Western NC Museums
Located near Cashiers in the North Carolina Mountains
1 North Pack Square
Asheville, NC 877-999-3782
In 1895, George Vanderbilt realized a dream. That’s how Biltmore Estate began - a dream that grew into America’s largest home nestled in Asheville, North Carolina. The Vanderbilt retreat is far more than a mansion on a mountain. It is a never-ending source of inspiration: art and architecture to stimulate the imagination, vast gardens to soothe the soul, outdoor activities to quicken the pulse or wonderful food and wine to refresh the spirit. For 109 years, one family has preserved a place selected by National Geographic Traveler as one of its ‘must-see’ destinations in America. Discover this national wonder for yourself.
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Mountain Heritage Center - Western Carolina University, Cullowhee
The Mountain Heritage Center celebrates the natural and cultural heritage of the southern Appalachian region. Through exhibitions, publications, educational programs, and demonstrations, the Center promotes the rich traditions of the mountains. The Center's offerings give new meaning to life in the mountains. You will see the Appalachian region from new perspectives and come away with an enhanced understanding of its land, culture, and people.
The "Migration of the Scotch-Irish People" is the center's permanent exhibit. It describes the Scottish and English migrants who settled in Northern Ireland in the seventeenth century, and whose descendants came to the New World in the eighteenth century to make homes in the coves and hollows of western North Carolina. As they adjusted to their new environment, these people, known in Ireland as the Ulster Scots and in America as the Scotch-Irish, retained some of their traditions, which survive today in Appalachian family names and folkways.
The center also produces temporary exhibits around such themes as blacksmithing traditions in the mountains, mountains trout, the natural and cultural history of an Appalachian watershed, and the enduring popularity of hand-woven coverlets and the Southern Appalachian handicraft movement.
The heirlooms of hundreds of western North Carolina families are just some of the articles of historical significance preserved by the Mountain Heritage Center. The center's collection, numbering more than 10,000 artifacts, provides rich material for exhibits that illustrate mountain ways of life and continuity with the past.
In addition to preparing exhibits and maintaining its extensive collections, the center prepares multi-media presentations and publishes books, tapes and other materials on mountain culture.
For information about the museum and its special events, educational programs, programs for groups and hours of operation, call 828-227-7129.
Located 2 miles south of the Cashiers Crossroads onHighway 107, Cashiers, NC
The Cashiers Historical Society has worked to transform this 150-year-old house into a museum, which is part of the National Register of Historic Places. Almost perfectly preserved as it had been when it was built in 1850, it is a time capsule of sorts from the 19th century. The Greek revival-style house was built by Mordecai Zachary, the son of local founding pioneer Col John Zachary, and was frequented by Confederate Gen. Wade Hampton. One of the world’s largest collections of plain style furniture by one craftsman you can view Mordecai’s chairs, beds, cabinets and other furniture placed throughout the public viewing areas of the museum. The museum is open from April through November. There is a $5.00 charge per person. Please contact Jan Wyatt at 828-743-9090.