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Waleska museum highlights Native American history

Reinhardt University’s Funk Heritage Center

Whether you’re interested in Native American heritage, looking for an educational outing for the kids, or both, Reinhardt University’s Funk Heritage Center is a great local museum. The center, located in northern Cherokee County, has a vast collection of artifacts and displays in about 7,000 square feet of exhibit space to bring Native American history and culture to life. With artifacts, videos, dioramas, and information about native people that stretches back thousands of years, along with a rotating collection of contemporary Native American artwork, the Funk Heritage Center offers a fascinating look at how life in Cherokee, and Southeast Georgia, has changed over the millennia.


Hall of Ancients

The center is full of artifacts and exhibits, but The Hall of Ancients deserves it’s own recognition. This area features beautiful and intricate dioramas that depict life for Southeastern Native Americans stretching a 12,000-year span, along with tons of artifacts.

To top off an already amazing exhibit, The Hall of Ancients is centered around a giant 5-ton petroglyph – a massive ancient stone with interesting designs. The huge stone was found on property in the Hickory Log area of Cherokee County in the 1940s. The Hall of Ancients also features information on the Trail of Tears and how, in 1838, the Cherokee Indians were rounded up by soldiers and forced to travel more than 800 miles West.


From arrowheads and stone tools, to pottery and other crafts, the Funk Heritage Center’s collection of Native American artifacts is impressive.The center also has special galleries with antique Americana tools, contemporary Native American artwork, and several other attractions. One big draws of the center is its Appalachian Settlement, which is meant to show what life would’ve been like in the mid-1800s. With two authentic log cabins, several 19th-century farm buildings, a blacksmith shop, and more, this is an awesome place to learn more about how life was for people long ago.


Plan your trip

With adult ticket prices at just $6, this museum is more than affordable at almost any budget. The center is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. And is closed on Mondays and big holidays. Children under 18 years old get in for $4, seniors over 65 can get tickets for $5.50, and active duty military members with ID cards can visit for free.

The Funk Heritage Center is located in Waleska on the Reinhardt University campus, at 7300 Reinhardt College Circle. The center gets its name from Dr. F. James Funk and his wife Florrie G. Funk, an Atlanta couple who with roots in Cherokee County and a history with Reinhardt University.


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