Henderson Heritage Museum: Why Visit 200 Years of Fascinating History

Henderson Heritage Museum is one of the most fascinating museums in Western NC, with its legendary accumulation of historical facts, photographs, and artifacts dating back to the 1700s. Western, NC, is rich with history, with many parts of North Carolina serving as pinnacle points in settlers’ movements out west.

If you are a history buff and want to learn more, keep reading and consider taking a trip to the area to see this museum and many others like it in the Asheville, Hendersonville, and Saluda areas!

Learn 200 Years of History at the Henderson Heritage Museum

About the Henderson Heritage Museum

When you are in the Western North Carolina mountains, history surrounds you. As one of the original 13 colonies, North Carolina was the 12th state admitted to the union on November 21, 1789. With the state being more than 220 years old, it is evident that North Carolina’s history is rich with information.

Fortunately, various places in the state have done an excellent job of preserving that history to pass it along for generations to come. That fact is shown by the nearly 500 North Carolina museums scattered from the mountains, through the foothills, and to the coast. One of the hundreds of museums you should check out is the Henderson County Heritage Museum in downtown Hendersonville, NC.

The Henderson Heritage Museum has been educating locals and visitors for many decades. They aim to capture, promote, and celebrate our history and culture. To help make this happen, they also partner with many other local and regional businesses and government organizations.

These partnerships help these organizations further their mission. Some of their partners include other museums, libraries, and historical societies. Their goal also includes engaging residents and visitors in preserving our history for many generations.

Visiting the Henderson Heritage Museum

The Henderson Heritage Museum is located downtown in the restored Historic Courthouse, which is about 2,000 sq. ft. wide and has six rooms for these exhibits. The museum is dedicated to operating a heritage and history museum that showcases Henderson Country throughout the years. This unique history is displayed using various methods, including educational programs, creative exhibits, and dioramas.

Henderson Heritage Museum Exhibits

Even though the museum may not be significant, the staff has used every available space. Each of the six rooms features current exhibits on display. Here are a few you can expect to see when you visit.

Let Freedom Ring

Louise Howe Bailey’s Room focuses on the 1940s until today. Most of it centers on the many wars fought in these short decades. There are videos and audio recordings of soldiers and sailors. Photos, uniforms, and more help complete the story.

Shepherd’s Store

The Champion Hills Club Room is a fascinating exhibit of a turn-of-the-century country store. Enjoy the video of Mr. Shepard as he details the store’s past.

Civil War

Perry Rudnick Foundation Room focuses on the part of our nation’s past that changed us forever, the Civil War. Explore the 1860s, the uniforms, flags, and soldiers who fought.

Coming of the Railroad

The Bo Thomas Room depicts one of the most critical times in our North Carolina history, the start of the railroad. It allowed us to expand and others to enjoy our beautiful area. You can further explore aspects of our¬†railroad history at The Orchard Inn¬†if you’re interested in learning more about it in the region!

The Courthouse Room

The last room is on the 3rd floor of the Henderson Heritage Museum. A docent is there to help answer questions about this 1905 model of the Courthouse.


The museum is faithful to its mission of passing history down to future generations by providing several ways to make the experience fun for children. The museum is always up for a group of kids and will give tours to families and classes from school.

Gift Shop and Visitor Hours

Once you have taken your trip through the museum, stop by the gift shop before you depart. Here you will be able to buy many items relating to the history of the area, and you will also be able to look at a historic Gillespie Rifle.

If you want to continue learning about Henderson County when you leave, there is also the option to purchase different books that will fill you in on anything you have missed during your tour.


1 Historic Courthouse Sq., #4

Hendersonville, NC


Wednesday-Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm

Sunday, 1 pm – 5 pm

Thinking of exploring our area? Stay with us at The Orchard Inn.

The small town of Saluda, NC, is located right on the border of Henderson and Polk Counties. That is where you will find The Orchard Inn. It is the perfect place to spend the night after touring the Henderson County Heritage Museum during the day.

Many of our rooms and cottages come with stunning views of the local mountains. You will fall asleep quickly on our comfortable beds topped with luxurious linens. Have your choice of pillow from our Pillow Menu. Join everyone for a lovely breakfast our chefs make each morning you are with us. Contact us today and begin planning your next trip to Western North Carolina.

The Orchard Inn is a member of Select Registry Distinguished Inns of North America, meaning your stay will be spectacular. Enjoy your meals while soaking in the picturesque mountain views, and choose from one of the 14 luxurious accommodations for your visit. Between the food, the views, the rooms, and the service, you are sure to leave The Orchard Inn a happy customer.