Old Fort has long been considered a "gateway" to the Blue Ridge Mountains and was the site of the westernmost pioneer outpost in North Carolina prior to the Revolutionary War. Our exhibits, artifacts, photographs, and on-site programs interpret life in western North Carolina from the earliest inhabitants into the 20th century.

Housed in a beautiful 1936 WPA stone building on the banks of historic Mill Creek, our museum offers a number of educational programs and exhibits covering a range of topics related to all who call the 38 counties in our service district "home".


Mondays: Closed

Tuesday to Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sundays: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Closed All State Holidays


Admission to the museum's exhibits and most programs is free, however donations are appreciated. Some special exhibits and programs do have charges. Please call (828) 668-9259 for more information.


We're located less than a half-mile off Interstate 40's exit 73 in the heart of downtown Old Fort. Just minutes away from Black Mountain and less than 30 minutes from downtown Asheville. Our address is 24 Water Street, Old Fort, N.C. 28762.


All exhibits are designed to be self-guided to be enjoyed at your own pace. Groups may register for special guided tours and programming upon availability and size of the group with two weeks advance reservation. Expect to spend about an hour at our museum to see all that we have to offer.

In Our Area

There's a lot to explore in McDowell County and the rest of the North Carolina mountains. Looking for more do when you visit us? The McDowell County Tourism Development Authority and Blue Ridge National Heritage Area are two great jumping off points to learn more about things to do and places to stay in our region.