Museums and Places of Interest, Summer in McDowell Museums and Places of Interest, Summer in McDowell
Mountain Gateway Museum

In the center of historic Old Fort lies a treasure of a museum, set in beautiful surroundings, which is sure to please all age groups!

The Mountain Gateway Museum and Heritage Center collects and preserves artifacts and other historical materials relating to the history and heritage of North Carolina in a local, regional, national, and international context to assist people in understanding how the past influences the present.

HOURS
Mondays: Closed
Tuesday to Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sundays: 2 to 5 p.m.
Closed All State Holidays


Admission to the museum's exhibits and most programs is free, however donations are appreciated. 

Museum of North Carolina Minerals

The Museum of North Carolina Minerals features interactive displays about the minerals and gems found in the region as well as the historical importance of the mining industry to the local economy.

The Museum is located at Gillespie Gap, an important stop for Revolutionary War fighters on their way to the Battle of Kings Mountain.

The is open daily from 9am to 5pm, and highlights the rich mineral resources and the mining heritage of this portion of North Carolina's Blue Ridge. The museum is open year round and is education-based, interactive, and experiential for children and adults. Discover hands-on, interactive exhibits that explore the creation of the Blue Ridge Mountains and a wide variety of minerals.

Old Fort Railroad Museum / Train Depot

The Old Fort Railroad Museum presents the impact of the railroads in the mountains of North Carolina. Train exhibits, original tools and signal lights, furniture and signs are housed in the historic 1890s vintage Old Fort Depot. There is also an original caboose on display.

Andrews Geyser

The geyser, built in 1879, is part of a public park maintained by the town of Old Fort. Picnic tables are on site in addition to a N.C. Civil War Trail marker. One of the last skirmishes of the Civil War took place at the base of Swannanoa Gap.

Old Fort Arrowhead

This unique statue standing in the center of Old Fort was first unvelied in 1930, and is still a very popular place for photographs to be taken!

Major Wilson Monument

This Old Fort Monument, found at the Old Fort Depot, is to honor the amazing achievements of local hero Major J.W. Wilson, who completed the feat of running a railroad across the Blue Ridge in the early 20th Century

Thomas Wolfe Angel

Thomas Clayton Wolfe was an American novelist considered North Carolina's most famous writers. The statue standing in the graveyard in Old Fort is not thought to be "the" angel of Wolfe's famous novel "Look Homeward, Angel" she did come from the shop of Wolfe's father, William Oliver Wolfe, and is absolutely beautiful, and is one of the angels that could very be "the" angel! 

Davidson's Fort Historic Park

Take a trip back in time, to the 1770's to be precise, to colonial times.

See an authentic replication of the fort that played a large part in fighting for freedom in the Revolutionary War.

Enjoy reenactments,  find out about life over 200 years ago, and learn more about the history of this great place we call home.

MATCH McDowell
McDowell County Health Coalition
MATCH McDowell
McDowell County Health Coalition