Old Wilkes, Inc. was established in 1968 with the intent of restoring the Old Wilkes County Jail to its original 1860 appearance and operating it as an educational center for the community. Since then, the Old Wilkes County Jail has indeed been restored, as well as the 1779 home of Captain Robert Cleveland, the late 19th century Finley Law Office, and the 1902 Wilkes County Courthouse.
Old Wilkes’ newest project, the Wilkes Heritage Museum, finds it home in the Old Courthouse. Opened in November of 2005, the museum celebrates the unique heritage of Wilkes County. The Wilkes Heritage Museum consists of a self-guided tour featuring exhibits including early settlement, medicine, military history, moonshine, and early stock-car racing.
As it seeks to preserve the past of Wilkes County, the museum will undoubtedly contribute to the education and culture of the county’s present and future.