A distinguished farmhouse full of heritage pieces
Two blocks south of Waynesville’s bustling main street, it is easy to slip into the atmosphere of a 19th-century Charlestonian farmhouse with its double veranda, central foyer, and a maze of rooms filled with historic antiques, Native American weavings, beadwork, wood carvings plus other beautiful North Carolina heritage crafts.
The home, built in 1875, was originally owned by Stephen Jehu Shelton and his wife, Mahala Conley Shelton. Stephen, a Confederate veteran, served as High Sheriff of Haywood County for several years following the Civil War.
The house was later purchased by his second son, William Taylor Shelton in 1905. Will served as an Agricultural Instructor for the Cherokee, and later, the Navajo of Ship Rock, New Mexico. He was eventually named Superintendent of the San Juan Training School in Ship Rock and helped the Navajo to build the Northern Navajo Craft Fair still in existence today. Will, and his wife, Hattie, moved back to Waynesville in 1916 and continued to live in the house for the remainder of their lives.
The house was purchased by Mary Cornwell in 1978 for the creation of The Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts, whose collection grew out of a state fair exhibit, “Village of Yesteryear” which still exhibits at the NC State Fair every year. Displays in the museum include hand-sewn quilts, woodworking, basketry, porcelain dolls pottery and much, much more. In addition to the heritage crafts displayed, the home is filled with historical pieces from times gone by including several original pieces from the Shelton family and the town of Waynesville. You won’t want to miss the Native American Room filled with the artwork of the local Cherokee, Navajo, Sioux, Hopi and Acoma Native Americans.
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