Tour Asheville’s oldest home, a brick mansion originally known as Buck House when constructed c1840. Six period and two gallery rooms celebrate the enduring stories of the people who lived, worked, loved, and lost here; their stories reflecting our shared history.
Just a few miles from George Vanderbilt’s grand Biltmore Estate is Buck House, a different kind of mansion – one that was nearly 50 years old when Vanderbilt began construction. Saddled on a ridge between two hills south of Asheville, ringed by picturesque mountains and overlooking the confluence of two great rivers, Buck House was constructed around 1840, over twenty years before the Civil War, primarily – and most likely exclusively – by slave labor. During a time when most people lived in wood frame houses, the imposing structure was composed of brick, a rarity in early 19th century Asheville. Today it is known as the Smith-McDowell House, the oldest surviving house in Asheville and the oldest brick structure in Buncombe County, North Carolina. Through special exhibits and tours, Smith-McDowell House celebrates the stories of people from all backgrounds who have called western North Carolina home, with one key goal — to advance the understanding of our shared history.
Hours: Self-Guided Tours, Wednesday – Saturday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission: Members Free, Adults-$10, Children 8-18-$5 and Children 7 & under are Free.