Haywood Community College’s Student Success Services division, held its annual Strategic Planning Retreat on October 29 at the Shook House Museum. Elaine Barnes, SSS Executive Director, and Cheryl Farrell, Enrollment Manager, initiated the idea in an effort to strengthen community connections with the museum.

Barnes describes the value of strengthening community college connections with local organizations: “The services we provide as individual organizations are expanded in far-reaching ways when we partner community colleges with our local agencies and museums. The dialogue and ideas we share help our students and organizations to prosper.”

HCC Horticulture instructor, George Thomas, volunteers his time and talent at the Shook Museum. Thomas and several members of the HCC Horticulture Club have landscaped the museum grounds, showcasing traditional mountain shrubs and plants that further enhance the museum’s quality. They also built a dry stacked -rock wall and installed a brick walkway at the museum’s front entrance.

The Shook House is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office has determined that the Shook House was built around 1810-20. The two-and-a-half story frame house was built in two different periods, with the older Shook portion pre-dating the larger Smathers addition completed in the 1890’s.

The Shook Museum’s Director, Jerry Tate, invites the community to tour the museum and gain a first -hand appreciation of Haywood’s history. Tours may be scheduled by contacting Tate at 877-620-2300 or email info@shookmuseum.org. Fostering community connections with positive learning opportunities is yet another valuable link provided by Haywood Community College.