New museum exhibition highlights EBCI sovereignty

The Museum of the Cherokee People has opened a new attraction focused on the sovereignty of the Eastern Band. 

Ribbon cutting for the house cat museum

On Thursday, Nov. 30, the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Team held a grand opening/ribbon cutting ceremony for the American Museum of the House Cat. 

Reclaiming the name: Cherokee museum chooses new name, branding

When Shana Condill  stepped in as Cherokee’s new museum director, she expected questions about the museum’s name — and her instinct quickly proved correct. 

The wheels through time roll on: WNC motorcycle museum celebrates 20 years, looks ahead

With a quick roll start to crank over the engine of the 1916 Traub motorcycle, Matt Walksler hops off the bike and knocks down the kickstand. The 106-year-old machine rumbles, the smell of oil and gasoline soon permeating the air. He turns to the crowd of a couple dozen folks making a semi-circle around him. 

WNC museums

Although the rich history and culture of Western North Carolina is alive and thriving through the hands of our local artisans and performers, there are also numerous museums here preserving and perpetuating the heritage of Southern Appalachia. These buildings each pay homage to the crafts, sounds, and deeply held traditions of these ancient mountains and its people.

Finding joy and exploring a museum

Near the beginning of Katherine Center’s novel What You Wish For (St. Martin’s Press, 2020, 309 pages), school librarian Samantha Casey suffers an attack of epilepsy while driving and runs her car into the side of a 7-Eleven. She suffers bruises and requires stitches for her cuts, but she is chiefly distraught at the return of her epilepsy after so many years.

Cat museum stretches its legs: As visitation grows, museum plans for larger location

Now well into its second year of operation, things are purring along at the American Museum of the House Cat in Sylva, so much so that director Harold Sims is hatching a plan to build a new, bigger home for the cat-honoring attraction. 

Antique toy museum moves into Cowee School

Jim Geary has been collecting toys since he was a boy in 1950. The fascination and hobby that has stuck with him throughout his life all started with a 1911 Rolls Royce model car kit.

The American Museum of The House Cat

It took over 30 years, but Harold Sims can now show the world.

“It’s been very rewarding,” he said. “I wanted to have a cat shelter, I made that come true. I wanted to have a cat museum, and I made that come true. It’s like the movie ‘Field of Dreams’ — ‘if you build it, they will come.’”

Franklin museum a real ‘gem’

At first glance, the Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum may seem like a hokey tourist attraction, but visitors willing to give it a closer look will discover the largest inventory of gems in the Southeast.

Page 1 of 3
Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.