Any time I head south to Waxhaw, I always see the signs for the Museum of the Waxhaws and Andrew Jackson Memorial and I figured it was high time to stop in and take a look since it is within half an hour of our house. I will admit, I had very low expectations. But really, this museum is a gem and I would recommend it to anyone.
The Museum of the Waxhaws is privately owned and set back a little ways just off of Hwy 75, about a 1/2 mile outside of downtown Waxhaw. The museum is small, but very well done. There is a 15 minute video that gives a nice overview of the history of the town, starting with the Waxhaw Indian tribe. The museum has a nice collection of ancient arrowheads and explains that the Indians of the area were largely destroyed by tribal warfare and smallpox about the time the colonists came south and settled the area. There is an exhibit about the Scots-Irish settlers, their faith and their farming.
Then there is a large exhibit about Andrew Jackson who was born locally (although there is a big debate about whether or not it was on the South Carolina side or the North Carolina side). He was a messenger boy in the American Revolution, and battles were fought close by.
Of course, the Civil War was also featured in the museum and I got a kick out of explaining the Confederate flag to my kids. (I can't believe we've lived here 3 years and I haven't had to do that yet!)
There is currently an exhibit about the history of schools in the area, and Jonah enjoyed trying on the dunce hat.
There is a living history farm on the property and we were able to tour houses built in the early 1800s that have been relocated there and are currently being restored.
There is an easy trail through the woods that leads to an old graveyard and also apparently an Indian settlement, although we didn't really know what we were supposed to be looking for.
The museum is only open Friday, Saturday and Sundays, and costs $5 for adults and $2 for kids 6-12. Kids 5 and under are free. It's worth every penny and is a great way to support the preservation of local history.