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Mountain Gateway Museum
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log cabin at Mountain Gateway

The Mountain Gateway Museum and Heritage Center, located in Old Fort, North Carolina, provides an excellent introduction to mountain lifestyle and history.

Old Fort has long been considered a “gateway” to the Blue Ridge Mountains and was the site of the westernmost pioneer outpost in North Carolina prior to the Revolutionary War. The Mountain Gateway Museum’s exhibits, artifacts, photographs, and video interpret life in Western North Carolina from the earliest inhabitants through the settlement period and into the 20th century.

Housed in a beautiful 1936 WPA stone building on the banks of historic Mill Creek, the Mountain Gateway Museum offers many educational programs, including the history of handmade instruments and homemade music of the mountain people in Old Fort. Many events take place in the museum’s outdoor amphitheater beneath large shade trees. Picnic tables are available.

A short walk from the Mountain Gateway Museum is the recently renovated Old Fort train depot, where visitors can view an exhibit of the rich railroad history in the area.

Watch these interesting videos to learn more about the history of the museum and surrounding area.

Museum Director Terrell Finley – Mountain Gateway Museum, Part 1

Museum Director Terrell Finley – Mountain Gateway Museum, Part 2

Terrell Finley on the History of Old Fort and the Railroad 

Steve Little, Mayor of Madison – McDowell County Railroad. Part 1

Steve Little, Mayor of Madison – McDowell County Railroad. Part 2

Steve Little, Mayor of Madison – McDowell County Railroad. Part 3

Hours of Operation

The museum is open year-round.

Monday 12 – 5 pm
Tuesday – Saturday 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday 2 – 5 pm

Admission Fees


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


From I-40, take Exits 72 or 73 and head to the center of Old Fort. The museum is located downtown at the corner of Water and Catawba Streets.

Mountain Gateway Museum and Heritage Center
102 Water Street
Old Fort, NC 28762
(828) 668-9259


102 Water StreetOld Fort, NC 28762Get DirectionsWeb: http://www.mountaingatewaymuseum.org

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