In a striking neoclassical revival building built in 1907 in the center of a lush green court square, guests discover a in intricate harmony between old and new in what is now the home of the Earl Scruggs Center. The Center, opened in January 2014, features long term exhibits that celebrate the life and legacy of legendary banjo master, Earl Scruggs, and the music, history and cultural traditions of the region where he was born and raised. Visitors enter and first see a showcase of three generations of Scruggs family instruments, including the banjo Earl learned to play on as a boy in the nearby Flint Hill community. A welcome film provides context to the history of Earl Scruggs and his family, the area they came from and his rise to fame. The main floor of the Center includes three long term exhibit galleries: In These Hills, Out of Carolina, and The Turning Road. Each gallery interprets various aspects of history and culture, with emphasis on the life of Earl Scruggs and his career as a prominent and widely influential musician. Engaging exhibits and state of the art technology include Banjo Breakdown which shows the distinctions between three common banjo styles including “Scruggs Style”, Common Threads Interactive Touch Table which explores and layers places, events, musicians, genres and more into an engaging experience for all ages. Upstairs, guests may tour the special exhibit gallery, leave a brief audio or video statement in the Oral History Recording Booth or visit the banjo petting zoo in the Great Hall. The Great Hall was the previous courtroom and is now used for live performances, meetings, weddings, reunions, programs and other events. Ongoing special programs are presented in the Great Hall as well as on the beautiful grounds of the Center.
Visit the Down The Road on the Blue Ridge Music Trails Podcast Library to hear more about Earl Scruggs and explore many bluegrass and old-time music stories, performers, and traditions across the mountain and foothills counties of Western North Carolina.