Keep Mountain Gateway Museum and Heritage Center OPEN!
  • Petitioned Tom Apodaco

This petition was delivered to:

Tom Apodaco
Phil Berger
Neal Hunt
Governor
NC Governor Pat McCrory
North Carolina House of Representatives
Josh Dobson
North Carolina State Senator
Ralph Hise
North Carolina House of Representatives
Nelson Dollar
N.C. House of Representatives
Justin Burr
N.C. House of Representatives
Bryan Holloway
Nathan Ramsey
Jerry Tillman
Mike Hager
Linda Johnson
Tim Moffitt
Susan Fisher
Hugh Blackwell
Warren Daniel
Rayne Brown
George Cleveland
Elmer Floyd
Harry Brown
Peter Brunstetter
Jim Davis
Tommy Tucker
Ben Clark
Mike Woodard

Keep Mountain Gateway Museum and Heritage Center OPEN!

    1. Carol Price
    2. Petition by

      Carol Price

Ask Governor Pat McCrory to amend his proposed budget eliminating the operation of Old Fort's Mountain Gateway Museum and Heritage Center. For decades, the museum has been an integral part of the Old Fort Community and is a popular tourist destination. Governor McCrory's budget must be changed.

Old Fort is a small town of fewer than 1,000 residents, located just off I-40 at Exit 73 between Asheville and Hickory. While it is ideally situated and surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Old Fort is like most small, southern towns and is struggling financially, having lost the bulk of its manufacturing businesses.

Tourism is an asset with the ability to positively impact the local economy. Mountain Gateway Museum interprets the pioneer-era heritage of the North Carolina mountains. It also hosts three, large annual festivals; April's Pioneer Day followed by the N.C. Gold Festival on the first Saturday in June and Old Fort's Octoberfest on the first Saturday in October. Two bicycle races bring hundreds of visitors with the Off Road Assault on Mt. Mitchell and the Jerdon Mountain Challenge.  Having become known for these bicycle events, a new race is scheduled for the summer of 2013. These festivals and races attract thousands of visitors to the town.  

The museum's main building was constructed during the 1930s under the Works Progress Administration. It's constructed primarily from local river rock. The site also includes two period log cabins. 

The museum hosts a variety of seasonal programming, all at no cost to participants. Sunday afternoons include a free, bluegrass jam on the front porch. Visitors learn how to tie flies, cast a line, grow traditional vegetable gardens and more! It's a true, hands on educational site.

Old Fort is designated as a N.C. Mountain Trout Town. Mountain Gateway Museum was an integral part of the town's designation because of its location on the banks of Mill Creek. The museum acts as the hub for visitors interested in trout fishing. A free, tackle loaner program is available to children under the age of 16 and everyone has access to the stocked trout stream joining the museum property. Along with the designation, is a specialty fishing license allowing the owner to fish any N.C. Mountain Trout Town stream for 3 days at a cost of $9.00. Quite a savings from the traditional fishing license!

For decades, the museum grounds have served as a venue for weddings, reunions, birthdays and other local celebrations. Shaded picnic grounds and a performance amphitheater create an inviting venue for any occasion at an extremely reasonable cost.

Mountain Gateway Museum is the ONLY state owned museum in western North Carolina.  It also provides support services to 30 other non-profit museums in the western part of the state.  Their workshop and staff train other museum staff on a variety of museum related tasks including exhibit creation, set up and display.  MGM also manages an exhibit "loan program" to area museums.

Please tell North Carolina's Governor McCrory and members of the North Carolina General Assembly to keep Mountain Gateway Museum OPEN and operating for generations to come.  With such low operating costs, surely the legislature will reconsider this small investment compared to the positive, economic benefits it provides to resident and businesses in Old Fort.  The museum teaches important lessons, messages that are invaluable to all of us and its relationship with the Old Fort community is irreplaceable.

Your support is needed and appreciated!

To:
Tom Apodaco
Phil Berger
Neal Hunt
NC Governor Pat McCrory, Governor
Josh Dobson, North Carolina House of Representatives
Ralph Hise, North Carolina State Senator
Nelson Dollar, North Carolina House of Representatives
Justin Burr, N.C. House of Representatives
Bryan Holloway, N.C. House of Representatives
Nathan Ramsey
Jerry Tillman
Mike Hager
Linda Johnson
Tim Moffitt
Susan Fisher
Hugh Blackwell
Warren Daniel
Rayne Brown
George Cleveland
Elmer Floyd
Harry Brown
Peter Brunstetter
Jim Davis
Tommy Tucker
Ben Clark
Mike Woodard
Keep Mountain Gateway Museum and Heritage Center OPEN!

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Update - Write Senator Davis and Senator Tucker

      Carol Price
      Petition Organizer

      Efforts to meet with NC Senators Davis and Tucker to discuss alternative operational opportunities continue to "fall on deaf ears." While Senator Davis has responded to my request to meet, he empathized with the issue, avoiding the meeting request. No response from Senator Tucker. If you can, email these two individuals along with contacting your own state senators and representatives. Complete listings are online at www.ncleg.net. Senators Davis and Tucker are co-chairs of the Appropriations On General Government Committee. This category includes funding to the Department of Cultural Resources and Mountain Gateway Museum.

      Options and partnerships exist and are ready to work with the state to keep this property open and operational. Appreciate your time and help!!

      p.s. Please, remember to share with friends!

      North Carolina General Assembly

      The Official Site of the North Carolina General Assembly.

    2. Reached 1,000 signatures
    3. Approaching 900!

      Carol Price
      Petition Organizer

      Let's push for 1,000 by Wednesday night. Wednesday evening will end the first week for this effort to keep Mountain Gateway Museum open. Remember, we are also in danger of losing the valuable and knowledgeable staff at the museum. Old Fort can't afford these losses! Thanks for your support, let's get talking today folks. Happy Tuesday!

    4. Reached 750 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Newport River.com® NEWPORT, NC
      • 10 months ago

      We need to Support all Fishing Communities in NC, its a part of our Heritage and Culture. NC Legislators are Destroying the Fishing Culture in our Communities.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Donna Haddad DURHAM, NC
      • about 1 year ago

      Preserve our history

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Nicole Bowman DURHAM, NC
      • about 1 year ago

      This situation is very important to me because the Stepp cabin was my great-great-grandfather's. It was also where my great-grandmother was born and raised. It is very important to my family that this "family home" stay open to the public as part of the Mountain Gateway Museum and Heritage Center. I would be deeply saddened if Governor Pat McCrory closed these wonderful cabins down just to cut back on budgets. How could one put a price tag on this home with generations of history. I may be 17 years old and many of you may not think that my generation cares, BUT I DO. Many memories were made here by my family, including memories I shared with my late uncle. It would be a disgrace if people just want to close this chapter of our state's history.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Elizabeth Alberding DURHAM, NC
      • about 1 year ago

      The Mountain Gateway Museum is a beautiful and refreshing place to visit! A good travel stop to stretch your legs before heading up the mountain. Doing away with the museum will be a loss in handing down the history to generations to come. One of the two cabins on the grounds, The Stepp Cabin, is the home my grandmother, Clyde Stepp Rader, was born in. I'm so proud her cabin is there and think it's a great experience for people to walk in and learn about mountain life before we had all the "stuff" we have now. Please keep the museum funded so local newcomers and tourists to come can visit, learn and enjoy the beautiful creek and property the museum occupies. Afterall, it is the only state owned museum in western NC. Please keep this part of my heritage alive! It's historic impact and the economic benefits it provides Old Fort far outweighs the small investment the state provides.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Deborah Buchalter PENSACOLA BEACH, FL
      • about 1 year ago

      My grandmother was raised in one of the cabins that is part of the museum. Our family has an annual reunion in Oct. every year- PLz Keep open!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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