New Johnston County Museum Grand Opening December 14

The museum facade, featuring window displays of historical photographs from communities across Johnston County.

SMITHFIELD – The Johnston County Heritage Center’s new County Museum will hold a Grand Opening celebration beginning at 10 am on Wednesday, December 14.

Located in the former Rose’s Department Store at 329 E. Market Street in Downtown Smithfield, the museum had a soft opening October 8 to unveil a special exhibit in commemoration of Ava Gardner’s 100th birthday.

“Anyone who has visited since October will certainly want to come back,” said Heritage Center Director Todd Johnson. “There will be much more to see and learn about our fascinating county,” he added, “and our Gift Shop is also a good place to do some Christmas shopping.”    

Just a few of the many items on display in the new JoCo Museum–a 19th century bathtub from the Ashley Horne Mansion in Clayton, an 18th century spinning wheel, and hand-crafted chairs and chest.

The public is invited to a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 am. Refreshments will be served, and there will be drawings for door prizes.

The Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm. The Heritage Center’s research collection, located on the first floor of the former First Citizens Bank building at 241 E. Market Street, is open Monday-Friday, 9-5, and Saturday 9-1. Both facilities will be closed for the holidays December 23-27.

For more information, call the museum at 919-938-5912, or visit the Heritage Center’s website at, or Facebook page,