316 Hiddenite Church Road
Hiddenite, NC 28636
The Hiddenite Center is housed within the historic James Paul Lucas Mansion, a three-story Victorian home listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The mansion's namesake is James Paul Lucas, known affectionately as "Diamond Jim." Explore this unique North Carolina treasure today!
TAKE A GUIDED TOUR.
The first floor of the Lucas Mansion features rooms restored to reflect the turn of 20th-century life. Tours of the house museum wing offer visitors an opportunity to experience this historic home as it might have been in Diamond Jim's day. Your tour guide will share additional information about local history and folklore!
$6.00 - Adults
$5.00 - Senior Adults/Stude
VISIT OUR ANTIQUE DOLL AND TOY MUSEUM WING.
Originating from the original collection of the Center's founder Eileen Lackey Sharpe, this collection is a favorite of visitors of all ages and walks of life. Guests will see antique dolls and toys from all over the world with some dating all the way back to the 1700s! What a fun way to learn history! Engaging scavenger hunt sheets for children are ava
ENJOY OUR ART GALLERY.
Housed on the second floor of the Lucas Mansion, the Center's expansive art gallery hosts rotating exhibits that specifically showcase works by NC and regional artists. The Center honors featured artists with a tailored artist reception. The Mansion also displays a rotating Emerging Artist exhibit on its third floor. In alignment with its mission to serve and promote lo
SUPPORT LOCAL ARTISTS - VISIT OUR ARTISAN GIFT SHOP.
Our artisan gift shop is the perfect place to find that special something that is like no other! Local craftspeople consign their artwork, crafts, and wares on the first floor of the Lucas Mansion. Patrons can find anything from art prints to pottery, to hand-carved items, jewelry, and more!
DISCOVER HIDDENITE AT THE LUCAS MANSION!
Hiddenite being the 4th rarest gemstone in the world, can only be found in the small town of Hiddenite, NC. Each year, thousands flock to the area to search for gems and minerals at the nearby Emerald Hollow Mine. In fact, the largest emerald found in North America was discovered just a short distance from us! Visit the gem & mineral display on our 1st flo
EXPLORE THE ALEXANDER COUNTY VISITOR CENTER.
In 2013, the Alexander County government began a partnership with the Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center to house the Alexander County Visitor Center in the historic Lucas Mansion. This unique collaboration has enhanced the County’s presence in terms of visitor information and tourism while strengthening the Center’s role within the community. The visitor
HOST A PRIVATE TEA PARTY
We invite you to host your own private tea party at the Lucas Mansion! With wrap-around porches, gazebos, and a Victorian herb garden, the Lucas Mansion is brimming with charm, making it the ideal place to host a tea. Tea party packages start at $10 per person with a minimum of 10 people. This basic fee covers a private party and a tour. Prices are adjusted according to the menu, photo drop options, decor, activity options, and selected party favors. When scheduling a tea party, a staff member will work alongside you to customize a tea party that is perfect for the celebrated occasion. The Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center is happy to accommodate birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, book clubs, retreats, anniversary parties, and more! The possibilities are endless, and the Center enjoys working with guests to create truly memorable events. Call the Center at 828-632-6966 for additional information and to schedule your tea party. The Tea Party Rental Agreement form can be downloaded here.
LUCAS MANSION PORCH AND GAZEBO GROUNDS RENTAL INFORMATION
The Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center is pleased to offer its gazebo and ground-floor wrap-around porch for your special day. Rental packages start at $50 an hour. A staff member will work alongside you to customize your event. Please call the Center at 828-632-6966 for additional information. We look forward to speaking with you!
The Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center is housed within the historic James Paul Lucas Mansion. This famed regional landmark, the first National Register of Historic Places site in Alexander County, was originally built as a two-story Victorian home in 1900.
Local legend tells us that the original structure was owned by a young man who planned to live in the home with his bride-to-be, following their pending marriage. As the story goes, the couple quarreled and never married.
James Paul Lucas, affectionately known as “Diamond Jim,” was a visionary thinker who traveled the world as an importer of diamonds and gems. Lucas purchased the home and then set out to expand the structure significantly. As a traveler and collector, Lucas needed enough room to house his extensive collections of eccentricities. His lifestyle and grandiose adventures reflected the brief, but ostentatious Edwardian period, beginning in 1900 and abruptly halted in 1914 by the start of World War I.
In grand fashion, Diamond Jim Lucas enlarged the original two-story home to its present three-story construction. The house was cut in half horizontally and the existing second story was raised by railroad jacks, inches at a time, and held in place by “cribbing” until the desired height was achieved.
As the house was slowly raised, a group of local carpenters inserted lumber of various sizes until the desired height was achieved and the third story was added. As a result, what we now know as the second floor is actually newer than the third floor!
In the days of James Paul Lucas, the house served as the home of Mr. Lucas’ vast collections and played host to fascinating guests and famous friends of Diamond Jim. The Lucas Mansion museum, located on the first floor, features rooms restored to reflect family life at the turn of the 20th century with furnishings similar to those Diamond Jim may have owned throughout his life. Lucas equipped the 22-room, three-story house with all of the modern conveniences, including many that were ahead of their time. The mansion had its own power generator for electricity and an indoor water system. The mansion also featured a telephone, a bell system used in the manner of an intercom, and a remarkable fire extinguisher system.
James Paul Lucas passed away in 1952, leaving behind a legacy of innovation, creativity, and self-expression. The mansion was purchased by the Center’s founders, the late Eileen Lackey Sharpe and R.Y. Sharpe, in 1981 and was established as a center for the arts, cultural heritage, and natural heritage. This rich history has left an undeniable mark on generations of North Carolinians. The Lucas Mansion is a part of our collective history and our shared future, serving as a beacon for the arts.
We are always looking for passionate and dedicated volunteers to help us carry out our mission. Whether you have a few hours to spare or want to make a long-term commitment, there are many ways to get involved and make a difference. Contact us today to learn more about volunteering with the Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center.
Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center programs are supported in part by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, www.NCArts.org, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and through the generous funding of the Eileen and R. Y. Sharpe Family Foundation, The Winston Salem Foundation, Alexander County Government, the Town of Taylorsville, and by the Friends of the Center membership program. The Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center’s Lucas Mansion and Educational Complex are wheelchair accessible. Financial information about this organization and a copy of its license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Branch at 919-814-5400. The license is not an endorsement by the State.