Experience Henderson County’s rich history starting with the American Civil War.
The “golden age” which began when the railroad arrived, brought trade and tourism to the area and led to prosperity and wealth.
Many artifacts, an original store with an impressive cash register, the original county jail window bars and a model train bring fun and excitement to your visit.
“We invite you on a journey to yesterday” may be the motto of the Henderson County Heritage Museum in downtown Hendersonville. The museum occupies six rooms of the → Historic Henderson County Courthouse.
Carl Sagan once famously said: “You have to know the past to understand the present”.
The Henderson County Heritage Museum makes you experience the County’s rich history through many artifacts and pictures dating back 150 years covering for example the American Civil War in its own small exhibit and the advent of the railroad which started Henderson County’s “golden age” of trade and tourism. A separate exhibition spread over two rooms and the Heritage Corridor is dedicated to this period.
You may want to turn back time to the early 1900s and picture yourself going shopping at the Shepherd Store. Wonderful artifacts like an impressive cash register, baskets, canned food, a rocking chair and washboards give the store an authentic feel of the era.
If you want to take some cool family pictures, you may want to go to the Courthouse Room on the 3rd floor of the museum. Furnishings and artifacts of the 1905 Courthouse await you including … the original courthouse jail window bars, where you can take a picture showing one of your family members behind bars.
The arrival of the railroad in Hendersonville in 1879 played a pivotal role in the development of trade and tourism in the County. The Bo Thomas Room with the exhibition Golden Age: Coming of the Railroad is dedicated to this important period. But it is not just an ordinary exhibition: A model train runs above your head circling the room near the ceiling complete with typical train sound effects. Also on display is a diorama of the steep Saluda Grade, which the Apple Valley Model Railroad Club has built for the museum.
The Club also has its own museum called the → Historic Hendersonville Train Depot, which is located in the historic Railroad Station on Maple Street not too far from where the Courthouse is. Their museum displays an impressively large HO-model railroad complete with mountains, wooden bridges, steep inclines, tunnels etc.
The Henderson County Heritage Museum is a great place to learn about the history of the area and escape the elements when the weather is not so good.
The Henderson County Heritage Museum has many artifacts, pictures and attractions which are interesting for visitors of all ages.
The Henderson County Heritage Museum is wheelchair accessible.
The Henderson County Heritage Museum offers short videos to enhance the exhibition.
Restrooms are available in the museum.