Matthews, North Carolina
Matthews Heritage Museum
“Where Children Experience… and Adults Remember”
We’re excited to announce that admission to the Matthews Heritage Museum is now FREE! The Matthews Historical Foundation Board has made the decision to waive the entry fee for all visitors to the Museum. This means that everyone can now explore the fascinating exhibits and artifacts at no cost. We look forward to welcoming you to the Museum soon!
What’s New at the Museum?
Woven Treasures: Baskets Old and New
Baskets were originally designed as multi-purpose vessels to carry and store materials and to keep stray items about the home. Multiple cultures developed techniques for making baskets dating back to 8000 BCE. Baskets are traditionally constructed from stiff fibers and can be made from a range of materials, including wood splints, whicker, reed, pine needles, and cane. While most baskets are made from plant materials, other materials such as horsehair, metal wire, and even plastic can be used. Traditional baskets are generally woven by hand.
The exhibit Woven Treasures: Baskets Old and New features a wide variety of both traditional and artistic. Several examples of the traditional Nantucket basket, tightly woven with rattan and cane from New England are on display, as well as several Gullah baskets made with sweetgrass from Charleston. The exhibit features a variety of baskets from the last 50 years, made by modern artists as well as traditional basket makers who were trained by their enslaved relatives.
One of the oldest baskets dates to the 1970s, crafted by a well-known black craftsman from Mecklenburg County, Leon Berry, who learned the trade from his grandfather, a former slave. Modern creations have been woven by Susan Brandenburg, a member of the Dreamweaver’s Guild.
Several programs are being planned with this exhibit that runs through April 1, 2023, including a program on Leon Berry scheduled for February 9, 2023, to be held at the Matthews Library. We are also hoping to schedule a basket-making workshop.
Best of The Weeklies Reader’s Choice Awards
The votes are in for the 2022 Best of The Weeklies Reader’s Choice Awards and once again the Matthews Heritage Museum was voted the Best Museum in Matthews-Mint Hill!
The Matthews Heritage Museum is looking for individuals to serve as docents or tour guides. Do you like to learn? Do you like history? Join the group of women and men who are conducting guided tours of the Museum. The rewards are great!
Each volunteer is asked to take one shift of 3 hours once a month. Shifts are AM: 10 to 1, PM: 1 to 4. We are looking to recruit volunteers for the specific shifts of the first, second, and third Thursday afternoons of the month, the third Friday of the month, and either the second Saturday morning or afternoon shift.
In addition to learning history, you will enjoy getting to know this interesting group. Occasionally the volunteers will take trips to other historic sites of interest. An initial training class of 4 days will orient new volunteers. A new training class will be offered beginning Wednesday, May 4, 2022, from 10 to 12 and will be held weekly until June 1. Ongoing training is held for new exhibits and other new research.
The Museum is open Thursday to Saturday each week from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Volunteers are needed to be present for a morning or afternoon shift at least once a month on one of those days. Additionally, you may be asked to give a tour to school groups, senior groups, or scouts when they are scheduled.
To learn more about becoming a volunteer, please call 704-708-4996 during operating hours. Thank you for considering becoming a docent for the Matthews Heritage Museum!
The Museum is open during its regular hours of Thursday–Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Pick up a free copy of Foundations, the Matthews Historical Foundation’s newsletter, at the Museum. You can also read issues by clicking the links below.
Read the Spring 2023 issue of Foundations
Read the Winter 2022 issue of Foundations
Read the Fall 2022 issue of Foundations
People buried in Roseland Cemetery
Roseland Cemetery off Monroe Road was the burial place of slaves and free people of color. It has recently undergone preservation efforts. As a means of supplementing this work, the Matthews Heritage Museum would like to hear from those whose relatives are buried there.
If you have relatives buried there we would like to hear from you to add their names to our list. We would like to know the person’s full name, their birth and death dates, your name and your relationship to that person, and a phone number in case we have questions.
Please send information to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also call 704-708-4996. Please help us create this important information.
Little Free Library
The Matthews Heritage Museum has a Little Free Library (Charter #25690) in front of the Museum. Like other Little Free Libraries, it’s a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange, where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share.
Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization based in Hudson, Wisconsin. In the beginning (2009), Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one-room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former school teacher who loved reading. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard. His neighbors and friends loved it. He built several more and gave them away. Each one had a sign that said FREE BOOKS. The Museum hopes to feature books based on history, though we will allow any book to be placed there.
Our Little Free Library was built by Jason Surface, son of one of our volunteers. It is a miniature version of the 1880 Massey-Clark House, which is the home of the Matthews Heritage Museum.
What Others Are Saying
The exhibits were interesting and the layout was great! Learned a lot about Matthews during the visit. A must go for anyone in the area!
“A little slice of awesome”
A great place to take the kids to teach them some local history! This place is a little slice of awesome. We went on a free museum day and my kids loved it.
I appreciate all the efforts that Barb and her staff has done over the years. It’s just an honor knowing that my great great grandfather was an important figure in this town. My mother would have been proud.
Matthews Remembered DVD
Narrated by long time Matthews residents, the Matthews Remembered DVD, ©2013, features wonderful stories and fond memories of Matthews in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Included on this DVD is a 10 minute Outen Pottery narrative. $15.00
Matthews Memories Cookbook
Matthews Memories, A Collection of Remembrances and Recipes from a Small Southern Town features 133 pages of stories and recipes with over 40 photos from early and contemporary Matthews cooks and kitchens. The stories reminisce about the cooks and their recipes from early and contemporary Matthews kitchens. Included are references to early Matthews and local southern dishes, such as Creecy Greens. All proceeds from the sale of this book directly benefit Matthews restoration projects. $21.95
Purchasing an inscribed brick is a permanent way to honor or remember a loved one, celebrate an important date, recognize an organization, or contribute to the Massey-Clark House Restoration Project. All donations are tax deductible. Personalized bricks are displayed in a walkway at the Matthews Heritage Museum entrance. Print brick order form here.