Three archaeological projects have been undertaken in the county: the salvage of artifacts at the construction site of the Swain Middle School; a cooperative project with the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and volunteers to reconstruct a prehistoric Cherokee house; and assistance to the museum in obtaining and administering a federal grant to survey National Register-eligible properties on the Cherokee reservation. All of these projects illustrate the importance of the Native American presence in the Southern Appalachians. The North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office statewide inventory contains information on approximately 360 prehistoric and historic archaeological sites in Swain County.
In 1997-1998, the Historic Preservation Office sponsored a reconnaissance survey of the county.
The restoration project for the historic Swain County Courthouse (listed in the National Register 1979) received a total of $18,000 in federal matching funds and $225,000 in state legislative grant funds in 1983 and 1984. A $4,000 federal grant enabled a reconnaissance architectural survey of the county that began in 1997.
NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES
There are seven individual properties and the Oconaluftee Archaeological District listed in the National Register.
The planning phases of projects at the Oconaluftee site in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Swain County Middle School were expedited by the Historic Preservation Office during the environmental review process.
The Historic Preservation Office participated in the development of archaeological exhibits at the Swain County Middle School and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
The restoration effort at the Swain County Courthouse has received professional support from the Historic Preservation Office. Staff also developed recommendations for rehabilitation of the Ferguson House near Bryson City, and provided detailed recommendations for rehabilitation of historic buildings in downtown Bryson City in 1999 as part of an assessment of community resources sponsored by Handmade in America.