The Avery County Historical Museum is located in the former Avery County Jail, which was built in 1913 in the Italianate style. The museum preserves the history of the county and the surrounding communities in the Toe River Valley. Exhibits explore topics such as sports, education, the military, music and others. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum also features a research room where visitors can genealogical and other research.
As the town grew, the need for a courthouse and an accompanying jail became apparent. The jail was in operation until 1972 and became a museum in 1976.