Built in 1875, The Shelton House was constructed in two sections with the two-story front block and a one-story rear wing completed in 1880. Shortly after the turn of the century a second story was added onto the rear wing. The house was constructed by Henry Napoleon Francis and was built for Stephen Jehu Shelton and his wife, Mahala Conley Shelton.

The Charleston style farmhouse was the first property to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the integrity of the historically rich design has been preserved throughout the years. Its features are often associated with the coastal Carolinas architectural style, making it a gem amongst the modern houses in the area. But the house is only the surface of what it offers to the preservation of the culture of Haywood County.

In 1977, the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts was founded by Mary Cornwell. The exhibit features many locally crafted items including items created by both Native American artisans and North Carolina heritage artisans. A part of the heritage and culture preservation for the area is the ability of story telling around the hand crafted objects. They are more than just pretty items to be put on display. They each tell a story of the people of the Appalachian mountains, making the Shelton House a one of a kind museum.

The Shelton House has a Native American room that stands homage to the Navajo crafters of rugs, blankets, and silver turquoise jewelry. The artifacts stand as a testament to the triumphs and tragedies endured by the Navajo people and it serves a way to continue to preserve their culture and the influence they had over the owners of the Shelton House throughout the years.

The beautiful white shutters with large pillars framing the coastal Carolina inspired home are truly something to be seen in person. The culture preserved within and the stories told through the artifacts that remain behind serve as a reminder of where we came from and it’s definitely a must see when visiting the small town of Waynesville, North Carolina. Admission to the house is relatively inexpensive at $6 for adults, $5 for students, free for children five and under, and a discounted rate of $5 per person for groups of 10 or more. They are open May through October, Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am until 4 pm.

The Shelton House

For more information visit:


Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts - The Shelton House

49 Shelton St, Waynesville, NC 28786, USA