Historical Attractions

The 1840s McElroy House is the center of the Yancey History Association Complex that includes a museum, outbuildings, and the Bailey Annex for mountain history and genealogy study. The house has a large parlor room, formal dining room, kitchen, living quarters, bedrooms and more. Open Wednesday thru Saturday, April to November. Admission is $3.

The interior of the McElroy House is decorated with authentic period furniture and photographs of the family. There are two floors to discover. Guides take you though the history of the house and the people who lived here. Call (828) 678-9587.

A group of Young Family cousins organized the Strawbridge and Martha Wilson Young Foundation to honor their ancestors who were among the first European settlers in Western North Carolina more than 200 years ago. Call (828) 536-0337 for more information.

The Foundation’s goals are to continue restoration work on the Josiah & Frances Ray Young Cabin, organize the annual gathering, support family research, and establish the Historic Young Homeplace.

In 2016, Mount Mitchell State Park celebrated its 100th anniversary. It was the first state park ever created in North Carolina. At 6,684 feet, Mount Mitchell is the highest mountain East of the Mississippi River. The summit has an observation platform and the grave of Dr. Elisha Mitchell, who died exploring the area in 1857. The park also has a museum with historical exhibits, an education building where park staff hold interpretive programs, a nine-site walk-in campground, and a restaurant open May thru October. Call (828) 675-4611.

Dr. Elisha Mitchell,
UNC Professor & Explorer

Yancey Collegiate Institute Historic District

Mountain Heritage Center built in 1914

The Yancey Collegiate Institute Historic District consist of seven culturally and historically significant buildings in Burnsville, including the 1914 Brown Dormitory, now the site of the Mountain Heritage Center and Lesley Riddle Recording Studio (left), and the YCI Administration Building, built in 1922 and now home of the Yancey County Public Library (below). YCI was in operation from 1901 to 1926. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

The Yancey County Public Library is located inside the YCI administration building.

Appalachian Barn Alliance

Appalachian Barn Alliance has a mission to preserve the rural heritage of Madison County and surrounding areas through the documentation of the historical barn building traditions and the barns they represent.

The county’s place in the production of burley tobacco is well known, but there are other ways to explore and record our agricultural history. One of the most interesting ways to do this is to tell the stories of the barns and outbuildings scattered throughout the county.

Burnsville & Yancey County