Matthews Heritage Museum

Matthews, North Carolina

Matthews Heritage Museum

“Where Children Experience… and Adults Remember”


The votes are in for the 2021 Best of The Weeklies Reader’s Choice Awards and once again the Matthews Heritage Museum has been voted the Best Museum in Matthews-Mint Hill!

Museum Now Open

The museum is now open during its regular hours of Thursday–Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Some changes have been put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • We are asking our patrons to wear masks and practice social distancing.
  • We will also expect visitors to use provided hand sanitizer upon entering.
  • We recommend you call to make a reservation: 704-708-4996.
  • We are still providing guided tours and will have our guides positioned to stay 6 feet away from the group.
  • We will allow drop in guests, if there are no other visitors in the museum.

What’s New at the Museum?

Currently on Display

It’s About Time: An Exhibit of Clocks and Watches

The Matthews Heritage Museum is pleased to announce its newest exhibit, It’s About Time: An Exhibit of Clocks and Watches. The exhibit will open on September 18 and be on display until January 22, 2021.

For over 5000 years man has realized the need to tell time, whether by hour, day, month or year. Early time pieces such as the sun dial only worked if the sun was out. That’s why mechanical devices – such as water clocks, candle clocks, and hourglasses – were developed. Then, in the 17th century, pendulum clocks were developed, which were far more accurate than any preceding timekeeping devices. The Great Western Railway in Britain led the way in 1840 and “railway time” was gradually taken up by other railway companies over the subsequent few years. Timetables were standardized to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and by 1855 time signals were being transmitted telegraphically from Greenwich across the British railway network. However, it was not until 1880 that the role of GMT as a unified standard time for all of England was established in legislation. By about 1900, almost all inhabited places on Earth had adopted a standard time zone.

Today highly accurate timekeeping instruments set the beat for most of our electronic devices. Nearly all computers, for example, contain a quartz-crystal clock to regulate their operation. We may not always realize it, but precision timing underpins many features of our daily lives. Mobile phones, financial transactions, the Internet, electric power, and global navigation satellite systems all rely on time and frequency standards. So integral have these time-based technologies become to our day-to-day lives that we recognize our dependency on them only when they fail to work.

We have a variety of watches on display from Bulova, Swatch, Seiko, and a myriad of others. Examples of dive watches, wooden watches, and racing watches will also be on display. Does your child wear a character watch? Check out our watches including Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, Goofy, M&M’s, and Hop-along Cassidy! Goofy’s dial is backward and his hands run counter clockwise!

Shelf and mantle clocks, from the 1840s forward will also be on display. A popular American banjo clock, a cuckoo clock, and a couple of Seth Thomas clocks are featured.

Pictures: Cinderella character watch with slipper and figurine; Seth Thomas clock; two wooden watches

Newsletter Available

Pick up a free copy of Foundations, the Matthews Historical Foundation’s newsletter, at the Museum. You can also read the latest issues by clicking the links below.

Read the Fall 2021 issue of Foundations

Read the Summer 2021 issue of Foundations

Read the Spring 2021 issue of Foundations

Can you help?

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. 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. The end result is to create a database of those who are buried there, as there are no records for the cemetery. When we have a relatively large data base, we will post to our web page (minus your personal contact information). If you know someone buried there, please send information to us at You may also call 704-708-4996. Please help us create this important information.

Little Free Library

Little Free Library Charter #25690

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

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“Fantastic place”

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!

Hugh N.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“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.

Nick C.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“Thank you”

I appreciate all the efforts that Barb and her staff has done over the years. It just an honor knowing that my great great grandfather was an important figure in this town. My mother would have been proud.

Kevin F.

Museum Shop

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

Commemorative Bricks

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.