Plan Your Visit

"The plantation’s distinguishing mark was its peculiar social order which conceded nearly everything to the slave owner and nothing to the slave. In theory, the planter’s rule was complete.  The Great House, nestled among manufactories, shops, barns, sheds, and various other outbuildings which were called, with a nice sense of the plantation’s social hierarchy, “dependencies,” dominated the landscape, the physical and architectural embodiment of the planters’ hegemony."

- Many Thousands Gone, Ira Berlin

This North Carolina mountain plantation, tucked in the Reems Creek Valley, explores daily life in the early 1800s in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Visitors can peek inside our historic structures, including a loom house, tool shed, spring house, smoke house, and corn crib. 

For a more in-depth experience, interpretive guides lead visitors through a 1790 slave house and discuss the eighteen enslaved people that lived and worked on the Vance farm. Tours conclude at the reconstructed 1790s Vance home. Zebulon Baird Vance, one of North Carolina's Governors and U.S. Senators was born on this property in 1830. Guests will learn about the life that would come to shape him and his policies later in life.

Zebulon Vance’s notable career would begin long after his family left this farm; visitors are welcome to explore the exhibit in our visitor center to learn more about his time as governor and how this early mountain life would come to shape him and his policies.

Hours and Location

Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Sunday, Monday, and most major holidays

Admission

Admission is free.  Donations are accepted and appreciated.

Tours

The site is entirely self-guided, but for a more in-depth experience visitors can take a 45-minute guided tour at 11:00, 1:00, or 3:00.  

Tour schedule is subject to change. Due to the size of the buildings, space is limited. Reservations are requested for large groups.

Group Reservations

 

Facilities

Historic Structures
An original 1790s slave house; nineteenth century smoke house, tool house, and corn crib; reconstructed spring house and loom house; and the reconstructed Vance home, rebuilt around the original 1790s brick fireplace and chimney.
Visitor Center
Exhibits outlining how early Appalachian life shaped the political career of Zebulon B. Vance; a gift shop featuring local items, books, and historic gifts; and a classroom and meeting space.
Trails, Monuments, Outdoor Exhibit
Waysides examine aspects of Appalachian Mountain life and culture.
Handicapped Accessibility
The visitor center and restrooms are accessible to all visitors. Wheelchair-accessible picnic tables are available. Access to the historic buildings is limited.
Picnic Facilities
An accessible picnic shelter and tables are located on the grounds, with panaramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Gift Shop
Our gift shop features handmade items and gifts, books, historic folk toys, souvenirs, and post cards.
 
Experience the Vance Birthplace in photographs by visiting the online home of Brenda Scott's history-based photography exhibit, The Mountains are Calling:  At Home in Western North Carolina.   Created at the Vance Birthplace, this exhibit centers on North Carolina mountain culture from c.1790 to c. 1830.  These beautiful photographs serve as a window into the lives of the people living in the Reems Creek Valley during this early period of Appalahcian history.

Programs, Group Activities

Annual events include a spring Lecture held in April, a Militia Muster in September, an Appalachian Folk Festival in October, and our Appalachian Christmas Carol in December.  We also host additional workshops, lectures, symposia, and other events throughout the year.  

Take a peek at the most recent edition of the Vance Birthplace newsletter, The Stump, to stay up-to-date on our site's events and programs!

Associated Files