About Us

Enriching Our Future By Preserving Our Past

Historic Burke Foundation’s purpose is to preserve and restore historic buildings and sites in Burke County and to provide technical assistance to others engaged in preservation. Our goals are to encourage awareness of our heritage and to enhance the character and beauty of our community.

The seed for the formation of Historic Burke Foundation came from the Historical Buildings Committee of the Morganton Service League.  The committee, headed in 1978 by Mary Adair Phifer (Mrs. Edward W., Jr.), was instrumental in getting support for the preservation of the Old Burke County Courthouse. Within a few years, the committee had increased in size.  As a result, Historic Burke Foundation, a non-profit organization, was chartered in 1982.  Barbara Cornwell Norvell (Mrs. Jerry T., Jr.) was elected the organization’s first president.

Historic Burke Foundation sponsors:

  • Museum Exhibits
  • Tours of the Old Burke County Courthouse, the McDowell House at Quaker Meadows, Quaker Meadows Cemetery, and the Erwin Family Cemetery at Belvidere Plantation
  • Educational programs for schools and the community
  • A Revolutionary War Week at the end of September and early in October of each year to commemorate the gathering of the Overmountain Men under the Council Oak at Quaker Meadows Plantation on September 30, 1780 and their subsequent defeat of the British in the battle of Kings Mountain, SC on October 7, 1780.  The battle is considered a turning point in the American Revolution.
  • Fund Raising Events

Historic Burke Foundation owns these historic properties:

  • The McDowell House at Quaker Meadows
  • The Quaker Meadows Cemetery
  • The Erwin Family Cemetery at Belvidere Plantation

Look under Our Properties for more information.

Our office is located in the Historic Burke County Courthouse that also houses our Heritage Museum.  The office is open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Tuesday through Friday and by appointment.