There's nothing that provides quite as much spine tingling as the ghosts of history. From spoken tales handed down through generations, to monuments, museums, and foothills lore; the small towns of Rutherford county are filled with historical legendry guaranteed to bring the spirits of the past to life.


The Holocaust Museum

Forest City’s Holocaust Museum offers a pictoral look at one of the most horrifying periods in world history. The museum’s collections include documentation that chronicles the Nazi rise to power, ghettos, concentration camps, and the aftermath for millions of survivors. Museum tours are by appointment only and can be booked on their website by clicking here.


Bostic Lincoln Center

Set in an old railroad depot, this nonprofit museum tells the story of Nancy Hanks, the mother of Abraham Lincoln. Her poignant tale offers insight and evidence which substantiates the claim that Abraham Lincoln was born on Puzzle Creek in North Carolina then moved with his mother to Kentucky as a small child. The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 am until 1 pm, and tours of Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace are available by appointment only. Admission is free, and donations are tax-deductible.


Bechtler House Heritage Center

The home of Christopher Bechtler who minted the U.S.’s first one-dollar gold coin is now the site of this fascinating museum and headquarters for the NC Gold Trail. Priceless historical artifacts like Bechtler’s original press, his son’s custom rifle with gold inlay, and original minted coins are on display. Just up the road is the Bechtler Mint & Historic Park where visitors can walk in the footsteps of this innovative miner who played an integral part in the NC Gold Rush. Heritage Center hours are Fridays from 10 am to 2 pm, and tours for other times can be booked by appointment.


Lake Lure Flowering Bridge

Created atop a historic 3-arch bridge built in 1925, Lake Lure’s Flowering Bridge is a magical experience to behold. Designated a 3-D Mural on the Appalachian Mural Trail, this unique nonprofit features 30 different gardens in addition to art and seasonal features created by local artists and volunteers. Admission is free.


Cherry Bounce Trail

Rutherford county’s Cherry Bounce Trail loosely follows an old moonshiner’s route through the North Carolina foothills. Named for moonshiner Amos Owens’ famous brew called ‘cherry bounce’, the trail weaves its way through the towns of Rutherfordton, Forest City, Spindale, Bostic, and Golden Valley. Driving this picturesque historic byway, you can almost hear the songs and laughter of bootleggers from long ago.


The ghosts of times past are everywhere in the foothills of North Carolina, just waiting for their stories to be heard. Come on out to Rutherford county and experience their tales. It’s guaranteed to be an adventure that’ll provide memories you’ll share for generations.