Mountain Heritage Center

Mountain Heritage Center The MHC celebrates the natural and cultural heritage of the southern Appalachian region. There is no admission fee. Free street and lot parking.

The Mountain Heritage Center at WCU is a regional resource for education and research: We CONNECT people with local history and culture. We BUILD bridges between the University and wider community. We SERVE as a resource for cultural heritage organizations in the region. There is no admission fee. Guest parking: Please write VISITOR on a piece of paper and put on your dashboard. You may park in lots designated for Staff/Faculty/Students with this temporary parking designation. The Mountain Heritage Center, founded in 1979, is located in the front corner of Hunter Library at Western Carolina University, 176 Central Drive, Cullowhee, NC.

Mountain Heritage Center hosts exhibit on early Spanish exploration of western NC.“Unearthing Our Forgotten Past: Fort...
05/16/2019

Mountain Heritage Center hosts exhibit on early Spanish exploration of western NC.
“Unearthing Our Forgotten Past: Fort San Juan” is now on display at the Mountain Heritage Center gallery in Hunter Library at Western Carolina University.
The exhibit was developed as part of the celebration of the 450th Anniversary of the Juan Pardo Expeditions. Several years ago archaeologists identified a site near Morganton NC as the location of Joara, one of the largest Native American towns in what is today western North Carolina. Joara was occupied from approximately A.D. 1400 to A.D. 1600. Two Spanish expeditions led respectively by Hernando de Soto and Juan Pardo visited the town in the 1500’s. The Pardo expedition was part of a larger effort to establish a string of forts from the coast of present-day South Carolina all the way to Mexico. In 2013, archaeologists confirmed that Joara was also the site of Fort San Juan, established by Pardo in 1567, nearly twenty years before the English settlement at Roanoke on the coast of North Carolina and forty years before the settlement at Jamestown. Through various artifacts uncovered by the archaeology, the exhibit showcases the Spanish occupation of Fort San Juan and the lives of the native people who lived in the Joara area.
The exhibit is on loan from the Exploring Joara Foundaton Inc. Exploring Joara engages the public in archaeology in the Carolinas, and emphasizes the discovery of the Native American town of Joara and Fort San Juan. The exhibit will be on display at the Mountain Heritage Center’s gallery until December 2019. The gallery is open 10am to 4pm from Monday through Friday. For more information about this exhibit and the Mountain Heritage Center, please call (828) 227-7129 or visit http://mhc.wcu.edu

Samuel G. Monteith (1891-1958) served as a PVT 105 Field Signal BN in WW1. He lived is now buried in Lovedale Baptist Ce...
05/03/2019

Samuel G. Monteith (1891-1958) served as a PVT 105 Field Signal BN in WW1. He lived is now buried in Lovedale Baptist Cemetery in Sylva, Jackson County, NC.
#ww1 #history #mhc #mountainheritage #mountainheritagecenter

I guess you could say we love museums...like a lot. Featuring our NCMC award winners all in the same place! #ilovemuseum...
05/02/2019

I guess you could say we love museums...like a lot. Featuring our NCMC award winners all in the same place! #ilovemuseums #inkforthearts #tatted #history #art

While our gallery is closed for preparations for the new exhibit, we will post our remaining local ww1 veterans graves. ...
04/30/2019

While our gallery is closed for preparations for the new exhibit, we will post our remaining local ww1 veterans graves.

Francis Jake Cable (1891-1971) served in ww1 as a PFC CO B 358 MC BN. He is buried alongside his wife Sarah Jane Cable in Lovedale Baptist Church Cemetery in Sylva,Jackson County, NC

#ww1 #mhc #mointainheritage #history #war #publichistory #jacksoncounty #nc

04/26/2019

The Mountain Heritage Center Gallery is closing today at 4:pm and will not reopen until Monday, May 13th 2019 to bring you a new exhibit!

Unearthing our Forgotten Past will be the theme of our new exhibit. More info to come on this exciting new exhibit.

Please visit our exhibit “Defining Appalachia” upstairs in room #230 at Hunter Library Monday- Friday 8-5:pm

office phone number- 828-227-7129
.

William Paxton (1896-1977) was from Jackson County, NC and served in WW1 as a private in the US Army, he then returned h...
04/25/2019

William Paxton (1896-1977) was from Jackson County, NC and served in WW1 as a private in the US Army, he then returned home to work and is now buried at Lovedale Baptist Church Cemetery alongside his wife Myrtle.
#ww1 #history #mhc #mountainheritage #mountainheritagecenter #cemetery #publichistory

Walter Burke Painter Sr. (1896-1992) was drafted from his farm in Sylva to be a  soldier into the US Army during ww1 at ...
04/22/2019

Walter Burke Painter Sr. (1896-1992) was drafted from his farm in Sylva to be a soldier into the US Army during ww1 at 21 years old. He was married to Annie Lee Painter and they had two children. He and his wife are buried in Lovedale Baptist Cemetery in Sylva, NC.
#ww1 #mhc #mountainheritage #cemetery #history

Berlin Coleman Buchanan (1894-1979) was a resident of Mecklenburg County up until his time of death. He served in the US...
04/19/2019

Berlin Coleman Buchanan (1894-1979) was a resident of Mecklenburg County up until his time of death. He served in the US Army during ww1. He is now buried at East Fork Cemetery in Savannah, Jackson County, NC.
#ww1 #cemetery #mhc #mountainheritage #history

Our very own Education Associate Peter Koch letting some students from Mountain Discovery Charter School try on a WW1 he...
04/18/2019

Our very own Education Associate Peter Koch letting some students from Mountain Discovery Charter School try on a WW1 helmet this morning on their tour! Only 1 full week left of Western North Carolina in the Great War, come see it! Closing reception will be on April 25th from 4:30-6:30pm.
#ww1 #greatwar #history #mhc #mountainheritage

Harvey Jackson Frady(1896-1958) served as a PFC in the US Army during WW1. His usual occupation is listed as an interior...
04/15/2019

Harvey Jackson Frady(1896-1958) served as a PFC in the US Army during WW1. His usual occupation is listed as an interior decorator. He is now buried in East Fork Cemetery, Jackson County, NC.
#ww1 #mhc #mountainheritage #history #publichistory #cemetery

Coleman Burch Allison (1896-1970) he was drafted in WW1 from Greens Creek, NC. He served as a PVT 2 REGT FA REPL DEPOT. ...
04/12/2019

Coleman Burch Allison (1896-1970) he was drafted in WW1 from Greens Creek, NC. He served as a PVT 2 REGT FA REPL DEPOT.
He was married to Minnie Buchanan and they are both buried in East Fork Cemetery, Savannah, Jackson County, NC
#ww1 #mhc #mountainheritage #mountainheritagecenter #history #cemetery

Ransom S. Cowan (1897-1976) was born and buried in Jackson County North Carolina. He was drafted into WW1 and WW2. He is...
04/08/2019

Ransom S. Cowan (1897-1976) was born and buried in Jackson County North Carolina. He was drafted into WW1 and WW2. He is now buried alongside his wife in East Fork Cemetery in Savannah, Jackson, North Carolina.
Around here we know him as "Chunk" Cowan who stood at 7'2"! Be sure to come to our gallery to compare your height between him and the minimum height for U.S. soldiers during the Great War which was 5'7"
#ww1 #history #mountainheritage

The Mountain Heritage Center was saddened to learn of the recent passing of Gar Mosteller. http://www.harrisfuneralhomei...
04/04/2019

The Mountain Heritage Center was saddened to learn of the recent passing of Gar Mosteller. http://www.harrisfuneralhomeinc.net/obituary/gartrell-mosteller

Gar was a tremendous fiddler and performed regularly on the Mountain Heritage Day stage in the 1990s and early 2000s. He and his musical partner Doyle Barker were 2004 recipients of the Mountain Heritage Award.

Jan Davidson, director at the Mountain Heritage Center a number of years back, wrote a long essay about Gar and Doyle. Here’s a section of it which describes a wonderful musical career and a style that is different than what many immediately think of when they think of ‘mountain music.’

“Gar was a great musical performer for years. Originally from Andrews, NC, Gar performed as part of the house band for the Louisiana Hayride on KWKH, Shreveport, he played twin fiddles with Sonny James and backed up Lefty Frizzell, Slim Whitman, Ray Price, Faron Young, Minnie Pearl, Webb Pierce, and all the late 1940s country stars. He was a guest many times at the Louisiana governor’s mansion when the governor was Jimmy Davis, composer of “You Are My Sunshine.” National tours with Patsy Montana followed.

Service in the Korean War interrupted his musical career but in 1958, Gar joined forces with Doyle Barker to play on the newly opened WCVP radio in Murphy, North Carolina. Doyle had mastered the Merle Travis/ Chet Atkins finger-style guitar and was much in demand as a player of country, rockabilly, and gospel music. Gar and Doyle played on WCVP for several years and developed a considerable following until Gar left the area to attend trade school. Though there is a great deal of admiration for the “western” side of C & W in Gar and Doyle, these men and their music are as much a part of the changing history of Appalachian music as the Carter Family, Fiddlin’ John Carson, and Doc Watson. Indeed, the kind of music they played is closely akin to what Doc was doing when Ralph Rinzler came along and convinced him to put aside his red electric guitar and play old-time tunes on a flat-top. The fluid beauty of their collaboration was never forgotten in the region, even though they did not play together again for almost thirty years.

Former MHC staff member David Brewin reunited them for Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Day in 1990. David played rhythm guitar and I played bass. The two old friends who had not played together for thirty years shook hands, sat down, and played phenomenal music.”

Here's some pictures from our old fashioned work-wear courtesy of the Appalachian Women's Museum forthe Defining America...
04/03/2019

Here's some pictures from our old fashioned work-wear courtesy of the Appalachian Women's Museum for
the Defining America World's Fair event at Western Carolina University today! #history #mountainheritage #mhc #fashion #oldfashioned #work @ Western Carolina University

04/02/2019
Ol' Dirty Bathtub // Another Brick In The Wall

Here's a listen into a string version of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" performed by this First Thursday's Concert performers Ol' Dirty Bathtub. Come join us!
The concert and jam session is FREE and open to the public. It will be held at HomeBase in Cullowhee THIS Thursday, April 4, beginning at 7 p.m.

@ The Nantahala Outdoor Center. 9/3/2016. Video by Chuck Allen.

We love it when students participate in scavenger hunts throughout the gallery! Here's a picture of just that from yeste...
03/31/2019

We love it when students participate in scavenger hunts throughout the gallery! Here's a picture of just that from yesterday's history day event on campus #historyday #mountainheritage #mhc #ww1

03/28/2019
Pack Mule by Ol' Dirty Bathtub

Another preview of our April First Thursdays Concert band! remember the concert is FREE to the public and students!
Check out our event or message us with any questions!

Ol' Dirty Bathtub playing an original tune called "Pack Mule" on the Top O' Tilley Creek

Don't forget! Community Barn Dance this Saturday from 7:00-9:00pm  at Jackson County Family Resource Center (Old Webster...
03/28/2019

Don't forget!
Community Barn Dance this Saturday from 7:00-9:00pm at Jackson County Family Resource Center (Old
Webster School) 1528 Webster Rd. Sylva, NC 28779
Led by: Rodney Sutton
Music by: Cullowheezer
#barndance #mountainheritage #mhc #mountainmusic #dance

Group of WCU museum employees, students, and WCU alumn at the North Carolina Museums Council Annual Meeting in Asheville...
03/27/2019

Group of WCU museum employees, students, and WCU alumn at the North Carolina Museums Council Annual Meeting in Asheville, March 25 2019.
Special note to Becca Rhinehart who won the Student Memorial Award for NCMC 2019, Paula Keeter who won the Student Scholarship Award, and Pam Meister who was the winner of the Professional Service Award

It's a beautiful day at the Mountain Heritage Center! Come see us, we are open 10-4 Monday-Friday! #mhc #mountainheritag...
03/26/2019

It's a beautiful day at the Mountain Heritage Center! Come see us, we are open 10-4 Monday-Friday!
#mhc #mountainheritage #museum #history #publichistory

Jake W. Deitz (1891-1983) served in the U.S. Army during WW1, after his service he was married to Sallie Long of Jackson...
03/18/2019

Jake W. Deitz (1891-1983) served in the U.S. Army during WW1, after his service he was married to Sallie Long of Jackson County NC. Both are buried in East Fork Cemetery in Savannah, Jackson County, NC.
#ww1 #history #publichistory #worldwar1 #mhc #mountainheritage

Come see our WWl exhibit. Students at WCU are on Spring break but we are here and open from 10-4 in our gallery at Hunte...
03/12/2019

Come see our WWl exhibit. Students at WCU are on Spring break but we are here and open from 10-4 in our gallery at Hunter Library.

Registration for Step Back in Time Camp is open! This year it will be held from July 30-August 2 from 8:30am-4:30pm each...
03/08/2019

Registration for Step Back in Time Camp is open! This year it will be held from July 30-August 2 from 8:30am-4:30pm each day for those ages 9-11.
Register online at the Mountain Heritage Center Website under Kids Corner.

Oscar Ensley (1890-1970) served in WW1 as a private in the Quartermaster Corps (the Army) and then came back home to wor...
03/07/2019

Oscar Ensley (1890-1970) served in WW1 as a private in the Quartermaster Corps (the Army) and then came back home to work as a farmer. He is buried in the Cullowhee Baptist Cemetery.
#ww1 #publichistory #mhc #mountainheritage

Join us for "Barbecue in the South" a free program by Pam Meister tomorrow March 6th at 6:30pm at the Western Office, NC...
03/05/2019

Join us for "Barbecue in the South" a free program by Pam Meister tomorrow March 6th at 6:30pm at the Western Office, NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources in Asheville NC.

Please RSVP as space is limited call (828) 296-7230 ext. 221 or email [email protected]

Our next First Thursdays Series Concert is March 7th (next week) with the Berea Bluegrass Ensemble! The concert begins a...
03/01/2019

Our next First Thursdays Series Concert is March 7th (next week) with the Berea Bluegrass Ensemble! The concert begins at 7pm with jam session to follow in the Homebase building.The venue is located adjacent to WCU campus at 83 Central Drive, Cullowhee. For more information, call the Mountain Heritage Center at 828-227-7129.
#berea #mhc #mountainheritage #bluegrass #music #concert

We have been asked to share information for THIS weekend's LIVLAB weekend townhall event! Our collections manager Loran ...
02/28/2019

We have been asked to share information for THIS weekend's LIVLAB weekend townhall event! Our collections manager Loran Berg will be there to represent the Mountain Heritage Center and the Appalachian Women's Museum.
Below is a text version of the image attached:

In partnership with the Appalachian Women’s Museum in Dillsboro, WCU’s LIVLAB artist collective is creating a permanent public work of art refl ective of the resiliency, and uniqueness of this region. WE NEED YOUR HELP. We want to hear how Appalachian women have built, nurtured, sustained, and impacted you and your community. Join us at one of thefollowing meetings:
Jackson County Public Library,
310 Keener St, Sylva, NC 28779
March 1 – 5:30pm to 7:30pm March 2 – 11am to 1pm
Free food & childcare!
For more information email:[email protected]

Johnnie Sebastian Seymour (1893-1958) served in WW1 in Band Cpl 318 FA 81st Division. Originally from South Carolina, he...
02/26/2019

Johnnie Sebastian Seymour (1893-1958) served in WW1 in Band Cpl 318 FA 81st Division. Originally from South Carolina, he eventually moved to Jackson County where he worked as a teacher and married Lillian Epton Seymour. He is buried in Cullowhee Baptist Church cemetery.
#mhc #mountainheritage #ww1 #ww1history #history #publichistory

Grover Wilkes (1891-1973) of Sylva NC  was a doctor who served as a Captain in the Medical Corps during WW1. He is burie...
02/18/2019

Grover Wilkes (1891-1973) of Sylva NC was a doctor who served as a Captain in the Medical Corps during WW1. He is buried in Parris Cemetery of Dillsboro.
#ww1 #publichistory #ww1history #history #mountainheritage #jacksoncounty #mhc #mountainheritagecenter

Some students from Victory Christian School came on Tuesday 2/12  to tour our WW1 exhibit... Here they are on a scavenge...
02/14/2019

Some students from Victory Christian School came on Tuesday 2/12 to tour our WW1 exhibit... Here they are on a scavenger hunt!
#history #ww1 #publichistory #mhc #mountainheritage #mountainheritagecenter @ Mountain Heritage Center

James E Rogers (1892-1967) served in WW1 as a 1st SGT CO D 322 Infantry. He is buried in Parris Cemetery in Dillsboro, N...
02/12/2019

James E Rogers (1892-1967) served in WW1 as a 1st SGT CO D 322 Infantry. He is buried in Parris Cemetery in Dillsboro, NC. #ww1 #mhc #publichistory #mountainheritage #mountainheritagecenter #history

Son of a founder of WCU (Robert Lee Madison), James Ambrose Madison(1894-1949) was a notable Jackson County native who r...
02/05/2019

Son of a founder of WCU (Robert Lee Madison), James Ambrose Madison(1894-1949) was a notable Jackson County native who received a Carnegie Medal for his heroism in saving Henry D. Bryson from drowning near the dam on the Tuckasegee. The Sylva Herald reports that he then served with the Sixth Marines, second division as a Liteutenant in notable battles including Chateau-Theirry and Belleau Woods. He is buried in St. Davids Cemetery at the St. David's Episcopal Church near campus.
#ww1 #publichistory #museum #mhc #history #mountainheritage #mountainheritagecenter #wcu

Continuing our featured soldiers.. Grant Clawson (1893-1980) was drafted as a private in the US Army in 1917 during WW1....
01/25/2019

Continuing our featured soldiers.. Grant Clawson (1893-1980) was drafted as a private in the US Army in 1917 during WW1. He is buried in Parris Cemetery in Dillsboro, NC.

12/19/2018
Sarah Burkey performing at "First Thursday Concert" at MadStone Cafe. Good times had by all!
12/11/2018

Sarah Burkey performing at "First Thursday Concert" at MadStone Cafe. Good times had by all!

Today we are featuring Lewis H Cannon(1891-1967) He was drafted into the service in 1917 in Dillsboro, NC. Outside of th...
12/01/2018

Today we are featuring Lewis H Cannon(1891-1967) He was drafted into the service in 1917 in Dillsboro, NC. Outside of the service, his occupation was a storekeeper. He is now buried in Webster Cemetery. #mountainheritagecenter #publichistory #ww1 #worldwar1 #worldwar1history

Harold Samuel Jarvis (1902-1983)was a Private in the USMC during WW1. He lived in Waynesville, NC and married Vivian Rhe...
11/30/2018

Harold Samuel Jarvis (1902-1983)was a Private in the USMC during WW1. He lived in Waynesville, NC and married Vivian Rhea Jarvis on Aug 17,1927. He is buried alongside his wife in the Keener Cemetery.

38 years ago today College Basketball's First Official 3 Point Shot was made at Western Carolina University by Ronnie Ca...
11/29/2018

38 years ago today College Basketball's First Official 3 Point Shot was made at Western Carolina University by Ronnie Carr.

Come see our Womens Basketball team shoot some 3 point shots in tonights game @7pm in the Ramsey Center! @western_carolina

#tbt #collegebasketball #gocats

We are highlighting veterans from WW1 from Jackson County(and surrounding areas) for our WW1 exhibit. Roy F. Leatherwood...
11/29/2018

We are highlighting veterans from WW1 from Jackson County(and surrounding areas) for our WW1 exhibit.
Roy F. Leatherwood(1887-1949) was a Apprentice Seaman(Provisional) in 5he US Naval Reserve. He is buried in Webster, NC, where he was born.
#thankyouforyourservice🇺🇸

DUE TO THE THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY, WE WILL BE CLOSED THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22nd AND FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23rd.WE WISH YOU AND YOU...
11/21/2018

DUE TO THE THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY, WE WILL BE CLOSED THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22nd AND FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23rd.

WE WISH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY A SAFE AND HAPPY HOLIDAY.

History Memes
11/19/2018

History Memes

11/16/2018
A returning guest performer for the Mountain Heritage Center’s First Thursday series and veteran performer of Mountain...
11/16/2018

A returning guest performer for the Mountain Heritage Center’s First Thursday series and veteran performer of Mountain Heritage Day, Sarah Elizabeth Burkey will perform at MadStone Cafe in WCU’s Noble Hall. Burkey has enraptured listeners through her personal engagement with her craft by bringing personal Kentucky roots and fresh authenticity. Accompanying her on the hammered dulcimer will be long-time member of the south Florida music scene, Erich Overhultz, whose 2011 album Okeechobee Moon was informed by traditional music. The performance will commence at 7:00 PM on December, 6th.

The events are free and open to the public. Pickers and singers of all ages and experience levels are invited to take part in the jam sessions, which also are open to those who just want to listen.

For more information, call the Mountain Heritage Center at 828-227-7129 or visit mhc.wcu.edu.

The Fading Battlefields of World War I
11/14/2018
The Fading Battlefields of World War I

The Fading Battlefields of World War I

This year will mark the passing of a full century since the end of World War I. Much of the battle-ravaged landscape along the Western Front has been reclaimed by nature, erasing the scars of the war.

Address

Hunter Library, WCU, 176 Central Dr
Cullowhee, NC
28723

General information

A regional museum, the Center studies, documents, and interprets the culture and history of Southern Appalachia and provides museum services to the western part of the state. To that end it collects artifacts, builds exhibitions, documents and presents traditional craft demonstrations and musical performances, produces books and musical recordings, and enriches the curricula of elementary, secondary, and university students. Its collection of over 10,000 regional artifacts is especially rich in agricultural implements, logging and woodworking tools, textiles, and transportation equipment. The Center is committed to public history, especially to interpreting current academic studies of Appalachia to the public. Its programming highlights traditional music and crafts along with the history and natural history of Appalachia. The Smithsonian Institution and the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress have adopted some of its programming. Major research exhibits have examined the Scotch-Irish, various handicraft traditions, and mountain trout. There is no admission fee. Mountain Heritage Day, a fall festival always held the last Saturday of September, presents traditional mountain music, crafts, dance and culture to tens of thousands of visitors.

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(828) 227-7129

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