Preserve and sustain the Shelton House as a premier historical location for Western North Carolina history, heritage, and crafts.


The mission of the Shelton House is to sustain its historical nature and grounds and to promote our North Carolina heritage of handicrafts, Western North Carolina history, and the Shelton family legacy.

How We Accomplish

Our purpose is to maintain the historic nature of the Shelton House and grounds to enhance educational and recreational activities; to continually enhance and preserve the museum collection to focus on days gone by as well as today, and to preserve the legacy and history of the Shelton family. The Shelton House was built in 1875 for Stephen Jehu and Mahala Conley Shelton and their family.  It was later purchased by their son William Taylor Shelton.  In 1977, Mary Cornwell, a Haywood County Extension Agent, purchased the property and established the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts on the Shelton House grounds.

Quilt Blocks

The Shelton House was the first site on the Haywood County Quilt Trails, a project of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority. Our quilt block incorporates traditional stars and arrows and the Milkmaid quilt pattern.

The star design represents Stephen Jehu Shelton’s three terms as sheriff of Haywood County from 1874–80. The arrows represent second-generation William Taylor Shelton’s many years of service as an Indian Agent in North Carolina, Arizona, and New Mexico. The Milkmaid pattern represents the dairy farm the family operated in the early 20th century.

Board of Directors

Board of Directors
Mark Stoffan, Chair
Pamela Reece, Vice Chair
Sarah Jane League, Treasurer
Jared Bailey
Carolyn Callaghan
Catherine Ellis
Deborah Gaddy
Karen Hollingsed
Ann Melton
Joe Sam Queen
Dale Reece
John Sanderson

Recording Secretary
Lauretta Warner

Ex-Officio, Financial Advisor
Sam Underwood

Ex Officio, Legal Adviser
Mark Pinkston

Museum Director

Dannehl Strautz

Assistant Manager
Betina Morgan

To apply to become a Board of Director for the Shelton House, please click on the application below.

Board of Directors Application

Shelton History

The Shelton Family has a rich tradition as one of the prominent families of Waynesville and Western North Carolina. The house was build for Stephen Jehu and Mahala Conley Shelton beginning in 1875 by Henry Napoleon Francis.

Learn About the History

Museum Founder

Mary Cornwell and her passion to preserve the heritage crafts of North Carolina founded the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts which officially opened in August 1980.

About Mary

WNC Heritage & Crafts

Originally there were 95 acres accompanying the Shelton House and Grounds but today there are 8.5 acres that provide golden memories of the history, heritage and crafts of our past spanning a hundred and forty plus years.

Learn More

Come Visit the Shelton House Today!