General Project Goals
More Educational 
Demonstrations & Programs


The museum has a strong history of educational programs for kids, especially with Old Fort Elementary School next door.  Programs have ranged from Saturday Storytimes to interactive historical demonstrations and reenactments.  

We feel very strongly that we need to focus on maintaining and enhancing these programs; 

with the continual increase in computerized entertainment, many kids these days are becoming distanced from our local history and culture.  We want to find ways to make history fun and relatable for our local children to keep all of this alive for future generations.  And it doesn't hurt to get kids outside and connecting with their surroundings! 

More Performances
& Gatherings 


The museum has had a range of performances over the years - a grant allowed for weekly summer performances on the porch years ago, and we always have lively bands performing bluegrass and folk in the outdoor amphitheater during the NC Gold Festival, Pioneer Day(s), and Octoberfest!  If you or anyone you know would be interested in performing at the museum during the warmer months, please get in contact with us.  We have a very limited budget as of now, but strongly feel that music has a power to bring folks together and connect the community.  We hope to add more live music to the 2018 calendar!

We'd love to see some kind of Farmers Market or Craft Market come to fruition, but we are limited by having mostly outdoor space and limited protection from the elements, and the open land owned by the museum is in a floodplain so we can't build a shelter. 

All food for thought! 

More Community Involvement


We want to hear from YOU!  What have you most enjoyed in the past, and what kind of displays, programs or events would make you more likely to visit in the future?  This past Christmas' wreath workshop was quite a fun success, so maybe we will try more classes for adults.  We welcome any suggestions (and of course volunteers) - we want the museum and grounds to be a central hub for Old Fort where folks enjoy gathering and where we keep the history of Appalachia alive!


Upcoming Events & Exhibits

Regardless of the day you visit the Gateway Mountain Museum, it offers a great selection of permanent and traveling exhibits to help you learn about mountain life and culture, and see how our region has changed over time.  Click here to visit the museum website and read about upcoming events!

Past Projects/Events

The Friends helped sponsor a wonderful traveling exhibit last fall - 'Treasures of Carolina: Stories from the State Archives'. We were very excited to have the Mountain Gateway Museum be the first place to host the newly compiled exhibit! 

Archives Exhibit images - La Florida.jpg

The oldest item held by the State Archives of North Carolina is this 1584 map “La Florida,” created under the reign of Phillip II of Spain. The map includes what became North Carolina.  It is part of the current exhibit.  

Archives Exhibit images -- Dula trial ma

This hand-drawn map was used as evidence during the 1867 trial of Tom Dula, who was indicted and hanged for murdering Laura Foster.  It is part of the current exhibit. 

We were excited to join with the Arrowhead Artists and Artisans League to sponsor the below art contest last fall.

FINAL-McDowell Co Art Contest PSD.jpg