Matthews Heritage Museum, 232 North Trade Street, Matthews, is housed in the 1879 Massey-Clark House, one of the oldest buildings in Downtown Matthews. The museum offers a glimpse into the past, and a close look at historic artifacts and long-gone ways of life.
Admission is free. The museum is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Reservations are recommended.
Woven Treasures: Baskets Old and New
Through April, 2023
Baskets were originally designed as multi-purpose vessels to carry and store materials and to keep stray items about the home. Many cultures developed techniques for making baskets dating back to 8000 BCE. They are traditionally constructed from stiff fibers and can be made from a range of materials, including wood splints, wicker, reed, pine needle, and cane. While most baskets are made from plant materials, other materials such as horsehair, metal wire, even plastic can be used. Traditional baskets are generally woven by hand.
Initially baskets, like pottery, were made from necessity. Today, basket making has evolved into an art form and sports a variety of colors, materials, sizes, patterns, and details.
The exhibit Woven Treasures: Baskets Old and New opened December 9 and is currently being updated to feature new baskets. The updated exhibit will open on March 3. Several examples of traditional style reed and pine needle baskets are on display, as well as several baskets made from oak splits. The exhibit will feature a variety of baskets from the last 50 years, made by modern artists as well as traditional basket makers who were trained by their enslaved relatives.
One of the oldest baskets on display dates to the 1970s, crafted by Leon Berry, a well-known Black artisan from Mecklenburg County. He learned the trade from his grandfather, a former slave.
Modern creations have been woven by Nancy Duffie, member of the Dreamweavers Guild and the North Carolina Basket Association. She has making baskets for 30 years and her work has been featured and sold in Our State magazine. She has also taught the craft for 25 years, at Matthews Community Center and all over North Carolina.
A basket weaving workshop for adults and teens with Mrs. Duffie will be held on May 6th at 1:00-4:00 pm at the Matthews Library. This event will be free but registration with the library will be required and there will be a limit of eight participants.
About Matthews Heritage Museum
Matthews Heritage Museum has shared the descriptions of these exhibits.
Children and adults will enjoy exploring the Lifestyles Gallery, imagining a time before electricity and running water. Schools were a vital part of the community. Porches were the center of living, particularly in the summer in an effort to stay cool. Learn what was different in the kitchen at the turn of the century.
The Community Gallery allows you to discover the many activities that happened at the local drug store. You can also investigate the early set up of the doctor’s office or hear wonderful stories about the local pool. A display of Outen Pottery, hand thrown pots made from local clay, is of great interest.
Snippets from the Matthews Remembered and Outen Pottery DVD play for the audience in the Lifestyles and Community Galleries. The hallway panels give visitors insight to early Matthews.
Early Commerce Gallery
Learn about King Cotton and the early days of the railroad. Imagine cashing a check at the Bank of Matthews, and see part of the original bank interior on display. Listen to telephone switchboard stories while looking at an old crank phone and switchboard.