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Smith-McDowell House Museum

283 Victoria Road, Asheville, NC 28801
828-253-9231
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79%
Ranked #23 of 65 Attractions in Asheville
Type: Historic Sites, Museums
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24 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Phoenix
Top Contributor
193 reviews 193 reviews
57 attraction reviews
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2014

This is the oldest standing home in Asheville. It was built in 1840, and added onto in the 1880’s and 1920’s. They have left the changes (rather than attempting to restore the home to its original state). A docent gives you a history of the home, and then the rest of the tour is self-guided. They have descriptive sheets outside... More

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Minnesota
Top Contributor
473 reviews 473 reviews
308 attraction reviews
621 helpful votes 621 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2014

We enjoy touring older homes. This one was especially good and we learned about both the house and Asheville. The home goes back to around 1840 and is considered to be Asheville's first mansion and the oldest house still standing in town. When we first entered and paid the entrance fees we had a good lecture about the history of... More

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Chesapeake, Virginia
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
17 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2014

What I liked about this House/Museum is the fact it's self guided. Included at each room is an information sheet which gives a History of that period of time. They do have staff available to answer questions and they are very knowledgable. During our visit they also had a History of the "Hill-Billy". Enjoyed our visit.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Winter Garden, Florida
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
22 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2014 via mobile

This was a well put together small museum - the docent was very friendly and we tremendously enjoyed the time we spent in this location. The several room exhibits walk you through the changing needs and style of the late 1800s, with insight into the families that lived in the home. The temporary exhibit on Hillbillys was a simple but... More

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Hong Kong, China
Top Contributor
311 reviews 311 reviews
126 attraction reviews
156 helpful votes 156 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

This federal style house was occupied since just before the civil war and has now been opened as a museum. You can expect well laid out rooms, good interpretation but perhaps most importantly knowledgable curators who happily tell you the history of the place. It's not well visited and tends to be overlooked by those looking at the Vanderbilt pile... More

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SmithMcDowell, Education Coordinator at Smith-McDowell House Museum, responded to this review

Thank you for your review of Smith-McDowell House. I am so glad you enjoyed your visit! Lisa Whitfield, Education Coordinator More

Clearwater, Florida
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
15 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

Very informative tour and very well maintained. The guide had a lot of information and it was very nice to see all the interesting things they had! If you love history, this is a must see!

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Kalamazoo, Michigan
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2013

Just toured the Smith-McDowell House Museum in Asheville, NC. We toured the Biltmore, (which is a must-see in Asheville), but the Smith-McDowell House is a gem in its own right. The docents there really know the history of the house, and details about the people who lived there. Elaine Baker and Lisa were there on the Saturday we visited, and... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
Long Island, NY
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
12 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

The Smith-McDowell House has an interesting history and owners. The brick structure was built in the late 1700s by James McConnell Smith. The house was then sold to wealthy businessman, Alexander Garrett who founded the community of Victoria. He increased the size of the house. The contents in the house are not original to the house, but are items brought... More

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SmithMcDowell, Manager at Smith-McDowell House Museum, responded to this review

A few clarifications: James Smith built the house c.1840 and it stayed in the family through his daughter and son-in-law (the McDowell family) until the Garretts purchased the house in 1881. It has had numerous other post-war Civil War owners who made changes which we interpret as part of the evolution of the house through Asheville's history. We have many... More

Concord, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

They were doing some renovations when we went, but we were able to see enough of what we wanted to see. Fee is $8 which I thought was a little high. They do accept AAA for a small discount. The tour begins with a short video. You then get to take a self guided tour. The downstairs attendant was very... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Asheville
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
19 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2013

I love to see how the wealthy lived at the turn of the century and then compare it to the obscenely wealthy Vanderbilts. It is on the grounds of AB Tech. Too many people miss this - you shouldn't. Admission used to be a donation.

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