The Mitford Museum is located in the newly renovated Hudson Arts Center, a 1942 Art Deco former school building, where museum founder and author, Jan Karon, attended first through seventh grades.
Situated in the heart of Hudson, North Carolina, the museum is a must-stop along the corridor to the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains.
“My sister and I walked a country mile to the schoolbus stop—an oak tree—and on the way I looked up to the magical Blue Ridge mountains. I yearned to go there, and eventually moved there, to Blowing Rock.
In these mountains, I found peace, beauty, fragments of early Irish/English speech, traditional music, home remedies, and stories.
These billion-year-old mountains are the biggest star attraction in western North Carolina, offering a whole constellation of great destinations.” – Jan Karon
$10 General admission; $9 Seniors; $7 Students; children 12 and under free with adult admission
Groups of 10 or more admitted for $7/pp
(Stop into the museum’s Happy Endings Bookstore and Gift Shop for tickets.)
Wednesday – Saturday 10 am – 4 pm
Private, after-hours tours can be arranged on a case-by-case basis. We need at least two weeks advance notice and a minimum group size of 10 people. Tours are dependent on staff availability. Call 828-572-4898 to make arrangements.
While You’re in the Area
Jan’s Childhood Home is
Your Gateway To the Stars.
Many of North Carolina’s star attractions are just up (or down) the road from The Mitford Museum, in the little town where Jan attended school.
Five Minutes – Explore the quaint town of Hudson with its Depot Museum, The Allard Bakery & Bistro, Windmill Park, and The Local Bean.
Twenty Minutes – Head southeast to Morganton to stroll the Catawba River Greenway, grab lunch, and shop the Morganton Farmers’ Market or southwest to Hickory to explore the Hickory Museum of Art, breweries, and the Fonta Flora Trail.
Thirty Minutes – Visit the picturesque town of Blowing Rock with great restaurants, shopping, lodging galore, and the classic Tweetsie Railroad. This is the town where Jan wrote four of the early Mitford novels.
One Hour – Black Mountain and Asheville are just up the mountain where you’ll find Biltmore Estate, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway, fabulous dining, art galleries, and outdoor activities.
Our museum is also a star. One of just three writers’ museums in NC, we’ve welcomed visitors from all fifty states. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution put it:
“It [The Mitford Museum] has taken its place among other literary sites in the state such as novelist Thomas Wolfe’s home in Asheville and poet/biographer Carl Sandburg’s estate in Flat Rock.”
“But the small museum is about much more than nostalgia. Capturing not only a way of mountain life that is gone, it also portrays a young girl’s dreams and a creative woman’s life journey through a tumultuous and changing America.”
Museum & Gift Shop (828) 572-1511
Office: (828) 572-4898
Staff & Volunteers
145 Cedar Valley Road
Hudson, NC 28638
We Want Your Feedback
Have you visited The Mitford Museum? We’d love to know what you think. Click below to fill out a short survey. Thank you! ♥
By Leigh Ann Henion
Author Jan Karon is shy to admit that her fictional town of Mitford is based on Blowing Rock, North Carolina, but residents are convinced of the fact. Karon started writing her popular novels when she was living there, and many local attractions (along with the lush Blue Ridge scenery) make appearances in her heartwarming stories. “Mitford would simply like to be the pause that refreshes,” writes the author in At Home in Mitford, her 1994 novel and the first in a series of 14 beloved books set in the fictional town.
Regardless of whether Mitford was born purely of her imagination or based on this particular North Carolina locale, people in Blowing Rock know that, in real life, their town delivers.
As you enter the soft trails of the village, it’s no longer the 21st century: you’re immediately transported to the 1760s. The faint tang of wood smoke wafts by as you are led by a Cherokee cultural expert on an interactive journey through Cherokee lifestyle and history. Your guide will show you the way through the winding paths, flanked with traditional Cherokee dwellings, work areas, and sacred ritual sites. Delight in cultural dances amid the swaying oaks and sycamores. As you wander, interact with villagers as they hull canoes, sculpt pottery and masks, weave baskets, and fashion beadwork. Oconaluftee Indian Village is much more than just a place; it’s living history.
Since 1957, Tweetsie Railroad has been creating memories and offering a family-friendly Wild West adventure. An interactive experience of music, entertainment, and tradition rich in American history, Tweetsie Railroad will be just what you’ve come to expect — fun for the whole family.
With a creative community of juried members spanning over nine states, the Southern Highland Craft Guild fosters opportunities for makers to build, market, and maintain their creative livelihood through continuing education, retail outlets, and mentorship. The Southern Highland Craft Guild is headquartered at the Folk Art Center in Asheville, NC, on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The Mitford Museum!
The Mitford Museum
The Mitford Museum is North Carolina’s newest literary landmark.
Founded by #1 New York Times bestselling author, Jan Karon, the museum narrates the ways in which the small town of Hudson, NC, helped influence her life and work. Often called Jan’s ‘book without covers,’ the museum is a place of common ground, where people from varied backgrounds can come together to feel welcomed, cared for, and at home.