Vance Birthplace

Pioneer Life – Government – Civil War

This pioneer farmstead, tucked in the beautiful Reems Creek Valley, features a two-story log cabin "mansion," an original 1790s slave cabin, and five outbuildings. Furnished as it would have been in the 1830s, the site explores life in early Buncombe County as seen through the lives of the Vance family and enslaved people.

The Visitor Center contains a kid-friendly exhibit detailing the life of Gov. Zebulon Vance from his birth on the farm to his political service as Civil War Governor and post-Reconstruction Senator. Learn More

The Site Today

The Vance Family

Education Resources

Tour Information

Don't have a lot of time, or enjoy exploring on your own? The Vance Birthplace is open for self-guided tours. Pick-up one of our self-guided maps in the Visitor Center and peek inside the buildings. Many of our historic spaces feature exhibit panels, and on the grounds you will find three interpretive waysides to enhance your understanding of the Vance family farmstead.

For a more in-depth experience take our Mountain Farmstead Tour! This guided tour takes visitors behind-the-scenes, starting with a step inside an original 1790s slave cabin. Guides uncover life in early Buncombe County as you walk the grounds and learn about the outbuildings necessary to maintain an approximately 900-acre farm. The tour concludes in the reconstructed 1790s pioneer cabin where visitors examine the mountain life that would shape one of North Carolina's governors, the impact of the Buncombe Turnpike, and the transition of the area from a society with enslaved people into a slave society. This tour is free, a $5 donation per family is encouraged. Tours are offered at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm, and last approximately one hour.

Tour schedule is subject to change. Due to the size of the buildings, space is limited. Please call in advance for large groups.

Volunteers and Interns

Are you interested in learning about and sharing the history of WNC in the early 1800s? Join us at the scenic Vance farmstead as a Volunteer or student Intern!

We are seeking friendly and energetic people who can assist for two or more hours at a time. You may volunteer a few times a year or multiple times per month. Volunteers will serve as front line representatives of the historic site and work side-by-side with staff to greet visitors, answer questions, provide information, and otherwise make visitors feel welcome. Interns will also complete a project related to visitor services, exhibits, collections, or another area of interpretation.

Do you have a special talent? Prefer to work behind the scenes? Looking to support our special events? Let us know! We will try to find opportunities that fit your skills and wishes.

Download our volunteer application or internship application today!

Join Our Friends!

The Friends of the Vance Birthplace help bring to life the history of North Carolina's Civil War Governor, Zebulon Vance, and his influential family through continued support of the Site's programs and special events.

To learn more about becoming a Friends Member, download their membership flyer.

Reenactor and child

Weddings and Other Rentals

The peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains provide a beautiful backdrop to any event, but it's the 19th century log cabins that truly add character to your special day. Rental rates and policies can be found in our rental application packet.

Upcoming Events

  • August 23:
    The Spirit of the Law:
    Governing Alcohol in 19th Century NC

    Thursday, 7 pm to 9 pm
    Location: Wedge at Foundation
    5 Foundy St., Asheville, NC

    Join Howling Moon Distillery and the Mountain History and Culture Group at Wedge at Foundation as we welcome Dr. Daniel Pierce to learn about the legal and illegal history of alcohol in North Carolina. And the event would not be complete without a taste of moonshine from Howling Moon Distillery!
    This is a ticketed event. Tickets are $15.00 and include the presentation as well as a local liquor tasting with Howling Moon Distillery. Tickets are non-refundable. Seating capacity is limited. For more information, contact the Vance Birthplace State Historic Site.


  • August 25:
    History Hounds

    Saturday, 10 am to 1 pm
    The Vance Birthplace is partnering with Brother Wolf Animal Rescue to find homes for dogs & cats. The mountains of North Carolina provide a great place to experience the outdoors with the many parks and hiking trails. What better way to experience nature than with your new best friend? Rain or shine, this special event is free, and open to the public.


  • September 15:
    Panel Discussion:
    Loyalty and Desertion During the Civil War

    Saturday, 9 am to 12 pm
    East Tennessee State University's Department of History and the Vance Birthplace will present a panel discussion on loyalty and desertion during the Civil War in the Appalachian mountains.
    What led people to fight and what led people to desert? Desertion was an ongoing problem during the Civil War. During his time as Governor, Zebulon Vance knew this struggle all too well and addressed many proclamations of amnesty in-an-effort to bring deserters back into the fold.
    "It shows what I have always believed that the great popular heart is not now and never has been in this war! It was a revolution of the politicians not the people; was fought at first by the natural enthusiasm of our young men, and has been kept agoing by state and sectional pride assisted by that bitterness of feeling produced by the cruelties and brutalities of the enemy." - Zebulon B. Vance to David L. Swain, Raleigh September 22, 1864.
    Historians Judkin Browning, Katherine Cutshall, and Dan Slagle, along with Steve Nash as moderator, will discuss desertion and loyalty during the Civil War from various view-points. According to Dr. Nash, "Historians are undergoing a re-evaluation of the terminology they use to discuss the American Civil War. One common assumption is that the South and the Confederacy were synonymous. They weren't. Scholars have dug deeply into the divisions within southern states like North Carolina, and have shown that Zebulon Vance may not have been right in his assessment of Confederate support. But he wasn't wrong either."
    This program is free and open to the public, and will be held at the Vance Birthplace State Historic Site at 911 Reems Creek Road, Weaverville NC, 28787. Seating capacity is limited. Call (828) 645-6706 or email us at vance@ncdcr.gov for more information.


  • Stay tuned for upcoming events . . .


View NC DNCR Upcoming Events Calendar

Vance Birthplace Information

Contact Us

Vance Birthplace
911 Reems Creek Rd.
Weaverville, N.C. 28787
Phone: (828) 645-6706
Email: vance@ncdcr.gov

Hours of Operation

Tuesday - Saturday--9 a.m - 5 p.m.

Closed Sundays, Mondays and most major holidays.

Admission

No admission fees. Donations are accepted and appreciated.


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