You're Invited: Join the movement to protect our beloved, shared outdoor spaces.

Nov. 2, 2023, 7:28 p.m.

New Smithsonian traveling exhibit opens at Mountain Gateway Museum

The Arrival - Valdese Monument
Traveling Exhibit The Waldensians of Valdese
© Mountain Gateway Museum

(Republished With Permission: Courtesy of Mountain Gateway Museum)

Media Contacts: For Immediate Release

Jesse Bricker, (828) 668-9259 or [email protected]


OLD FORT, NC – Journey Stories, a poster exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), opens Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Mountain Gateway Museum (MGM), 24 Water Street, in Old Fort.

A companion exhibit produced by MGM and titled Journey Stories: Western North Carolina Experiences opens simultaneously.

For centuries, movement has defined us. Our national and regional history is a patchwork of many stories, woven over time from the voyages of people—voluntary and involuntary—who traveled across the continent and from around the world to build new lives.

These interwoven exhibits explore how movement has shaped the nation and Western North Carolina in particular. It takes a broad look at American expansion and migration, from the earliest European settlers and Native American displacement to the effects of transportation advancements on modern mobility.

No matter the country of origin or reason for coming here, from our earliest days, we have been, and still are, intensely mobile. Travel over roads, rails, rivers, and trails—even the skies—have shaped our cultural and economic landscape. In many ways, our “Journey Stories” define us.

Topics covered include:

  • The Great Wagon Road
  • Cornish Miners in North Carolina’s gold fields
  • The Waldensians of Valdese
  • And More!

For more information about the exhibit, visit the Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort, view its website at or contact Jesse Bricker at 828-668-9259 or [email protected].

The museum is open year-round from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday; closed on Monday and state holidays. Admission is free.

Abouts the Smithsonian Institutes Traveling Exhibit Service (SITES)

SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For exhibition description and tour schedules, visit

About Mountain Gateway Museum

A regional branch of the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh, the Mountain Gateway Museum & Heritage Center (MGM) is the westernmost facility in the NC Department of Natural & Cultural Resources’ Division of State History Museums.

Nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the banks of historic Mill Creek in downtown Old Fort (McDowell County), the museum uses artifacts, exhibitions, educational programs, living history demonstrations, and special events to teach people about the rich history and cultural heritage of the state’s mountain region, from its original inhabitants through early settlement and into the 20th century.

As part of its education outreach mission, MGM also assists nonprofit museums and historic sites in 38 western NC counties with exhibit development & fabrication, genealogical research, photography archives, traveling exhibitions, and consultations. For more information, visit the museum’s website: or call 828-668-9259.