Plan A Visit

All of the information you, or your group will need to plan a visit to the museum, including our schedule, hours, rates & more!

If you are planning a visit for a school group, please see our "For Educators" section.

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Changing Exhibits

Coming Soon:

Memories of Main Street Exhibit

May through August 2014

Upcoming Events

Sat Apr 12 @ 2:00AM - 03:30PM
History Talks: A Dinky Railroad: The Mount Airy and Eastern Railway
Sat Apr 12 @10:00AM - 11:30AM
Easter Bonnet Workshop for Children
Tue Apr 15 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
CLOSED

Who We Are

 

Mount Airy Museum of Regional History

museum001 Ours is an all American story - typical of how communities grew up all across our great nation. While our story takes place in the back country of northwestern North Carolina at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it is likely to bear many similarities to the development of crossroads, towns, and cities throughout America.

It had taken little more than 100 years for the corridors along the coastline of this still-new continent to overflow. As tensions grew and conflicts flared, the pioneer spirit set in. Families literally packed up everything they owned and headed into the unknown-searching for the "promised land."

Mission Statement:

The Purpose of the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History is to  Collect, Preserve and Interpret the Natural, Historic, and Artistic Heritage of the Region

                                                                      Adopted by the Board of Directors   October 9, 1995

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@MountAiryMuseum

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Mount Airy Museum Of Regional History

Museum Receives Award for Geocache Program

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The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History was honored at the North Carolina Museum Council’s annual conference with the Award of Excellence for the “Geocaching for History” program.  Executive Director of the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History Matt Edwards said the award was a “reinforcement of the belief that museums should be active and vibrant community partners.”  “That is something we have really been working toward at the museum, and this project is a great example,” Edwards added. “The museum staff, Amy Snyder in particular, have been working very hard on this project over the course of the last 18 months or so. For their hard work and our institution’s efforts to be recognized by a group of peers is a tremendous honor, and we hope it speaks well of the work we are doing and the work we want to continue to do in moving forward.”

The “Geocaching for History” was launched last year when the museum partnered with Mount Airy Parks and Recreation and the Kids in Parks for what Edwards described as a national pilot program. Funding for the program came from Kids in Parks, as well as additional funding from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, for purchase of the GPS Units. The North Carolina Humanities Council provided implementation money, which Edwards said allowed “broad regional implementation” for the geocache program.

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting activity using GPS-enabled devices. The GPS units are available for rent for $5 each from the museum as well as Reeves Community Center. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the cache hidden at that location.  Edwards said there are 22 geocaching sites around the region that were researched by the museum, with caches designed and placed in each location, as well as a corresponding online exhibit. Each site can be discovered by participants and if they have a smart phone with a QR code reader, they are able to see additional interpretive material about the site, including history about the location and sometimes corresponding video and photos.  “This is a great way for us to teach local history where it happened, not just within the four walls of the museum,” Edwards shared.

Edwards invited anyone who wanted to participate to visit the museum or Reeves Community Center to rent the GPS units. The $5 rental fee per GPS unit, per day, will go into a pool of money that will be used to upgrade the program. All GPS units come loaded with the 22 cache sites, and the units will give varying degrees of directions to locate the sites. Seven of the sites are located on the Emily B. Taylor and Ararat River Greenway Trails.  Participants select which cache they want to search for, then follow the directions on the screen, which will lead to the approximate coordinates, then an audible chime will let them know when they are close and clues are available to assist with the treasure hunt of sorts. “The treasure you are seeking is knowledge,” Edwards added.  Caches range in size from small, about the size of a double-A battery, to larger caches the size of a two-quart water bottle. In addition to the museum’s GPS caches, there are about six to ten other locations within walking distance of the downtown area, Edwards shared.

The activity is great for families, visitors, school groups, scout troop, and anyone who wants to be outdoors and in nature, as well as those who have an interest in local history. Edwards shared that the museum is in the process of developing materials and activities for classroom use of the GPS units.  The award, one of three given out to North Carolina museums, were designed to recognize, encourage, and promote excellence within activities of the museum community and organizations in related fields of interest. The awards are focused on programs, projects, and services offered by museums.

For more information about the GPS program and rental of the units, contact the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History at 786-4478.

Darker Side of Mayberry Tour Tickets

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 The Darker Side of Mayberry Tours will be held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon at 3pm beginning Saturday May 31, 2014 and ending the last weekend of October.

To pay for a reservation ($11) for one of the Darker Side of Mayberry Tours, please select which date you would like from the dropdown menu below.

Select The Date


Museum hosts Batik Easter Egg workshops

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The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History will host the popular Easter Egg Workshop on Saturday, from 1 to 4 p.m. A second class will be held on April 5 from 1 to 4 p.m.

The classes filled up quickly last year, so Matthew Edwards, museum director, encouraged everyone to sign up as soon as possible. Call to reserve a spot in the workshop by Friday for this Saturday’s class, or by April 4 for the April 5 class.  The workshop is for age 12 through adults, and will be held in the museum’s second floor classroom. Class size is limited to 15 participants. The cost is $10 for museum members and $15 for non-members, which will include supplies. Also, $20 take-home kits are available for participants; kits muse be ordered at the time of registration.

The Ukrainian tradition of decorating eggs with wax is called pysanky, and dates back to 1300 BC. The ancient practice uses traditional motifs that date back even further, to 3000 BC, and many examples were provided for the students in last year’s workshops by the class instructor, Maria Skaskiw.  Skaskiw told last year’s workshop participants that she learned the art of decorating the eggs as a child, growing up in a Ukranian community in New York.

“I was fascinated by it and the history — it goes back thousands of years. There are variations on the motifs, endless variations. I also love the legends behind the art form. My favorite legend says that as long as people keep writing the Easter eggs, evil will not triumph in this world,” said Skaskiw.  The students used a kistka, which is the tool used to “paint” the beeswax onto the surface of the eggs. The tool is heated by a candle flame, then dipped in beeswax. The wax is mixed with black soot, so those painting the eggs can see the designs easily on the eggshell.

Skaskiw guided the students through the process, and encouraged them with a reminder that they must “keep a long, steady stroke” when applying the wax, so it will not pool or drip. “The trick is keeping the kistka hot and going straight to the egg when you dip it in the wax.”  After the egg was painted with beeswax, it was dipped into the first dye. Then, the beeswax is applied on top, preserving the color for later. This process is repeated over and over, until the design is complete. Skaskiw told the students they could make the designs as complicated or as simple as they wanted.

“In the end, the wax may be covering the egg, making it black in color, but then you remove the wax and it is like, ahhhh, it looks beautiful!”

Museum offers geneology class for beginners

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The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History will once again offer a beginner genealogy course beginning Feb 11. This course, taught by local genealogist and president of the Surry County Genealogy Association Esther Johnson.

“This course is designed to be for someone who is just beginning to research their family tree,” said Museum Curator of Collections Amy Snyder. “Esther (Johnson) will take them step by step how to begin to look their history up.”

She said the classes will be held on Feb. 11, 18, 25 and March 4 and 11. The first two classes will be held in the Museum’s 2nd floor Classroom from 6 - 8 pm. The third class on February 25 will be held at the Surry County Register of Deeds Office in Dobson from 6 - 8pm and the fourth class on March 4 will be held at The Carlos Surratt Genealogy Room at Surry Community College in Dobson from 6-8pm.

“The Surry County Register of Deeds office has been so good to help us with our classes,” Snyder said. “It’s so well organized and they are happy to show people how to use the office to get information from birth and death records and deeds. Most of their records are very well preserved. They can help participants really learn how to do the research.

Snyder said the class has remained popular with anywhere from 12 to 20 participants yearly. She said the Surratt Genealogy Room also has may church records and books which can help researchers.

“I think interest in genealogy has been an ongoing thing, especially with a lot of television commercials talking about finding you roots,” said Snyder. “It’s been a big thing for a while. Many, once they retire and have some time are interested in finding out about ancestors they wish they had met.”

She said the final class on March 11 will be back at the museum classroom from 6 - 8 p.m. Museum members are admitted free and there is a fee of $5 per class (or $25 for the course) for non-members. Annual memberships can be purchased for $25 (senior or student) or $40 (individual).

Snyder said laptops are welcome and there will be wireless Internet access but having a laptop computer is not necessary. She said there is a limit 25 students so participants are encouraged to register in advance. Interested persons may obtain additional information, or register, by calling Snyder at 336-786-4478, ext. 227 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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