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Volunteer Opportunities


The Western North Carolina Historical Association depends on individuals to help keep our nonprofit organization vital. There are many exciting volunteer opportunities to choose from at Smith-McDowell House or with the Association. Group activities are also available. In many cases, we provide training. For additional information, contact our staff at 828-253-9231 or




Museum Educator

Present programs to school groups or with our Hands-On-History Summer Camp. Conduct research and help develop new programs or teacher's curriculum guides. Help make teaching traveling trunks. Visit a school to present a program or teach at the Museum. Must be available during school and daytime hours. Training provided for school group programs.


Museum Guide

Greet visitors to Smith-McDowell House Museum and answer questions as they take a self-guided tour of the Museum. Work with group tours and special guided tours. Weekday and weekend hours available. Training provided.



Help restore and maintain our 1.5-acre grounds, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. in 1900. Adopt a garden for the growing season. Help with general yard care, such as raking, weeding, watering, and pruning or serve on a committee that helps direct grounds' restoration activities. Weekday and weekend hours available. Most tools are provided by the Museum.


Museum Intern

Many museum professionals began their careers as a museum volunteer. An internship provides a unique learning experience for high school and college students. Get an overview of employment opportunities in the museum profession while building your resume. Internships are available with focuses on education, collection care, marketing and visitor services, exhibitions, grounds' restoration, research, or general museum work. College credit is frequently available. Both weekday and weekend hours available. Training provided. Collections - Help catalog the museum's permanent collection. Create records for a computerized collection database. Conduct inventories of collection objects. Perform needed conservation work. Some training provided, but related experience preferred. Exhibitions - Conduct research for special or permanent exhibits. Help create and install exhibits. Perform routine maintenance on museum's exhibitions. Help install season changes to our period rooms, including decorating for our Victorian Christmas Celebration. Special Events - Coordinate special events such as receptions, teas, or lectures. Organize refreshments and marketing. Research and recommend new events. Oversee the museum during rental events. Times vary, pending on need.



Help preserve our circa 1840 historic house. Clean gutters, paint walls and woodwork, polish floors, clean glass, sweep porches and patios. Repair plaster or install caulking around windows and doors. Weekday and weekend hours available.



Board of Trustees

Serve on the 17-person Board that oversees all activities of the Historical Association. Board members must be a member of the Association and are elected initially to a three year term. The Board of Trustees meets monthly.  

Board of Trustees Committees

The Board of Trustees encourages community volunteers to participate on the following committees of the Board:

Program Committee - This committee is responsible for developing all of the educational programs and events such as lectures and tours.  The committee meets twice each month.

Fundraising Committee - This committee is responsible for developing and planning at least one major fund raising event each year.  This committee meets on an as needed basis.

Marketing Committee - This committee is responsible for assisting the staff in publicity and public relations efforts of the organization.

Exhibition Committee - This is a new committee and is responsible for developing a program of changing exhibitions for the gallery area of the Smith McDowell House Museum.

Awards Committee

Coordinates the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award and the WNCHA Outstanding Achievement Award. Prepares promotional materials and recommends mailing lists. Reviews nominations and recommends winners to the WNCHA Board of Trustees. Expertise in either history or literature is suggested due to the nature of the Wolfe Award.


Web Page

Our web page is made possible through the efforts of volunteers. If you know how to make it better, let us know.


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The Western North Carolina Historical Association and Smith-McDowell House Museum


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