top of page

The Museum

"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots." - Marcus Garvey

The courthouse was built in 1907. It served as courtroom and county offices. In 1984, these services moved to a new location on Mitchell Street in Bryson City. It sat vacant for many years.

Grants were obtained by the county to refurbish the building, which opened in June 2014. It now serves as a visitor center and Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore on the first floor, with a Swain County Heritage Museum on the first and second floor. There is no admission charge, donations are greatly appreciated and there is a scavenger hunt available for everyone. 

Featured displays include:

  • One Room School

  • Restored log cabin

  • 1887 church organ

  • Children's activity

  • Video room, featuring a 15-minute film about Swain County history

  • Pictures of the North Shore area of Fontana Lake.

  • Quilts

  • Military

  • Memorabilia and tools from early settlers in Swain County

  • Rotating Exhibit room courtesy of Western Carolina University. 

  • Moonshine Still 

bottom of page