255 Main Street

Bryson City, NC 28713

Tel: 828-488-7857

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Hours:

April - December: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

January - March: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Closed on Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day

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.

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

  • Picture room, featuring photos of the North Shore area of Fontana Lake.

  • Quilts

  • Military

  • Memorabilia and tools from early settlers in Swain County