Macon County, North Carolina, was formed in 1828 from a piece of Haywood County. The land was part of lands acquired from the Cherokee Nation in the Treaty of 1819. The county is named for Nathaniel Macon, a politician from Warrenton, NC, who served in the Revolutionary War, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate.
Macon County Historical Society was formed out of the concern and desire to preserve the Nikwasi Indian Mound in Franklin, NC. Formed in 1946, the Society successfully helped to raise funds to purchase the Nikwasi Mound, which was deeded to the Town of Franklin. Though inactive for a time after this initial objective was obtained, the Society was revived in 1976. The Society is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization.
The home of the Macon County Historical Museum is the nearly 120-year-old commercial store building built by the Rev. Jesse R. Pendergrass on Main Street in 1904 and was immediately considered the finest commercial building in Macon County. Over the next seventy years, the store was a hub for the community. The many items offered for sale in the store included grocery staples, dry goods, notions, school supplies, and other necessities of everyday life in early 20th century Macon County. Many examples of these items are among the artifact holdings of the Museum and are exhibited on a rotating basis in Museum displays. The store was also a community gathering place with lively checker games ongoing daily on the street outside in the summer and by the wood stove in the winter. It also served as a wedding parlor for many of the couples who were married by the Rev. Pendergrass. The top floor of the building served as the living quarters for some of the Pendergrass family.