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The Mountain Heritage Center documents, studies, and interprets the culture and history of Southern Appalachia. It provides museum services to western North Carolina, collecting artifacts, building exhibitions, and showcasing traditional skills including craft and music. This collection below shows a sample of exhibit items and artifacts. 

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Corn cob pipe owned by Horace Kephart. The pipe was collected by William Bird for WCU from the Kephart estate as part of an early effort to preserve and interpret the history of western North Carolina.



Piece of a woven coverlet in a variation of “9 Snowballs” pattern. The blue is indigo dyed yarn that was likely hand spun while the white is cotton thread. Although the maker is unknown, the piece was originally collected by Albert McCracken of Haywood County, NC.



Rug made by William Rempe for a model log cabin he constructed. The rug measures approximately 2” by 3”. Mr. Rempe made the log cabin and its furnishings to honor and celebrate mountain life.



Hand-made jacket owned by James Wood of Cowarts, NC and likely made in the mid to late 1800s out of piece-dyed indigo fabric along with a lining of Alamance Plaid cloth. The jacket was collected by William Bird for WCU as part of an early effort to preserve and interpret the history of western North Carolina.



Sebring porcelain serving platter used in the F. P. Axley home in Murphy, NC during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


Carved bears

Hand-carved bears made from walnut wood and attributed to G. B. Chiltosky of Cherokee, NC. Donated to the MHC by the estate of John Parris of Sylva, NC.



For three generations the Whitaker-Wilson family wove on this loom. Made in the 1850s by Jessie Whitaker of Andrews, NC, the loom is fastened together with wooden pegs. The most recent owner was Mrs. Carrie Wilson. In 1914 when Carrie was only eighteen, she convinced her father not to destroy the loom for firewood. Carrie used the loom for over fifty years weaving cloth and other useful items for her family. It operates with a minimum of metal parts but a maximum of skill and patience.


Cherokee Pottery Bowl

Decorated Rim Bowl with dimpled flange, tempered by mussel shell, it may have been painted at one time. Likely made since Euro-American arrival in the Overhill area of Cherokee settlement, today known as east Tennessee. This bowl was at one time displayed at a museum owned by John Battle of Whittier, NC.



Smoothing plane donated to the MHC by Fred Biddix and the Spruce Pine Lumber Company.


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