The History Museum of Burke County
The History Museum of Burke County exhibits over 20,000 artifacts grouped by major historical events and by themes, such as military, fashion, toys or games, spanning more than three centuries. Visitors can also see recreations of a town-typical barbershop, an old-fashioned beauty parlor, a café and the offices of an optometrist and a dentist. These everyday settings offer visitors of all ages a wonderful glimpse back into our distant and not so distant past. Guided tours are available.
Historic NC School for the Deaf
The Historic North Carolina School for the Deaf is the second historic state institution in Morganton. Situated on a beautiful hill south of downtown, the school’s campus comprises 14 historical buildings constructed between 1891 and the mid 1930s, including the magnificent Main Building with its imposing five-story clock tower. A small museum, located on site, explains the history of the school through old pictures, architectural drawings, articles and memorabilia (by appointment only).
Historic Broughton Hospital
The Historic Broughton Hospital was one of two large state institutions, which were brought to Morganton in the late 1800s. Originally called the Western North Carolina Insane Asylum, the Broughton Hospital, which has considerably expanded over the years, continues to be a major employer in the region. The historic buildings can still be viewed from the outside today.
Railroad Depot and Museum
The Railroad Depot and Museum is a cute little museum located in a beautifully restored train station from the 1860s. The museum features a collection of railroad memorabilia including nostalgic dining car tableware, an old telegraph, a ticket counter, a brass bell and a headlamp from a steam locomotive.
Historic McDowell House
The Historic McDowell House, which is located in Quaker Meadows 2.5 miles (4 km) from downtwon Morganton, is a beautifully restored plantation home from 1812 and the oldest brick home in Burke County. It is said that in 1780 on these grounds Charles McDowell’s father and other Patriot soldiers made plans, which led to the victory over the British in the Battle of Kings Mountain during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783).
Historic Tate House
The Historic Tate House is not just a beautiful building in a park-like setting in the center of downtown, it was also the home of one of Morganton’s most influential residents. Samuel Tate, who was a local hero during the American Civil War and a successful businessman and politician in the late 1800s, is credited with bringing two large state institutions to this small community located far from the state capital Raleigh.