North Carolina prides itself on being unique and eclectic. But sometimes the “uniqueness” can spiral out into downright weird. Well, usually the weird provides us with a good story, interesting memory, or just some kind of worthwhile experience. There are plenty of ‘normal’ museums in the world but North Carolina is home to some pretty strange ones. Here are eleven interesting museums found right in our state…
1. Creation Museum, Taxidermy Hall of Fame, and Antique Tool Museum, Southern Pines
Really, the name says it all. Home to over 200 realer-than-life animals, that have won national taxidermy awards, this 'museum' is something to see. Read up on...creationism...or browse antique tools. I don't think it's possible to be bored here.
2. The Last Shell Clamshell Station, Winston-Salem
A good idea faded into oblivion, the last remaining Clamshell gas station stands in Winston-Salem. Today, the walls of the interior have become a shrine to the landmark itself. Read about the history of the 'clamshells' and their demise.
3. Brady C. Jefcoat Museum, Murfreesboro
This modern house is filled with Brady C. Jefcoat's collection of artifacts. Not so much weird, but somewhat cool, you can find anything from a toaster to music boxes, to honey taps that range in age from the 1850's-1950's.
4. Mary’s Gone Wild Folk Art and Doll Baby Museum, Holden Beach
Mary Paulsen says God has spoken to her twice. First, to build a small town for her collection of 6,000 dolls. Next, to paint using windows as her canvas. This unique, quirky treasure consists of playhouses filled with Mary's doll collections, some representing a specific location like a school or church. The Doll Museum is apart from the village and made entirely from glass bottles. For the record Mary isn't a 'crazy doll lady' she is actually very sweet and humble!
5. Land of Oz Theme Park, Beech Mountain
Once a bustling theme park dedicated more to the original Wizard of Oz book, than the movie, is now a forgotten yellow brick road. Now, the Wizard of Oz theme park sits silenty on the side of Beech Mountain. Once a year the streets of Emerald City light up for the Autumn in Oz Event.
6. Körner’s Folly, Kernersville
In 1878 architect, painter and furniture designer Jule Gilmer Körner began construction on what he hoped to be a house that could showcase his work and talent. Over the years and through the construction a unique design took place. No two things are really alike in the house, there are 15 different fireplaces and the ceiling heights range from 5 ½ feet to 25 feet. It's open for tours.
7. Elsewhere Collaborative, Greensboro
What was once a thrift store is now a three-story 'living' art museum containing a shrine of collections from the past 58 years.
8. North Carolina Maritime Museum, Beaufort
This museum is actually way more cool than weird. Displaying artifacts from Blackbeard's ship, this is a perfect pit stop for any pirate lovers. The museum gets a funky wrap in it's display of a preserved heart of a sperm whale whose skeleton hangs from the ceiling.
9. Belhaven Memorial Museum, Belhaven
This museum is dedicated to 'Ms. Eva' and her tireless collection of over 10,000 relics and 30,000 buttons. You'll see anything from a favored mustache cup to china dolls, to farm tools, and natural history specimens.
10. Fields of the Woods, Murphy
The world's largest display of the ten commandants is actually found nestled in the Smoky Mountains. Not so much a museum, but a sight to see.
11. Aluminum Tree and Ornament Museum, Brevard
The aluminum tree museum highlights the glory days of tinsel and fake trees. It's the only one in the nation. It's full name is The Aluminum Tree and Aesthethically Challenged Seasonal Ornament Museum & Research Center and is open to the public Nov. 23th-Dec.23rd