Matthews Heritage Museum

Matthews, North Carolina

Matthews Heritage Museum

“Where Children Experience… and Adults Remember”


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!

Volunteer Opportunity

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!

Museum Open

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

What’s New at the Museum?

Currently on Display

The Matthews Heritage Museum is pleased to announce its newest exhibit: Rediscovering the Reids. This exhibit features the two Reid Families of Matthews and Sharon Township, sometimes a confusing topic. Intriguingly two Reid families with no known relationship to each other were joined together with the marriage of Ellie Reid Bell and T. N. Reid. Dr. and Ellie Reid lived in the Reid house at 134 W. John Street throughout their marriage. The exhibit explores the preceding generations of Reids living in the area, leading to this couple and their children. The museum has conducted new research to get a better understanding of the families. The exhibit will open on March 5, and be on display until June 25, 2022.

The Reid House was given to the Matthews Historical Foundation by Sarah Redd, who inherited the building from Nancy Reid. Nancy and her sister, and two step-sisters lived in the house with Dr. T. N. Reid, her father, and Ellie Reid Bell, her mother. The Reid House, located at 134 W. John Street is one of the few surviving structures in Matthews from the Victorian era.

Ellie’s family first came to this country when her great-grandfather James Reid emigrated from northern Ireland and settled in Mecklenburg. James was a patriot in the Revolutionary War. James’ son Solomon and grandson Jeremiah Solomon were early leaders in the county. Solomon served in the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War, and Jeremiah Solomon served in the NC State Legislature and is often referred to as the “father” of Matthews as he submitted the request to incorporate the town. Jeremiah’s son Edward Solomon built the Reid House but sold it to his sister, who lived there with her second husband, Dr. Thomas Neely Reid.

Dr. T. N. Reid of the “other” Reid family grew up in Sharon Township and was a beloved doctor to the Matthews community. Dr. T. N. Reid’s great-grandfather was born in Mecklenburg County in 1772. His great-great-grandfather moved here from either Pennsylvania or Ireland. The roots of both of these families intertwine with other leading families in the area. Learn about this interesting family and get to know many of its members. Many never before seen photos of these residents will be featured.

For this exhibit, tours of the Reid House will be given several times during the exhibit, to be announced.

Newsletter Available

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 Summer 2022 issue of Foundations

Read the Spring 2022 issue of Foundations

Read the Winter 2021 issue of Foundations

Read the Fall 2021 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 You may also call 704-708-4996. Please help us create this important information.

Roseland Cemetery Burials

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’s 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.