Museum is OPEN for one-hour tours
Thursday – Saturday
at 10:30, Noon, 1:30, & 3:00.



Open for Pre-Booked Tours

Take a self-guided tour through Asheville’s oldest surviving brick home to learn more about our regional history through the eyes of its former occupants.


Visit our virtual exhibits, 1918 vs. 2020, Hillbillyland, Deep Dive in Archives, and Douglas Ellington. Check back regularly as we make more content available digitally.

Special Events

We offer a variety of events throughout the year. Join us for LitCafe, Outdoor Experiences, our Intro to WNC History Lecture Series, and more!


Since the 1950s, we have annually presented the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary and Outstanding Achievement Awards.

Youth Programs

Area educators can check out one of our many travelling trunks or bring their students to our Living History Days.


Our archival and object collections rotate on and off display in our period rooms and changing exhibits.

George Avery - age 71

Image: George Avery, 1917
Formerly enslaved by the McDowell family, Avery became caretaker of the South Asheville Cemetery, WNC’s oldest public cemetery for African-American burials, after emancipation.



The Western North Carolina Historical Association celebrates the enduring stories that define and shape our region. Through special exhibits and tours of the Smith-McDowell House, we strive to celebrate the stories of people from all backgrounds who have called western North Carolina home, with one key goal — to advance the understanding of our shared history.