Did you know the world’s largest tannery formerly operated in Old Fort? Were you aware that renowned folklorist Bascom Lamar Lunsford once lived on Main Street? Or that Bill Haley & His Comets’ original bass player hailed from here? Surely you’ve heard about the town having the state’s first female police chief back in the 1970s or listened to your family’s stories about the old “helper” engines that used to help eastbound trains up the steep slope of Old Fort Mountain?
If, sadly, your answer to all of these questions is “no,” then you need to visit the Mountain Gateway Museum’s new photography exhibit, “A Peek Into the Past: Old Fort at 150.” Opening this Thursday, Feb. 23, and running till the end of the year, the free exhibit celebrates Old Fort’s sesquicentennial by looking at images of some of its outstanding people, places, institutions, and events during the past century and a half. Because of the scope of the exhibit, a second rotation with new photographs will be going up in the late summer of 2023.
The images are digitized photographs pulled from both public and personal collections, including those of Bill Nichols, Kim Clark, Shearon Cline, the Col. Daniel W. Adams family, the Peggy Silvers family, the McDowell County Public Library, the Historic Carson House, the Western Regional Archives at Oteen, and others. The exhibit also includes more than two dozen artifacts on loan from local residents and businesses. To learn more about the exhibit, please contact the curator, RoAnn Bishop at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope you can stop in and celebrate 150 years with us!