The Wilkes Heritage Museum and the nearby Capt. Robert Cleveland log home and Old Wilkes Jail in downtown Wilkesboro will reopen to the public Saturday, with all state and local COVID-19-related guidelines followed.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday that museums and certain other facilities closed to onsite visitors since March 18 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 can reopen at 5 p.m. Friday. 

Wilkes Heritage Museum Director Jennifer Furr said museum staff and volunteers cleaned the museum facility (old county courthouse), Old Wilkes Jail and Cleveland home during this time and worked on new programs and exhibits..

One of the new programs is a Tar Heel Junior Historian Association, open to student in fourth to 12th grades in Wilkes County. Details are available from Eden Hamby at 336-667-3171. 

The museum will host Ghost Tours in downtown Wilkesboro on Sept. 19 and Oct. 24. Pre-registration and pre-payment is required. There is a limit of 15 people per 90-minute walking tour.

Tours begin on the museum front lawn. The cost of the museum fundraiser is $10 per person. “Safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff is a top priority. We ask visitors to wear masks and maintain appropriate social distancing,” said Furr.

“Directional signage, hand sanitizer and limits on visitor numbers at any given time are among measures planned,” she added.

There is a $6 admission charge to tour the museum, Old Wilkes Jail and Cleveland log home. Wilkes Heritage Museum members are admitted free with passes.

The Wilkes Heritage Museum Inc. is a private, non-profit organization focused on preserving the history and heritage of Wilkes County through exhibits and programs.

Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 336-667-3171 for more details.

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