WCU’s Mountain Heritage Center is on the move! The Center’s exhibit galleries that have been open since 1979 in the Robinson Building will be closed to the public starting April 13 in preparation for a cross-campus move. Our offices will remain open Monday-Friday, 8 am – 5 pm. In late May, the MHC will move its offices and exhibits to Hunter Library, where we will continue to serve WCU and the community. The offices will reopen June 1, and our new exhibit gallery will open August 17. Our collections will remain in the Robinson Building, where our artifact preservation and research work will continue. Ultimately, the MHC will be the centerpiece of a new WCU Visitors Center.
A regional museum, the MHC documents, studies, and interprets the culture and history of Southern Appalachia. It also provides museum services to western North Carolina. Thus, it collects artifacts, builds exhibitions, and showcases traditional skills including craft and music.
The MHC produces books and musical recordings, and enriches the curricula of elementary, secondary, and university students. Major exhibits have examined the Scotch-Irish, handicraft traditions, Plott Hounds, and mountain trout. The Smithsonian Institution and the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress have adopted some of its programming.
The collection of over 10,000 artifacts was started in the early 20th Century by faculty and staff at WCU. It is rich in agricultural implements, logging and woodworking tools, textiles, and transportation equipment.
The MHC is committed to public history, especially to interpreting current academic studies of Appalachia to the public. Student workers are involved in every aspect of the MHC's work and the MHC is committed to helping them with their career path.
Mountain Heritage Day, a fall festival always held the last Saturday of September, presents traditional mountain culture to tens of thousands of visitors.