouse.  Focused on the history of the Catawba River Valley area, exhibits include Civil War artifacts and uniforms, a variety of agricultural implements and tools, and a 1920 medical office along with a Library and Archives for researchers.   Location is 15 North College Ave. in Newton, NC.

Harper House - Hickory History Center

The Harper House has been restored and features both the local history of Hickory and the Victorian lifestyle of the south ca 1887.  On the same property, is the Lyerly House which also features interpretation of Hickory, North Carolina's rich heritage.  Located at 310 N. Center Street in Hickory, NC.

Murray's Mill Historic District

The first mill at this site was built in 1883 by William Murray.  The mill at this historic site today, was built in 1913 by John Murray.  The Murray family were also the proprietors of the 1890s O. D. Murray and Company general store, where you can shop for old fashioned candies and items.  Also open for tours is the John Murray House, built in 1912 and furnished in period furnishings.

 

Chatham County Museums Chatham Historical Museum

A display of the early history of Chatham County is located inside the Chatham County Courthouse.  It is operated by the Chatham County Historical Association who are also in the process of restoring two log houses and operate the Charles Manley's Law Office.  Located in the Chatham County Courthouse in the center of Pittsboro, NC.

 

Cherokee County Museums

Cherokee County Historical Museum

Featuring over 5000 Cherokee Indian artifacts, the museum reflects on the life of the Cherokee Indian Tribe prior to the Trail of Tears removal to Oklahoma.  Located at 87 Peachtree Street in Murphy, NC.

 

Chowan County Museums Barker House

Built in 1782, the house was home to Thomas and Penelope Barker.  Penelope Barker was involved in the Edenton Tea Party.  Today, the house is home to the Edenton Historical Commission and a Welcome Center featuring information, maps, trolley tours of historic sites, exhibits and a gift shop.  Located at 505 S. Broad Street in Edenton, NC.

The Cupola House

[History]  [Virtual Tour]

Built in 1758 by Francis Corbin, the Cupola House was purchased by Dr. Samuel Dickinson in 1768 and his descendants lived in the home for over 141 years and then the house was almost gone to ruin.  The house was saved by the Cupola House Association in 1918 and has been restored and preserved featuring lovely gardens.  Guided tours are available and the gardens are open daily for visitors to enjoy.  Located at 408 S. Broad Street in Edenton, NC.

Edenton Cotton Mill Museum of History

[History]  [Photos]

The Mill Village features over 70 buildings and is considered one of the most well preserved intact mill villages still extant in the state of North Carolina.  The museum offers exhibits related to the history of the Mill Village and the impact on the people of Edenton.  Housed inside the former cotton mill office in the Mill Village located at 420 Elliot Street in Edenton, NC.

The Roanoke River Lighthouse

[History]  [Photo Gallery]

The Roanoke River Lighthouse operated from 1887-1941 in the Albemarle Sound and guarding the entrance to Roanoke River near Plymouth.  Today the lighthouse overlooks Edenton Bay and has been lovingly restored and furnished.  Visitors may tour the lighthouse.  Located at 108 North Broad Street in Edenton, NC.

 

Clay County Museums Clay County Historical & Arts Museum

Housed in the 1912 Clay County Jail, the history museum relates the history of Clay County, NC to visitors through exhibits and photographs.  Many Indian artifacts and antique farm equipment are on display.  Located at 21 Davis Loop in Hayesville, NC.

John C. Campbell Folk School

[History]

Patterned after the folkehojskole (folk schools) located in early rural Denmark, this folk school opened in the 1920's as a way of bringing education to rural families.  Today, folk classes are offered and bring history, folk arts and crafts, music, dance, cooking, gardening and more to a non competitive learning experience.

One Folk School Road

Brasstown, NC 28902

Cherokee Homestead

Visitors will find the Cherokee Village that is replicated from historical records and features exhibits of Cherokee history and art.  Live demonstrations are performed on special occasions.  Haysville, NC.

 

Cleveland County Museums Cleveland County Historical Museum

Housed inside the 1907 Cleveland County Courthouse, the history museum is devoted to the early peoples and life in Cleveland County.  A living history program brings the early times in Shelby to life.  Located in the Court Square in Shelby, NC.

Kings Mountain Historical Fire Museum

The collection includes antique fire trucks and equipment and the history of the fire department in Kings Mountain.  Located at 210 Cleveland Avenue in Kings Mountain, NC.

Kings Mountain Historical Museum

Learn about the early history of Kings Mountain.  Check for times open as it is not open at all times.  Located at 100 E. Mountain Street in Kings Mountain, NC.

Lawndale Museum & Metcalfe Station

Operated by the Lawndale Historical Society, the museum is located at 119 Piedmont Drive in Lawndale, NC.

 

Columbus County Museums

1870 Mt. Tabor School House and Tabor City Depot Museum

The 1870 Schoolhouse holds historical artifacts related to rural education in eastern North Carolina.  There are original photos, textbooks and histories of the school featured in displays as well.  The Tabor City Depot Museum features artifacts and photos related to the local history of Tabor City.  Located at 103 East Fourth Street in Tabor City, NC.

Chadbourn Depot Museum

Chadbourn Depot Museum on Facebook

Built in 1910, Chadbourn Depot is used today as a museum.  The train depot has been lovingly restored and holds historical artifacts including model railroads, period furnishings and railroad memorabilia.  Located at 201 West First Avenue in Chadbourn, NC.

Fair Bluff Depot Museum

Built in 1887, the Fair Bluff Railroad Depot holds the Museum which is filled with historical artifacts and items related to the history of Fair Bluff, NC.  Located at 339 Railroad Street in Fair Bluff, NC.

Lake Waccamaw Depot Museum

[Photo Gallery]

The Atlantic Coastline Railroad Depot was completed in 1904.  The museum holds historical artifacts related to the history of Waccamaw.  Located at 201 Flemmington Avenue in Lake Waccamaw, NC.

North Carolina Museum of Forestry

The museum is focused on the natural history and cultural heritage of the forests of North Carolina.  Located at 415 South Madison Street in Whiteville, NC.

 

Craven County Museums

Battle of New Bern, Civil War Battlefield Park

[Battlefield Brochure & Map]

Site of the Battle of New Bern on March 14, 1862, the New Bern Civil War Battlefield Park is located 5 miles east of the city of New Bern at the entrance to Taberna.

New Bern Fireman's Museum

[History]

Devoted to the history of firefighting in New Bern, NC, the museum is located at 408 Hancock Street in New Bern, NC.

Tryon Palace

Once the home to Governor William Tryon, the first governor of North Carolina, Tryon Palace, today is devoted to the dissemination of the history of North Carolina from the days of early settlement and statehood through the mid-twentieth century through the collection, interpretation and preservation of historical objects, buildings, landscapes and artifacts.  There are many historical buildings located around the Tryon Palace including the The 1830s Dixon House, The 1780s Stanley House, and The Robert Hay House along with the New Bern Academy Museum which was built ca. 1766 as the first publicly-chartered school in North Carolina.  The New Bern  Academy Museum interprets life in New Bern during the Federal period 1862-1865.  Visitors to the property will find themselves surrounded by beautiful period gardens.  Located at 529 South Front Street in New Bern, NC.

 

Cumberland County Museums

Airborne & Special Operations Museum Foundation

Featuring the military history of the airborne and special operations soldiers from 1940 to present time, the museum is located at 100 Bragg Blvd. in Fayetteville, NC.

Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum

Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum on Facebook

Housed inside the 1890 Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroad Depot, the museum relates the history of the local Fayetteville area from prehistoric times through the early 20th century.  Located at 325 Franklin Street in Fayetteville, NC.

Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex

The historical complex is located at 801 Arsenal Avenue in Fayetteville, NC and includes the following:

  • Museum of Cape Fear - The museum features two floors of exhibits related to the history of southern North Carolina from the time of the American Indians through the early 20th century.

  • 1897 Poe House - The historic house was home to the Poe family.  Edgar Allan Poe was a local businessman.  Today the house is open for tours and educates visitors on what life was like in the early twentieth century.

  • Arsenal Park - Visitors can explore the site of the arsenal which was used by both the Federal and Confederate governments in Civil War times. Signs tell some of the history of the arsenal.

Currituck County Museums

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

[History]  [Photos]

The historic lighthouse is 162 feet tall and was created with over 1 million bricks.  This outer banks light station has been restored and is open to visitors who are allowed to climb the 220 step winding staircase.  Exhibits inside the lighthouse tell the history of coastal lighthouses, Fresnel lens, shipwrecks and the lighthouse keepers who took care of them. Weddings are often held at the lighthouse.  Located in the historic Corolla Village off of Route 12. 

The Whalehead Club

[Photo Gallery]  [Historic Corolla Village]  [History of Whalehead]

Completed in 1925, the residence of the Edward Collings Knight, Jr. family was 5 stories tall and 21,000 square feet with modern conveniences, making it quite a marvel of it's time.  Today, the Whalehead Club has been preserved and restored to its original 1920s grandeur.  Visitors will see original and replicated furnishings representing the lifestyle of the Knight family while historical photos, documents and other items provide an insight into the history of Corolla Island and Whalehead.  Located at 1100 Club Road, Rt. 12 N in Corolla, NC.

 

Dare County Museums

Frisco Native American Museum

[Photo Gallery

Focus of the museum is on the collection and preservation of Native American artifacts, art and culture.  Many of the exhibits are related to the original inhabitants of Hatteras Island, North Carolina.  Located at 53536 Highway 12 in Frisco, NC.

Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum

[Shipwrecks]

The waters off the North Carolina's Outer Banks hold thousands of lost vessels and mariners who lost their lives there.  The museum is devoted to the history of those lost ships  and features historical artifacts and the maritime history of the Outer Banks.  Located at 59200 Museum Drive in Hatteras, NC.

Wright Brothers National Memorial

[Photos]  [History & Culture]

Focus is on the history of the first flights of the Wright Brothers and the tests which were conducted in Kill Devil Hills.  Located at 1000 North Croatan Highway in Kill Devil Hills, NC.

 

Davidson County

Davidson County Historical Museum

Housed inside the old 1858 Davidson County Courthouse on the Lexington square, the museum features historical artifacts, photographs and a collection of archival materials.  Visitors can view the judge's bench, jury box and prisoner holding cage.  Located on the square in Historic Uptown Lexington.

 

Durham County

Bennett Place - Civil War State Historic Site   [Photos]

This farmhouse was the location of the largest troop surrender of the American Civil War.  A visitor center including a museum gallery and a short film, tells the story of the Bennett family and the surrender of Confederate troops.  Located at 4409 Bennett Memorial Road in Durham, NC.

Duke Homestead and Tobacco Museum

[History]

The Duke Homestead is a beautiful 19th century home.  The museum offers visitors a look into the past when tobacco farming was prevalent in America.  Located at 2828 Duke Homestead Rd. in Durham, NC.

West Point Mill

[Hisotry of the Eno River Basin]

The historic mill on the Eno River in Durham City Park.  At one time there were many mills on the Eno River as the area was home to farmers and millers.  West Point Mil was a working mill from 1778-1942 and the core of this vital community.  This mill has been restored and is an actual working mill.  Goods are sold in the mill store.  Other historic buildings include the McCown-Mangum house, a ca 1840 farmhouse and the West Point tobacco packhouse which today houses an exhibit of Hugh Mangum's photographs.

 

Edgecomb County Blount Bridgers House Museum

The historic 1808 House is a National Historic Landmark and holds an art collection that celebrates the 200 year old material culture of Edgecomb County and native born artist Hobson Pittman.  Two other structures located on the grounds are the 1810 Silas Everett House which holds the Pender Museum filled with 19th century ceramics and Jugtown pottery and an 1845 farm house.  Located at 130 Bridgers St. in Tarboro, NC.

 

Forsyth County

Old Salem Living History Museum  

[Exhibits]  [Buildings]

Comprised of original museum buildings, rare antiques, authentic craftsman on site, the recreated village is a living history example of what life was like for early southerners.  The visitor can take a step back in time while enjoying shopping and learning in the museums: The Children's Museum, MESDA, and the Historic Town of Old Salem.  You will find a Research Library on site too. The village is home to The Fourth House which was built in 1768.  It is the oldest original structure in the Old Salem restoration area.  Located at 900 Old Salem Road, near downtown Winston-Salem, NC.

 

Gaston County

American Military Museum of Gastonia

The museum houses a college of military memorabilia from past wars.  One section is devoted specifically to the Rambling Rebels, a renowned North Carolina marching and music band.

The museum boasts the world's largest flying American flag which is reported to be seen as far as 30 miles away.

109 W. Franklin Blvd. in Gastonia, NC.

Belmont Historical Society's Cultural and Heritage Learning Center

Housed inside the 1899 R. L. Stowe House, the museum features artifacts and exhibits related to the history of Belmont, NC.  From the days when Indians roamed the land to the 1930s era, visitors will learn about the rich heritage of Belmont.  The facility includes a research library with genealogies of some early families.  Located at 40 Catawba Street in Belmont, NC.

Brevard Station Museum  [History of Stanley]

Devoted to developing an interest in the history of Stanley and bringing that history to Stanley's school children, residents and visitors.  Located at 112 South Main Street in Stanley, NC.

Gaston County Museum of History and Art  

[History]  [Historic Buildings]

The 1852 Hoffman Hotel building is home to the Gaston County Museum.  Early businessmen, leaders and farmers have all visited within the walls of this old hotel.  Housing over 5000 objects, 20,000 documents and 400,000 photographs, the museum is the ultimate place to learn about the history of Gaston County.  Located at 131 W. Main Street in Dallas, NC.

Schiele Museum of Natural History

Focused on early natural history, Indian history, Piedmont history , stone age history, and space science.  The exhibits take you from a Catawba Indian Village, to the Lynn Planetarium.  Something for everyone to do, see and learn.

1500 East Garrison Blvd.

Gastonia, NC

 

Greene County

Greene County Museum

Operated by the Greene County Arts and Historical Society, the museum houses a research library containing historical documents and photos related to the history of Greene County, NC.

Located at 107 NW Third Street in Snow Hill, NC.

 

Guilford County

Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum

Guilford Courthouse National Military Park   [The Battle]

On March 15th, 1781, one of the largest battles of the Revolutionary War was fought at Guilford Courthouse.  The visitors center offers exhibits explaining the battle and houses artifacts from the war.

2332 New Garden Rd., Greensboro, NC.

 

Hyde County Oracoke Preservation Society Museum

Housed in the historic house built by Captain David Williams around 1900, the museum features pieces of and historic artifacts from nearby Confederate Civil War Fort Oracoke along with exhibits of maritime objects, and items related to the history of the island.

 

Iredell County

Iredell Museums

Iredell Museum of Arts & Heritage offers over 30 acres of trails leading through a living history pioneer settlement.  Open for special events.  Statesville, NC.

 

Johnston County

Bentonville Battlefield   [Harper House History & Photos]

 

Lee County Old Gilliam Mill Park

Originally built in 1850 on Big Pocket Creek by Howell & John Gilliam, this one is a faithful reproduction built in 1879 up the creek from the original site.  Nearby are an old saw mill and kiln.  Highway 42 West in Sanford, NC.

Railroad House  [History of Downtown Sanford]

Operated by the Railroad House Historic Association, the museum is housed inside Sanford's oldest house.  Built in 1872, the house was home to the first mayor of Sanford. Exhibits are related to the history of Sanford and Lee County.  Located at 226 Carthage Street in Sanford, NC.

 

Lenoir County

Richard Caswell Memorial

USS Neuse State Historical Site

 

Lincoln County Lincoln County Museum of History

The mission of the Lincoln Cultural Center is to enhance the lives of people of Lincoln County with offerings of history, art and culture.  Housed inside the cultural center, the history museum is devoted to the history of Lincoln County.  Located at 403 E. Main Street in Lincolnton, NC.

 

Macon County

Macon County Historical Society & Museum

Housed in the 100 year old Pendergrass Store, the museum offers history of the Macon County area including Cherokee artifacts.  The society offers many published books related to Macon County hisotry.  Located at 36 W. Main Street in Franklin, NC.

 

Martin County Asa Biggs House

An 1831 home housing the Martin County Historical Society, Visitor's Center and the County Travel and Tourism Office.  Location is 100 East Church Street in Williamston, NC.

Daniel Staton Mill  (The Big Mill)

An old working mill where corn meal is ground.  Located at 2710 Holly Springs Church Road in Williamston, NC.

Fort Branch Civil War Site   [History]  [Re-enactment]

A Confederate earthern fort on the Roanoke River, it is being restored and re-enactments are held at the historic site.  Located 3 miles southeast of Hamilton, N.C. off NC Hwy 125/903 at 2883 Fort Branch Road.

Little Red Schoolhouse

Recently moved to Moratoc Park, the 1860 school was once located in Poplar Point and was used until 1925.  102 River Road, Williamston, NC.

St. James Place Museum

This folk art museum is housed inside an old 1910 Primitive Baptist Church building.  Exhibits offered are unusual collections of North Carolina pottery and quilts.  Located at the corner of US 64 Alt. & Outerbridge Street in Robersonville, NC.

 

McDowell County

Emerald Village and North Carolina Mining Museum

While the museum offers a large collection of mining memorabilia, visitors seem to love the gem mining experience offered here.  As water comes through a flume, you will search through buckets of dirt and rocks for precious gems.  Gemstones can then be cut and fashioned into jewelry.  Located on McKinney Mine Road in Little Switzerland, NC.

Linville Caverns   [History]

Discovered in the 1800s, it is the only cave formation located in North Carolina.  The limestone caves offer visitors a view of age old beauty beneath the earth's surface. Tours through the caverns began as early as 1939 and are offered today.  Located off of U.S. Hwy 221 N in Marion, NC.

Mountain Gateway Museum

[Mountain Gateway Museum and Heritage Center on Facebook]

The Mountain Gateway Museum features educational and historical exhibits.  Visitors will see exhibits which include artifacts and historical items from the western area of North Carolina. There are exhibits about folk medicine, moonshining, the Civil War, weaving and spinning, Marion Manufacturing and more.  During special events, there are folks dressed up in time period dress and demonstrations of historical crafts.  There are  two 19th century log cabins located on the grounds as well.  Located on the banks of Mill Creek at 139 S. Catawba Avenue in downtown Old Fort, NC.

 

Mecklenburg County

Carl J. McEwen Historic Village

The Mint Hill Country Doctor's Museum was the first in this collection of historical buildings which include the Ashcraft Schoolhouse, the Ira V. Ferguson Country Store and a meat curing building.  The small restored community provides an opportunity for visitors to take a step back in time and learn what life was like 100 years ago.  Located at 4311 Hillside Drive in Mint Hill, NC.

Carolinas Aviation Museum

Preserving the history of aviation in the Carolinas.  Collection includes over 45 major aircraft and other artifacts related to aviation.  Located at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.

Charlotte Museum of History 

and

Hezekiah Alexander Homestead

The oldest surviving house in Mecklenburg County, NC is home to the Charlotte Museum of History where docent led tours are offered.  Locate at 3500 Shamrock Drive in Charlotte, NC. 

Latta Plantation   [Virtual Tours]

Levine Museum of the New South

Features history of people and places from 1865 to present.  Located at 200 E. Seventh Street in Charlotte, NC.

James K. Polk Memorial   [Facilities and directions]

Built on land owned by the parents of the 11th president is a reconstructed log cabin which is similar to the one James K. Polk lived in as a boy.  Nearby is a stone monument dedicated to the memory of President James K. Polk.  It was erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1904.

Rosedale Plantation   [History]   [Photos]

Rural Hill Farm   [History of the Davidson Family]

Historic homestead of Major John Davidson, it is now a living history museum and center for Scottish heritage.

 

Moore County

Historic Homes in Moore County

 

Nash County Country Doctor Museum

The museum is focused on the life of rural medicine of the 19th and early 20th centuries.  The museum features over 5000 medical artifacts and volumes of historic texts ranging from rural doctors, nursing, pharmaceuticals and home remedies.  Located at 6642 Peele Road in Bailey, NC.

Twin County Museum & Hall of Fame

The Twin County Museum is focused on the history, culture and people of Nash and Edgecombe Counties of NC.  Housed inside the Train Station at 100 Coastline Street in downtown Rocky Mount, NC.

 

New Hanover County Burgwin - Wright House

[History]  [Virtual Tour]

The home was built in 1770 on the old jail foundation.  John Burgwin, the treasurer of the Colony of Carolina built what was called "the most considerable house in town".  Lord Cornwallis used the home as his headquarters just before his surrender at Yorktown, VA.  The home was purchased by Joshua Grainger Wright in 1799 for 3500 Spanish milled dollars.  In 1937, the Burgwin - Wright House was purchased by the National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of North Carolina.  Today the house is a living history museum offering docent guided tours.  Located at 224 Market Street in Wilmington, NC.

 

Cape Fear Museum 

Founded in 1898, Cape Fear Museum is the oldest continuously operating museum of history in North Carolina.  Dedicated to the preservation, collection and interpretation of the history, science and culture of Lower Cape Fear, the museum is located at 814 Market Street in Wilmington, NC.

Latimer House

Built in 1852 by Zebulon Latimer, a local merchant of Wilmington, North Carolina, the house is a fine example of what Victorian elegance was like in Wilmington.  Visitors will explore 14 rooms containing over 600 historical objects along with the lovely gardens which are planted with Victorian era flora.  Located at 126 South Third Street in Wilmington, NC.

 

Onslow County

Onslow County Museum  [Photo Gallery]

Focused on the history of Onslow County, the museum features historical artifacts, maritime items, and a research room.  Located just 15 minutes from Jacksonville at 301 S. Wilmington Street in Richlands, NC.

 

Person County Person County Museum of History

The site is really a complex of historical buildings which include the Kitchin House, Woodsdale General Store, the office of Dr. John H. Merrit, a tobacco barn, and the Van Hook School (possibly the oldest school still standing in North Carolina).  A large exhibit is focused on Enos Slaughter, native of Roxboro and Baseball Hall of Famer. 

Explore this historic site and learn about the history of Roxboro and Person County.  Located at 311 North Main Street in Roxboro, NC.

 

Pitt County Red Banks Primitive Baptist Church

Maintained by the Pitt County Historical Society which calls the church home, the church is also offered for weddings, concerts and other special events.  Located in Greenville, NC.

 

Polk County

Polk County Historical Museum

Housed inside the Feagan Building, the museum holds a collection of historic artifacts which tell the story of Polk County.  Located at 60 Walker Street in Columbus, NC.

Polk County Self Guided Historic Tour

Tryon Toy-Makers' House Museum

The Tryon Toy-Makers and Wood-Carvers was a company who operated in Tryon from 1915 to 1940.  Today you will find original toys and furniture as well as a gift shop offering original handmade arts.  Located at 43 E. Howard Street in Tryon, NC.

 

Richmond County

The Rankin Museum of American Heritage

The museum features collections and exhibits related to natural history, American heritage and  Native American culture.  Located at 131 West Church Street in Ellerbe, NC.

 

Rockingham County

County History & Photos

Historic Village

Four historic buildings (a tobacco factory and barn, a one room schoolhouse and a corn crib) have been restored and moved near the Rockingham Community College.  The village is only open for special events and by appointment.

Historical Sites in Rockingham County

Wright Tavern

[Tours]   [Tavern Photos]

Construction began in 1816 on the original part of the Wright Tavern.  The tavern operated until the 1920s.  Later purchased by the Reid family, the establishment was then known as Reid House.  Containing some original furnishings, the house is open by appointment only.  Call for tours.  Located in Wentworth, NC.

 

Scotland County John Blue House and Cotton Gin

[Photos]

Maintained by the Scotland County Historical Properties Commission, the site is actually a complex of historic buildings which include the John Blue House, a cotton gin, the Gibson General Store, some cabins and the Cotton Blossom Railroad. An annual cotton festival is celebrated every year. Located at 13040 X-Way Road in Laurinburg, NC.

 

Tyrrell County Columbia Theater Cultural Resources Center

Housed in the old 1938 Columbia Theater, exhibits related to the cultural history of the Albemarle-Pamlico peninsula.  Particular attention is focused on the heritage of farming, fishing and forestry and how it shaped the people of this region.  Located at 304 Main Street in Columbia, NC.

Columbia Walking Tour

North Carolina Estuarium

Exhibits feature aquariums, terrariums, historic artifacts, a boardwalk where the wetlands can be viewed and boat tours of the Pamlico-Tar waterways.  Located in Washington, NC.

Roanoke / Cashie River Center

Interpretation and cultural history of the lower Roanoke River region through hands-on exhibits, a boardwalk, and historical artifacts.

112 West Water Street

Windsor, NC.

 

Union County Museum of the Waxhaws and Andrew Jackson Memorial

An excellent museum chock full of exhibits related to the history of the Waxhaw area.  Restoration on the Secrest log cabin is underway.  Located at 8215 Waxhaw Highway (Hwy. 15 East) in Waxhaw, NC.

 

Wake County

Downtown Raleigh Walking Tour

Historic Raleigh Trolley Tour

Haywood Hall House Museum and Gardens

Erected in 1799, the large house was home to State Senator John Haywood and the house remained in the Haywood family for over 175 years.  In 1877, the house was left to The National Society of Colonial Dames of America in North Carolina.  Today Haywood Hall has been restored and is complete with period furnishings, paintings and decorative arts.  Haywood Hall is surrounded by beautiful gardens containing rare and historical plants which are open to the public year round.  The museum itself is closed during the winter for maintenance.  Located at 211 New Bern Place in Raleigh, NC.

Joel Lane Museum House   [History]

Often called the "Birthplace of Raleigh", the home was built in the 1760s by planter Joel Lane.  Lane, who became involved in politics, was directly involved in the capital city decision making process.  In 1792 one thousand acres of his land was purchased to establish the city of Raleigh as the new capital city of North Carolina.  After passing through many hands, the home is now operated by the National Society of Colonial Dames of America as a museum.  Located at 728 W. Hargett Street in Raleigh, NC.

Mordecai Historic Park   [Photo Tour]

Once, one of the largest plantations in Wake County, the Mordecai house was built in 1785 by Joel Lane.  The house was home to Moses Mordecai who married into the Lane family.  The house contains many original furnishings and can be toured along with several other historical buildings in the 5 acre park including an 1847 chapel, 1810 law office, the birthplace of Andrew Johnson and others.  Docent led tours are offered.  Located at 1 Mimosa Street in Raleigh, NC.

North Carolina Museum of History

Founded in 1902, the museum encourages the discovery of the rich heritage of North Carolina.  Located at 5 East Edenton Street in Downtown Raleigh, NC.

North Carolina State Capitol  [Virtual Tour]  [History]

The beautiful Greek Revival style building was completed in 1840.  Can be toured daily.  Guided tours are offered on weekends.

One East Edenton Street

Raleigh, NC.

Oak View  [Photos]

Only four miles east of downtown Raleigh, you can step back to the early times of cotton plantations at Oak View.  Built in the 1850s, the Greek Revival style house reminds one of long ago yesterdays.  Located in Oak View county park at 4028 Carya Drive in Raleigh, NC.

Yates Mill   [History]

A 1756 gristmill is situated inside Historic Yates Mill County Park in Raleigh.  Historic tours are offered along with corn grinding demonstrations.  Located at 4620 Lake Wheeler Road in Raleigh, NC.  Call (919) 856-6675 for tour information and demonstrations.

 

Warren County Buck Spring Plantation - Nathaniel Macon Homeplace

Replica of the home of statesman Nathaniel Macon.

217 Nathaniel Macon Dr.

Warrenton, NC.

 

Washington County

Davenport Homestead  

Port O'Plymouth Museum   [Photos]  [History]

Housed in the 1923 railroad station on the Roanoke River, it focuses primarily on the Civil War Battle of Plymouth which occurred in 1864.  Located at 302 E. Water Street in Plymouth, NC.

Roanoke River Lighthouse and Maritime Museum

Somerset Place - Antebellum Plantation

[Virtual Tour]

 

Watauga County

Appalachian Cultural Museum   [Exhibits]

 

Wayne County

Charles B. Aycock Birthplace and Living History Museum

Wayne County Museum  

[History]   [Virtual Tour]

Housed in the 1927 Goldsboro Woman's Club Jefferson style building, the museum features artifacts and exhibits related to the rich heritage and history of Wayne County, NC.  Located at 116 North William Street in Goldsboro, NC.

 

Yancey County

Mount Mitchell State Park 

[Park History]  

[Mt. Mitchell State Park and the Black Mountains Photos]

Situated on the highest peak east of the Mississippi River (6,684 feet), the park was established in 1915 and is known as the first state park of North Carolina.  Breath-taking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains abound from atop this mountain which is part of the Black Mountains.  There is an exhibit hall where visitors can learn more about the history of the mountain and view dioramas about animal life in the park.  Located at 2388 State Highway 128 in Burnsville, NC.

Rush-Wray Museum of Yancey County History

Housed in the 1840s McElroy House where you can learn about the history of the area and in particular the role of this house in the Civil War.  Located on the hill behind the Chamber of Commerce in Burnsville.  11 Academy Street, Burnsville, NC.

 

 

Museum Index for Other States

North Carolina Census Records

 

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