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Highlands Historic Village
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Prince House, Highlands Historic Village

Highlands Historic Village, home to the Highlands Historical Society, comprises three historic buildings, including the oldest existing home in Highlands. 

The House-Boynton-Trapier-Wright Home, commonly known as “the Prince House,” was built in 1877 by millwright Arthur House and serves as a living history museum. One of its early residents, Frank Boynton, made history in the world of botany when in 1885 he and Charles Sprague Sargent rediscovered Shortia galacifolia, the famous plant that was not seen for almost a century after André Michaux’s first encounter with it near the Highlands plateau.

The second building is the Highlands Museum and Archives, originally erected on Main Street in 1915 to house the Hudson Library, one of the oldest libraries in the state. It was moved in 2002 to the Historic Village to serve the community as a state-of-the-art museum and archives.

Exhibit topics include:

  • A Woman’s Life in Old Highlands
  • tools used by rustic-style cabin-builder Joe Webb
  • historic houses of Highlands
  • moonshing in the North Georgia and North Carolina mountains
  • education and religion in Highlands
  • regional diaries and genealogies
  • photographs by John Bundy, George Masa, Henry Scadin, and others
  • Dr. Mary Lapham’s 1908 sanatorium
  • pioneer educator and botanist Prof. Thomas Harbison

Documents, articles, books, photographs, and newspapers dating back to the town’s founding in 1875 can be accessed by computer and microfilm.

The third building is Bug Hill Cottage, one of 60 open-air cubicles built in 1908 for patients under the care of Dr. Mary E. Lapham, whose tuberculosis sanatorium (“Bug Hill’) was one of the first in North Carolina.

Hours of Operation

Wednesday-Saturday, 11 am-3 pm, Memorial Day Weekend through October 31, or by appointment.

Admission Fees


Hours of operation and fees are subject to change. Contact directly for most current information.


Highlands Historic Village is located three blocks north of the center of town on U.S. 64 East, across from the funeral home.

Highlands Historic Village
524 N. 4th Street
Highlands, NC 28741
(828) 787-1050


524 N. 4th StreetHighlands, NC 28741Get DirectionsWeb: http://www.highlandshistory.com/

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