A Guide to the Museums in Murphy, NC

Murphy, NC is a town that is rich in history and culture. The town was once a trading post for the Cherokee Indians, and later became a fort for the Army. There are many museums in and around Murphy which tell of its past.

Cherokee Historical Museum
87 Peachtree St.
Murphy, NC 28906

The Cherokee Historical Museum is located in the heart of downtown, right next to the courthouse. It's a reminder of the past and the town's involvement with the Cherokee Indians. The museum is an interpretive center for the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. You can view Cherokee artifacts collected through the years. There is antique farm equipment and other items used by pioneers many years ago. You will see many pictures, drawings and memorabilia from the era, as well as a collection of over 700 dolls. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children, as of 2011.

Ducktown Basin Museum
212 Burra Burra St.
Ducktown, NC 37326

Ducktown is the home of the former copper mine called the Burra Burra Mine. The mine is long gone, but its remaining structures are on on the National Register of Historic Places. Copper mining is detrimental to the environment and the area around Ducktown is still recovering from the opening of this mine in the early 1800s. It actually killed everything in its path, leaving an empty, dead landscape. The Ducktown Basin Museum is a tribute to the mine workers of the past, and a journal of the town's recovery. You will learn a lot about mining copper and about its effect on the environment. You can still see the old mine, which is now a gaping hole in the earth. You can step into a mine tunnel, and get a feel for what the miners had to face. The museum is open Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Adult admission is $4 as of 2011. There is an extra fee for ore collecting. The museum is southwest of your Murphy bed and breakfast.

Smoky Mountain Trains
100 Greenlee St.
Bryson City, NC 28713

The Smoky Mountain Train Museum is filled with exhibits including more than 7,000 Lionel engines, cars and accessories. Some of the collections date back to the early 1900s. You can follow the collections through the 1900s and see how the styles changed over time. See passenger trains and other special trains like the 1934 Union Pacific of Portland. There are pre- and post-war trains, and the collection continues even including the newest ones on the market. There are special areas for the kids to explore including a store with specialty train items. There are special events held at the museum from time to time. The schedule varies throughout the year, but during the summer the museum is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Come see the trains before heading back to a Murphy inn for the night.