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.
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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.

Cornshuck Sandals made by Frances Nicholson of Jackson County, NC in the mid-20th century. These are today's #FabulousFo...
05/27/2020

Cornshuck Sandals made by Frances Nicholson of Jackson County, NC in the mid-20th century. These are today's #FabulousFootwear in the #curatorbattle Look pretty comfy for a spring day once the rain stops.

Got to say, we’re having a lot of fun as a staff with these challenges and love sharing parts of our collection. Thanks for keeping this going @yorkshiremuseumandgardens

#mountainheritage #cornshuckcrafts #publichistory #craftrevival

Bobby James Parris was killed in action in Quang Ngai province, South Vietnam on October 27, 1970. He was born in Sylva ...
05/25/2020

Bobby James Parris was killed in action in Quang Ngai province, South Vietnam on October 27, 1970. He was born in Sylva NC and lived up the road near Addie enlisting in August 1969 at age 22.

First image c/o Findagrave

#memorialday #publichistory #mountainheritage #vietnamwar #memorialdayhonor @ Addie, North Carolina

#CuratorBattle from the @YorkshireMuseumandgardens rolls on! Here’s our submission for #MostMagical  Quite a number of t...
05/21/2020

#CuratorBattle from the @YorkshireMuseumandgardens rolls on! Here’s our submission for #MostMagical

Quite a number of the handmade quilts in the MHC’s collection look very different depending on your perspective. Is it magic or the artistry in fabric selection, construction, and design?

Turning Blocks quilt made by Melvenie Barker from Owsley Co. KY. Family lore dates the quilt to 1870s and its quilted at 9 stiches per inch. The side of each silk block is slightly more than an inch. Unfortunately the blocks are shattering but some are exposing paper templates beneath.

#mountainheritage #historicquilts #publichistory #owsleycountyky #turningblocks #museummagic #appalachia @ Mountain Heritage Center

Its #InternationalMuseumDay and we celebrate our students and volunteers whom we miss greatly.During the summer of 2013,...
05/19/2020

Its #InternationalMuseumDay and we celebrate our students and volunteers whom we miss greatly.

During the summer of 2013, MHC staff, students and volunteers put ourselves on exhibit! Our storage areas were so packed that we used a gallery to conduct a collections inventory, and invited visitors to come “behind the scenes” to watch us work. We also set up stations to demonstrate at-home techniques for preserving family treasures.

Here Director Pam and Casey, a volunteer from WCU’s University Participant program, use a screen and a gentle dustbuster to clean vintage textiles.

#museumday2020 #publichistory #collectionscare #internlife #imd2020

Mountain Heritage Center
05/18/2020

Mountain Heritage Center

Annie Lee Bryson making a corn shuck doll in 2007.
05/18/2020

Annie Lee Bryson making a corn shuck doll in 2007.

Its @MuseumWeek and today we’re celebrating #technologyMW  past, present, and future. This is a smoothing plane donated ...
05/17/2020

Its @MuseumWeek and today we’re celebrating #technologyMW past, present, and future.

This is a smoothing plane donated to the MHC by Fred Biddix and the Spruce Pine Lumber Company. One of dozens of planes that were used by furniture makers in the past.
How do we make furniture these days? Where is our technology for home furnishings taking us?

#publichistory #mountainheritage #woodworkingtools #smoothingplane #museumweek2020

We've loved being part of the #CuratorBattle as initiated by that great museum in the UK, @YorkshireMuseum.  The competi...
05/15/2020

We've loved being part of the #CuratorBattle as initiated by that great museum in the UK, @YorkshireMuseum.
The competition rolls on with #bestbird

Owl Pot by Cora Arch Wahnetah (1907-1986). Mrs Wahnetah learned the craft of pottery from her mother Ella Arch in the traditional Cherokee way. She used the coil method to form her pots and paddle stamped them to add a surface design. She was active in cultural preservation, working with the Oconaluftee Indian Village to create authentic pottery demonstrations, and joining Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual craft cooperative as a charter member in the 1940s.

#mountainheritage #cherokeepottery #quallaartsandcrafts #publichistory

Survey Time!!Mountain Heritage Center has been providing exhibits, programs, and events showcasing our region’s rich cul...
05/14/2020

Survey Time!!
Mountain Heritage Center has been providing exhibits, programs, and events showcasing our region’s rich cultural heritage and history since 1979. See the attached pdf regarding the campus and community activities we accomplished in 2018-19.

Now, more than ever, we will continue to provide those services while supporting the health and safety of our community. We would like help in determining what is most needed at this time including what interests you historically and culturally. Please fill out this survey regarding the MHC’s physical reopening.

https://wcu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9KvqyoE9x5AVBUF

Luada Cemetery is west of Bryson City. It sits on a prominent hill over the highway. Luada includes people whose remains...
05/13/2020

Luada Cemetery is west of Bryson City. It sits on a prominent hill over the highway. Luada includes people whose remains were moved from their original cemeteries when the Little Tennessee River was flooded to create Fontana Lake.

There are a number of 1918 Flu victims at Luada including Hassie Pilkington (2) who lived in Nantahala and had two children aged 4 years old and 10 months. Others include Fidela Styles who was 40 and a waiter working at a hotel, Pat Hyde from Forneys Creek who was 5, and Rhoda McCarter, 35.

Robert Crisp and Vina Sutton (3) are two more who died in the pandemic. Both had tuberculosis, a chronic lung condition that eventually leads to death.

Interestingly, a 2001 preliminary study by NIH discusses the relationship between tuberculosis and the pandemic. It quotes an article from 1922 that hearkens to current issues with Covid-19 and comorbidities:

“During 1918 and 1919 there was a sharp upward trend to the curve [of tuberculosis death rates], followed in a year, or at most two years, by a marked downward direction of the curve — much steeper in its descent than that preceding 1917–1918. … The pandemic of influenza of 1918–19 carried off, in a brief period, a large number of tuberculosis subjects that would otherwise have lived on and their deaths been so distributed through later years as not materially to have disturbed the uniform downward direction of the tuberculosis curve that precede the period of the great pandemic.”
ttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3139993/

#publichistory #mountainheritage #unmarkedgraves #swaincountyheritage #fontanahistory #fontanalake @ Swain County, North Carolina

It’s #museumweek and today we’re celebrating #HeroesMW We’re highlighting Lula Owle Gloyne (1891 - 1985), the first EBCI...
05/12/2020

It’s #museumweek and today we’re celebrating #HeroesMW
We’re highlighting Lula Owle Gloyne (1891 - 1985), the first EBCI Registered Nurse and the only EBCI officer in WWI. She served as 2nd Lt in the U. S. Army Nurse Corps. In the 1920s she returned to Cherokee as a U. S. Indian Health Service nurse. She was instrumental in founding the first hospital in Cherokee going so far as to testify before Congress in 1934 on the needs of the community. When the hospital was established she served as head nurse while also working as a field nurse for the community. She is celebrated as a ‘Beloved Woman’ by the EBCI and in 2015, Lula Gloyne was inducted into the NC Nurses Hall of Fame. #mountainheritage #publichistory #cherokeehistory #cherokeehospital

State Archives of NC Photos
05/11/2020

State Archives of NC Photos

Pictured left to right, twin brothers Benjamin Harrison Wolfe (1892-1918) and Grover Cleveland Wolfe (1892-1904) of Asheville were named by their father, W. O. Wolfe, for the Democratic and Republican political candidates in the Presidential elections of 1888 and 1892. As we confront the challenges of a pandemic, their images are a sad reminder of lives cut short by bacterial and viral infections and the public health challenges North Carolinians faced in the early twentieth century.

Memorialized in the fiction of their younger brother, Thomas Wolfe, the fraternal twins’ temperaments and appearances couldn’t have been more different and were apparent from an early age. A raspberry birthmark on his neck distinguished Grover, and he possessed a “gentle peering face, a soft caressing voice…tender olive skin…sloeblack eyes, exquisite, rather sad, kindliness.” He was, wrote Wolfe, the “gentlest and saddest of the boys.”

While Grover’s “hair was black as a raven’s without a kink in it,” Ben’s was “crisp, maple-brown,” “crinkly,” and “shone with bright points of light.” He had “aqueous gray eyes,” wore a perpetual scowl across his face, and his mouth was “like a knife, his smile the flicker of a light across a blade.” Ben protected his younger brother from bullies and encouraged his early appetite for literature and enthusiasm for writing. He was “full of pride and tenderness.”

Grover died at age twelve after he contracted typhoid while the Wolfe family visited St. Louis for the World’s Fair. His death, described briefly in Look Homeward Angel (1929), figures more prominently in the novella, The Lost Boy (1937).

Ben was a casualty of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic that besieged Asheville. Then a student at the University of North Carolina, Thomas received an urgent telegram summoning him home on account of Ben’s quickly worsening condition. He arrived by train to find Ben frail, pneumonia ravaging his lungs, leaving him struggling for each breath. His death is among the most tragic yet memorable scenes in Look Homeward.
______________

Quotes from Look Homeward Angel; 7.5" x 9" card photograph, ca. 1893, PhC.102.7, Fred Wolfe Photograph Collection, State Archives of North Carolina.

Austin DeRico, our hometown intern, levels up the exhibit with fellow intern Steven Johnston. This was back in the winte...
05/10/2020

Austin DeRico, our hometown intern, levels up the exhibit with fellow intern Steven Johnston. This was back in the winter at the Murphy Art Center. We’re going to miss Austin as he officially graduated today. He’ll be around for a while and then maybe down to North Georgia in the fall.

Good luck graduates and remember we’re always here to help if you need us.
#wcu2020💛💜 #wcu2020 #internlife #publichistory #annwoodfordart

Student appreciation rolls on!  @stevenjohnstonjr interned with us this spring and several of the 1918 Flu posts you’ve ...
05/08/2020

Student appreciation rolls on! @stevenjohnstonjr interned with us this spring and several of the 1918 Flu posts you’ve been seeing were written by him. He’s heading back to Cleveland County for now but we’ll see him again in western NC blvefire too long. FYI, Steven washes his hands before handling artifacts.
#internlife #publichistory #wcu2020 #mountainheritage #stereoscope

#CuratorBattle from the @YorkshireMuseum rolls on. Here’s our submission for #BestHat This hat was worn by Leicester nat...
05/07/2020

#CuratorBattle from the @YorkshireMuseum rolls on. Here’s our submission for #BestHat

This hat was worn by Leicester native Joseph Lane Hall (1895-1972). Hall, a World War I veteran, worked for years as a fireman in Asheville. During World War II, he was part of the Civilian Defense. Note the hand-painted ‘auxiliary fireman’ symbol on the front of the helmet that was originally produced by @msasafety. He also served during the war as chairman of first aid for the Buncombe County chapter of the American Red Cross.

@ashevillefd #mountainheritage #publichistory #civiliandefense #communityservice @wcuservicelearning

More student appreciation: @alicialclaus is also graduating this weekend. We were sad she was only with us for her senio...
05/06/2020

More student appreciation: @alicialclaus is also graduating this weekend. We were sad she was only with us for her senior year and we wish it had been longer. Congratulations and looking forward to her next steps whether it’s in Winston or Wilmington or points in between! #mountainheritage #publichistory #studentworkerappreciation #wcu2020

We miss our students! Several are graduating this coming weekend including @sophie_belleee who has been a student worker...
05/05/2020

We miss our students! Several are graduating this coming weekend including @sophie_belleee who has been a student worker and intern for two years. We look forward to the Mocksville native’s next steps in her career!

Tuckasegee Baptist Association exhibit installation 2019.
#internlife #publichistory #mountainheritage #baptistchurchhistory

#Sassiestobject challenge for this week’s #curatorsbattle  We passed on last week's #Creepiestobject but couldn't miss t...
05/03/2020

#Sassiestobject challenge for this week’s #curatorsbattle
We passed on last week's #Creepiestobject but couldn't miss this one.

Caplet and shoes (yes we have the pair) adorned with pheasant feathers from a Cullowhee donor who would take annual shopping trips with her mom to Chattanooga and Richmond.
#publichistory #cullowhee #mountainheritage #featherfashion @ Mountain Heritage Center

05/02/2020
O Finno

https://youtu.be/WS6Yn-NzWXQ
This is a quick video of the Musical Instrument Case in the Al Norte al Norte exhibit at the Mountain Heritage Center, WCU. The Cavaquihno (guitar-like instrument) and Pandeiro (tamborine-like instrument) are featured in the music and on the left of the case.

Special Thanks to: Dr. Luiz Silveira & Loran Berg for the loan of their instruments

Music by: O Finno featuring Andrew Finn Magill
http://www.andrewfinnmagill.com
https://www.facebook.com/theandrewfinnquartet/

Founded in Rio de Janeiro, our quartet plays choro an old form of Brazilian instrumental music featuring the violin of American Andrew Finn.

Another week of quarantine has come and gone! Let us know how you're working from home and if you have any tips or trick...
04/30/2020

Another week of quarantine has come and gone! Let us know how you're working from home and if you have any tips or tricks for making it a little easier. We’ve been trying our best to stick to our original schedules and create a designated work space to stay focused. We're especially missing all of our full time staff and student workers today!

Plott Hounds, North Carolina’s State Dog, are not cute or cuddly. They will not fetch your slippers or bring you the pap...
04/30/2020

Plott Hounds, North Carolina’s State Dog, are not cute or cuddly. They will not fetch your slippers or bring you the paper. But if you need a dog that will chase a 200-pound bear and never give up, they have no equal. The Plott Hound is a working breed originally developed in Haywood County over 200 years ago. Plotts are bred to hunt bears, raccoons, wild boars and other animals. They are smart, tough, and will follow game for days at a time.

Check out the State Symbol Party tomorrow May 1 @NCStateCapitol
More info on Plotts can be found at https://digitalheritage.org/2014/08/plott-hounds/
Or our great friend http://bobplott.com

#mountainheritage #publichistory #bearhuntingwithhounds #plotthound #haywoodcountync

The Fraser Fir is NC’s State Christmas Tree. These trees are native to the higher elevations of the Appalachian Mountain...
04/29/2020

The Fraser Fir is NC’s State Christmas Tree. These trees are native to the higher elevations of the Appalachian Mountains, can reach a height of 80 feet and may have trunks as large as 18 inches in diameter. Often cultivated for Christmas trees, it can take up to 12 years for them to reach the right size. Along with the similar Balsam Firs, they often are a primary tree above 4,000’ elevation.

Ashe Co. Christmas Tree workers harvesting Fraser Firs. Image taken by Jose Galvez. Part of the Al Norte al Norte exhibit originally from @ncmuseumofhistory

#mountainheritage #ncstatesymbols #alnorte

@NCStateCapitol is hosting a State Symbols Party on Friday May 1. We’re going to help them kick off by featuring a few N...
04/28/2020

@NCStateCapitol is hosting a State Symbols Party on Friday May 1. We’re going to help them kick off by featuring a few NC state symbols distinct to our region.

Seen below the surface, the Southern Appalachian Brook Trout is our State Freshwater Trout. They thrive in the cold clear water here in the mountains, especially when they don’t have to compete against non-native Rainbow and Brown trout.

This image from the 1930s shows Raven Fork as it flows to the Oconalufte River. It was taken by Albert “Dutch” Roth who was involved with the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club.
#publichistory #mountainheritage #troutwater #ncstatesymbols

Although the 1918 Influenza pandemic is known to have been particularly dangerous for people in the prime of their lives...
04/26/2020

Although the 1918 Influenza pandemic is known to have been particularly dangerous for people in the prime of their lives, it did also claim the very young and the very old. In Addie Cemetery along Scotts Creek in Jackson Co., there are several people who died of the flu including Lee Pannell (1) was just 1.5 years old. His story is particularly tragic as his mother had passed away about 6 months after his birth.
Margaret Pannell Crawford (2) and Elbert Clingman Mathis also died in the pandemic. She was 42 and had 5 children while he was 25 and had been married to about two years.

#1918flu #mountainheritage #historicgraveyard #historicpandemic #publichistory #unmarkedgrave @ Addie, North Carolina

We're missing our visitors who travel from all over! Tell us your dream museums to travel to after the quarantine is ove...
04/23/2020

We're missing our visitors who travel from all over! Tell us your dream museums to travel to after the quarantine is over! #museumlife #museumlover #publichistory #internlife

04/23/2020
Western Carolina University Fine Art Museum

Check out WCU Fine Art Museum event today!

Enjoy a webinar on the exhibition, Curious Terrain: WNC From the Air, with artist and pilot Alex S. Maclean and James T. Costa, Executive Director of the Highlands Biological Station and WCU Professor of Evolutionary Biology. The exhibition features MacLean's striking aerial photographs of the WNC region that raise broader questions about humanity’s impact on the land. Leave your questions in the comments below!

Throughout the early and middle 20th Century, Polio outbreaks dominated the news and the public consciousness while scie...
04/22/2020

Throughout the early and middle 20th Century, Polio outbreaks dominated the news and the public consciousness while scientists struggled to identify and neutralize whatever caused this disease.

North Carolina's own Polio story is well documented, particularly the 1944 Hickory Emergency Hospital.

Recently we learned of an interesting connection to what a patient with polio was able to do with her time in the hospital. What will come out of all the creative forces currently in quarantine?
Hat tip to filmmaker Melody Gilbert:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10157298903211747&set=a.457896691746&type=3&theater

Joining the fun with our friends @ncculture for #ncearthday50   Today’s theme blue. Blue skies this afternoon over the B...
04/21/2020

Joining the fun with our friends @ncculture for #ncearthday50 Today’s theme blue.
Blue skies this afternoon over the Bird Bldg at WCU. #mountainheritage #birdbuilding #dogwoodtree

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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Come join us for an evening of old time mountain dancing at the Family Resource Center, Old Webster School, Sat., Oct 26, 7:00-9:00! Free admission, and everyone welcome!
Hey folks! This month, we've got two dances for the price of one (still free)! Come to Mountain Heritage Day at Western Carolina University for the first dance in the afternoon (4:00-5:00), then stay over for the main dance at the WCU Reid Gym (7:00-9:00). Phil Jamison & Jenny Monfore taking turns fiddling and calling!
Come join us for an evening of old-time mountain music and dancing at the Balsam Community Center, Sat., July 27, 7:00-9:00pm!
Thank you Mountain Heritage Center for the series on WWI from WNC
Local history buffs should find this program educational and entertaining.
Grandma Gatewood was the first women to solo thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. Hear her story and learn more about Great Smoky Mountains Association's support for the Smokies.
Read about the Mountain Heritage Center's involvement in Folkmoot - and be sure to attend some of Folkmoot's upcoming performances and events!