McDowell County Public Library


Abe Simmons Genealogy Room

& North Carolina History Collection

Located on the lower level of the Marion Library.  A collection of local city, county, and regional resources including photos, cemetery records, and other primary resource materials.  Reference materials are for in-library use only. We also keep a large collection of local newspapers and Census records on microfilm.

Hours: Monday- Friday, 10 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and 2 p.m.- 5:30 p.m.

There are 7 billion genealogical records from across the globe and millions of family trees. This database is accessible from any computer in our libraries. Ask any staff member to help you get started researching.



Fold3™ Library Edition

A part of and provides access to US military records, including the stories, photos and documents of the men and women who served. This database is accessible from any computer in our libraries. Ask any staff member to help you get started researching.

Digitized Newspapers and Yearbooks


Discover yearbooks from Nebo High School starting from 1850 and Marion High School starting from 1950.  Explore local history with articles from the Marion Messenger in 1896, Marion Progress in 1916, and Marion Record 1894-1895.


Heritage Quest

A comprehensive treasury of American genealogical sources—rich in unique primary sources, local and family histories, convenient research guides, interactive census maps, and more.

Family Search

Operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), this free website offers a variety of genealogical databases, access to unindexed images of genealogical records, the Social Security Death Index, wiki entries describing various types of genealogical research, and access to the Family History Library’s catalog. Free access to the 1940 United States Federal Census.

Mountain Gateway Museum

A museum that focuses on Southern Appalachian heritage, and the culture and history of western North Carolina. The museum is located in Old Fort, North Carolina, and is part of the Division of State History Museums, Office of Archives and History, an agency of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

 Historic Carson House

A historic house and museum located in Marion, North Carolina that was the home of Col. John Carson, and served as the McDowell County courthouse at the county’s inception.


USGenWeb Project

Maintained by volunteers working together to provide free genealogy websites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States. This Project is non-commercial and fully committed to free genealogy access for everyone.


McDowell County Historical Society

A local organization dedicated to preserving and documenting the history of McDowell County, NC. They provide a monthly event at the Marion Library on the 4th Thursday of each month, guest speakers include local historians and writers.

For more information contact:
Amanda Biddix at 828-652-3858
or by email at

  • Hours

    Marion Library

    Mon, Wed, Fri: 10-5:30
    Tue, Thu: 10-7
    Saturday: 11-5
    Sunday: Closed
    Holiday Hours

    Old Fort Library

    Monday: Closed
    Tues: 10-7
    Wed, Fri: 10-5:30
    Thursday: 10-7
    Saturday: 11-5
    Sunday: Closed
    Holiday Hours

  • Get in touch

    Marion Library

    Phone 828-652-3858
    Fax 828-652-2098

    Old Fort Library

    Phone 828-668-7111
    Fax 828-668-4013

    Subscribe to our Newsletter

  • Find us

    Marion Library

    90 W Court St
    Marion, NC 28752

    Old Fort Library

    65 E Mitchell St
    Old Fort, NC 28762