Support Us Button Widget

Explore centuries of our region’s key events at the newly opened Asheville Museum of History

The museum opened Wednesday, Oct. 25 in Asheville’s oldest surviving house, the Smith-McDowell House.

kiosks.png

View artifacts + read up on our region’s key developments and traditions.

Photo by AVLtoday

Table of Contents

Back in April, the WNC Historical Association announced plans to open the Asheville Museum of History — and after months of work, the museum opened its doors yesterday, Wednesday, Oct. 25.

Previously a house museum operated by the WNC Historical Association, the Smith-McDowell House underwent extensive renovations to transform into the Asheville Museum of History.

Take a look inside

Through permanent and rotating exhibits, the museum offers an expansive view of our region’s history and all of the communities that have contributed to it. “We want to be representative of everyone. We want people to be able to see themselves and their history here,” shares Museum Director Anne Chesky.

As you walk through the entrance, you’ll find tall glass kiosks encasing artifacts that illustrate the critical developments and traditions that shaped our area, from railroad construction to folk dancing.

Take your time in the hallway as you explore a timeline of 103 key events in WNC’s cultural, economic, environmental, political, and social history, ranging from c1000 CE to the present day. This display is filled with major events that you may know a bit about, but there are plenty of engrossing inclusions that will give you a new perspective on the historic happenings of all 23 WNC counties.

timeline showing WNC history with artifacts in glass cases

Travel through centuries of WNC history.

Photo by AVLtoday

Then, dive into Spanish Renaissance architecture in the temporary exhibit showcasing the life and work of Rafael Guastavino, which was curated by MIT Professor of Architecture John A. Ochsendorf.

The museum is open Wednesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for ages 7-17, and free for kiddos ages 6 and younger. Pro tip: Locals can get in for free on Wednesdays — just show your ID at check-in.

Getting involved

Beyond exploring the museum, there are plenty of ways you can get involved. Consider purchasing a membership or volunteering to be a docent (particularly on Saturdays). Plus, if you have any historical objects stored away in your attic, the staff can help preserve them.

The NC music office will increase awareness of NC’s rich music history + current music scene and will be housed under the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
Co-owner of Bear’s Smokehouse Cheryl Antoncic started the Linked4Life Foundation in Connecticut — and now, it’s launching in Asheville.
Tell us you’re from Asheville without telling us you’re from Asheville.
A group of musicians are working to restore the chimes, with the city considering creating policy for original music to be played.
Once booming, now barren. Let’s take a peek at malls of Asheville’s past — plus hope for the future.
You shared your feelings + feedback on life in Buncombe County — here are a few key takeaways.
At the latest meeting the council made its final vote on a Business Improvement District in downtown — here’s what that means for the neighborhood.
The program, started by a public-private coalition, celebrates energy efficiency and empower residents to take climate action right at home.
Before the final public hearing next week, take a close look at where county funds will be going next fiscal year.
As the City of Asheville continues its Patton Avenue Corridor Feasibility Study, you’re invited to give your input and feedback.
Good news for Asheville.
Get the best local news & events sent to your inbox each morning, for free.

Local Government Meetings

More from AVLtoday
According to Google, Ashevillians want to know where to fish — so we’re answering the queries with some local lakes and ponds where you can cast a line.
The summer sun is getting hotter by the minute — here’s how to safely get the most out of the season.
As alumni of the high school come together to mark 100 years since the first graduation, learn a little more about the school’s remarkable legacy.
Make the most of summer without pulling out your wallet.
Take a quick trip back in time as we look at the unique features of a few beautiful + beloved Asheville buildings.
The chef and founder of Cúrate and La Bodega dished out her tips for crafting delicious Spanish small plates at your next celebration.
The program, led by Hood Huggers International in collaboration with a number of local partners, fosters artistic inspiration for youth in the Burton Street Neighborhood.
Whether you’re looking for the little ones or for yourself, these local swimming instructors will help keep your summertime safe and fun.
Two days, three stages, 40+ performances.
The famous architect designed a mountain cabin outside Asheville — but owner Thomas C. Lea had a different plan.