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Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, Townsend

(170+ reviews on the web)
History Museum
The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center is a private non-profit museum located in Townsend, Tennessee, United States, near the city's entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Its mission is to preserve the heritage and culture of the inhabitants of the Great Smoky Mountains, including both the region's Native American inhabitants and the pioneers and residents of the region's Appalachian communities. The center was organized in the early 2000s, and officially opened in February 2006.The center houses over 17000sqft of indoor and outdoor exhibits. The outdoor area includes several structures from around the region, including a log cabin, two cantilever barns, an AME Zion chapel, a logging town "setoff" house, a sawmill, and a still once operated by a local moonshiner. The indoor gallery displays tools, furniture and musical instruments used in the mountain region, as well as a sizable collection of Cherokee and other Native American artifacts, some dating to the Archaic period (c. 8000–2000 B.C.).HistoryThe Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center was conceptualized in the early 2000s by local preservationist and antique collector Richard Way. Early organizational efforts were led by Bob Patterson and several Townsend-area civic organizations. The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center Guild hosted fundraisers for the proposed center in 2004 and 2005. Ground for the new center was broken in the Summer of 2004. The center officially opened February 12, 2006.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The property owner at the cabin we rented was supposed to include tickets to the Heritage Center as part of our package but we never got them. The seven dollar fee would not have broken us but we were...  more »
  • Average center, not unique enough. In and out without much to remember and few people around to ask questions of.  more »
  • We were not expecting such a wonderful place. Regret not having enough time to visit the museum but this will be on our bucket list for next time we visit. The entire area and building are exemplary. ...  more »
Google
  • Really nice stop to get educated on area and history. Learn far more here with little to no other visitors than did at cades Cove. Was able to enjoy cades Cove more though because had better understanding of story and history.
  • Heritage Center is wonderful and full of local information, and displays of local talent and history of the area. Do visit all the buildings, quite a history lesson to visualize. Currently having the fall concert series with music at 7pm on Friday nights. Great groups, all different. Come early and bring a chair.
  • It has a very interesting life size model vilage you can walk around in.
  • A great place to go for history of the area. I found it to be extremely interesting.
  • great place to visit.