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, and Douglas Ellington. Check back regularly as we make more content available digitally.

Special Events

We offer a variety of events throughout the year from book club to excursions to lectures.


Since the 1950s, we have annually presented the Thomas Wolfe 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 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.

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