Catawba County Museum of History


The collections include agricultural tools and implements forged from hand-dug iron ore, and handcrafted household cupboards, wagon benches, beds, tables, chests, cradles, plantation desks, a firkin, and miniature furniture samples shown by “drummers” or early salesmen. There are treasured military uniforms, including a British Red Coat from the Revolutionary War era (one of the few such coats in existence). A major repository of Civil War objects, the museum displays the Clinton A. Cilley Collection, including this distinguished colonel’s field desk; firearms, notably a Colt 45 swiped from Stoneman’s Raiders by a Newton boy and handed down through his family; and an 1861 locally hand-made and hand-dyed First National Flag of the Confederacy, the “Stars and Bars". Two full-scale, original antebellum parlors have been reconstructed and preserved in the museum, the Shuford-Jarett from 1830, featuring deft molding-plane embellishments—in the time before power tools—and pegged muntins, and the Munday Parlor from 1840, with trompe l’oeil dentils, marbleized wooden baseboards, and a hand-painted dazzling central medallion. Visitors can also walk through Dr. Hambrick’s 1920s medical office, containing his ice-cold stainless steel examination table and an extensive variety of instruments from the period.