Travel Attractions

Smith-Mcdowell Museum

283 Victoria Road Asheville, NC 28801
Distance from hotel: 6.6 mi
Phone: (828) 253-9231
Website: wnchistory.org

Visit the Smith McDowell Museum for a taste of American history. The Smith McDowell museum is actually the oldest house in Asheville, North Carolina. This red colored brick building is four stories high and sits in the magnificent countryside - hills and green fields surround it. The Smith-Mcdowell Museum is a house that was built in 1845 in Asheville, North Carolina.

James McConnell Smith built it in 1845. When he died his daughter, Sarah McDowell bought it and that is how it got the name, “Smith McDowell House”. The Mcdowell and Smith families lived in the house until 1881 when they sold it due to a need for money. The house changed hands many times until it finally opened as a museum in 1981.

This house is now on the campus of a technical college and serves as a museum. It serves as a reminder of the era it was built in. The house was constructed about two decades before the start of the American civil war and hence it serves as a poignant reminder of the civil war. It was built with the help of the local slave labor. Most people do not know that this house was called the “Buck House” at one time in the past. This is because at one time it was famous as the “Buck Hotel”.

Inside the house, each room has been designed to represent a single decade, telling the story of the house and its history in Asheville. An interest fact about this mansion is that its brick walls are 12 - 18 inches deep. The house has been beautifully renovated to reflect its former glory of when it was first built in 1845. The Smith-Mcdowell museum is unique in several respects; it is the longest standing house in Asheville, the oldest brick house in Buncombe County and the first mansion built in Asheville.

You will find some fantastic exhibits in the house. You will notice that there are portraits of the owners of the house and some romantic letters written by a young man named T.M. Garrison. There are many activities to do at the Smith-Mcdowell Museum besides touring the mansion. Check their website for a complete listing of all their tours, lectures, and other great activities.

The museum is open from 10am to 4pm, Wednesday through Saturday and is open from 12pm to 4pm on Sundays.

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