Second annual event highlights town’s history
To celebrate the history and heritage of Matthews, a handful of area nonprofits will come together Saturday, May 12 to host the second annual Discover Matthews event.
Discover Matthews runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in downtown Matthews. The event will give community members of all ages a chance to learn the history of Matthews, visit downtown restaurants and shops, discover local nonprofits, enjoy free entertainment and celebrate the town’s culture.
Discover Matthews was inspired by a book of the same name, written by Matthews Historical Foundation President Paula Lester. Years after the book’s publication, Lester felt an urge to bring the history of Matthews alive through a major town event. She turned to the town and the Matthews Chamber of Commerce, which collaborated to launch the first Discover Matthews event last year.
“I think there’s a lot of things we can uncover about areas we live in but don’t really know that much about,” Lester said.
History buffs will enjoy visiting the Matthews Visitors Center, located at the old Seaboard Railroad Depot off Matthews Station Street. Artifacts from the Seaboard Railroad, such as playing cards, silverware and dishes, old schedules and vintage books, will be displayed. Matthews natives wanting to learn more about their ancestors can stop by the Matthews Library for its “Genealogy Day,” where helpful materials will be available to those wishing to trace their roots.
Throughout the day, visitors can take a trip to the Massey-Clark House to learn about the site’s future Matthews Heritage Museum, or the Reid House on West John Street to learn more about the Matthews Historical Foundation’s preservation efforts. Both locations will have information about local nonprofits and how community members can volunteer or donate.
The Massey-Clark House will display a drawing in each room of what the room will look like once the Heritage Museum is created. Lester said the nonprofit foundation hopes to have the museum completed by the end of the year.
Shoppers can enjoy a morning at the Farmers Market, where a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods and flowers will be available. Dilworth Coffee will serve as the starting point for a walking tour of historic downtown Matthews, which begins at 12:45 p.m.
Entertainment-lovers can enjoy a musical presentation, courtesy of Matthews Playhouse, which will feature selections from recent productions. The performances will run from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Matthews Gazebo outside town hall at 232 Matthews Station St. Local band GB & ME will perform live music on the brickyard at the Massey-Clark House from 1 to 3 p.m.
The day concludes with an “Old Fashioned Strawberry Social” at the Reid House from 2 to 4 p.m. The social, which will feature strawberry cake and other refreshments, celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Matthews Historical Foundation.
Lester hopes area residents will come check out what Matthews has to offer.
“We hope to see a lot of people this year, and to see this grow and become a bigger event even next year,” she said.