LENOIR, N.C. - A most remarkable museum in Lenoir has the history of being the last remaining building left of the Davenport College for Women, which was established in the 1850s. The college was the center of the community for education and the arts for many years.
Just added to the outside of the museum (now called the Caldwell Heritage Museum) is the second in a series of Postage Stamp murals recently placed on the Appalachian Mural Trail. Painted by Doreyl Ammons Cain, this “Train Town” mural captures a scene from the lifestyle of the 1850s.
Caldwell Heritage Museum sits on top of Davenport Hill, overlooking Lenoir. One can identify it by the two story, red bricked, white columned structure. After the college closed the building was used for many different purposes. It was an elementary school, public school administration offices, a music center for Davenport Junior High School, and a location for community residents to study the arts and music from a variety of instructors.
School officials had discussed at an earlier time about having the structure demolished. When word reached the community that the structure might be demolished, a renovation effort was organized to save the building. With the support of many residents and those who had a vision to not only preserve, but also teach the history of Caldwell County, the Caldwell Heritage Museum was born. It eventually came under the care of Caldwell County Schools and remains so today. Its mission is to educate and preserve the history of Caldwell County for future generations through educational services and exhibits.
Today, the Museum showcases exhibits such as Native Americans, early formation of Caldwell County, railroads and furniture. Special exhibits include schools, military, women's fashions and Davenport College.
The Postage Stamp Mural is placed at the front of the building. Please feel free to take a picture of the mural, even if the museum is closed. At muraltrail.com you can read stories about the mural and find driving directions for your pilgrimage to Lenoir.
The Appalachian Mural Trail travels Western North Carolina, through Mountain City, Tennessee and on up into the Shenandoah Valley. The trail attracts the lovers of history and arts into small mountain towns and communities where near 120 public cultural murals are located. The Appalachian Mural Trail is showcasing these outdoor cultural murals through their interactive smart phone responsive website: muraltrail.com sharing with the world this amazing Appalachian art and spirit.
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