The museum is housed in a historic Carnegie Library building in downtown Murphy.The Museum’s exhibits include: over 2,000 Cherokee artifacts, 40 exhibit panels with drawings and photographs that interpret local Cherokee history and culture, antique farm implements and vintage household items (many hand-made) used by early pioneer settlers, over 700 collectible dolls.
The museum serves as an interpretive center for the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. Murphy was once the site of Fort Butler, one of the main holding areas for Cherokees who were being removed from North Carolina in the 1830’s. Other sites in and around Murphy play a prominent role in Cherokee history, mythology, and culture.
The museum houses a replica of the log cabin dwellings used by the Cherokee residents of the area at the time of their removal. This type of dwelling was also typical of that used by pioneer settlers, many of whom moved into the vacated Cherokee cabins.
In front of the building rests an ancient stone turtle carved from soapstone that is associated with a Cherokee creation legend.
Hours of Operation
Monday – Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Saturday – from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Tours are offered to school children, elderhostels, seniors and other groups by appointment.
Admission is $3.00 for adults and $1.00 for children.