"First Look" Reception Tickets

  • October 18, 2023 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Smith-McDowell House

    283 Victoria Road
    Asheville, North Carolina 28801
Ticket Price $75.00 This event is now over

Celebrate our grand reopening with a “First Look” Reception on October 18 beginning at 5:30pm. The museum will also present its annual Outstanding Achievement Award to Grace Gordon Pless at the event. Tickets are $75. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

If you would prefer to pay over the phone, please call 828-253-9231. You may also send a check to: 283 Victoria Road, Asheville, NC 28801.

About Asheville Museum of History
When the museum opens this fall, we will fulfil decades-long efforts to have a museum in Asheville that tells stories of the mountains, a region with a rich and diverse – and sometimes misunderstood – past.

The museum has been established by the Western North Carolina Historical Association, a group that has promoted regional history for more than 70 years, and will be located in the Smith-McDowell House at 283 Victoria Road adjacent to Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. The historic house, dating to approximately 1840, was operated as a house museum for many years. It has undergone extensive repairs and renovations during the past two years and will now provide gallery spaces for permanent and changing exhibits as well as programs and other meetings. Guided, behind-the-scenes tours of the historic house and grounds will also be available to visitors. This fall the museum will host the special exhibit, Palaces for the People: Guastavino’s Great American Places.


Outstanding Achievement Award
The Outstanding Achievement Award was established in 1954, two years after the founding of the Western North Carolina Historical Association, to recognize individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to preserving and sharing the history of the 23 western counties of North Carolina. 

Recipients have included historians, authors, musicians, folklorists, educators, preservationists, and a congressman. They have come from Hayesville in the far west to Valdese and Boone in the east. Among them are Johnny Baxter; Fred Chappell; the Vetust Study Club; the Museum of the Cherokee Indian; and, most recently, the RAIL Project, for telling the story of forced labor, overwhelmingly Black, to build the railroad. Recipients are recommended by the Museum’s Awards Committee, chaired by Catherine Frank, and approved by the full Board of Trustees, chaired by Ralph Simpson.


Grace Gordon Pless
Over the 66 years Grace Gordon Pless has lived in Asheville, she has been a major force in telling the stories of the mountains and preserving the region’s cultural and architectural history. Grace is best known for her leadership in developing Asheville’s famed Urban Trail, and today she remains involved in that project. She has chaired the Historic Resources Commission and served on the boards of local and state preservation groups, including Preservation North Carolina.

Date & Time

Wed, Oct 18, 2023 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Venue Details

Smith-McDowell House

283 Victoria Road
Asheville, North Carolina 28801 Smith-McDowell House
Asheville Museum of History