About the Heritage Center

The Heritage Center preserves the history and material culture of Johnston County, NC for the educational benefit of its citizens and visitors; and it promotes the understanding of and appreciation for its past through interpretive exhibits, programs, and publications.


Created in February 1997, the Heritage Center is a department of Johnston County Government, administered by a managing director employed by the county manager and advised by an 18-member Heritage Commission appointed by the County Commissioners. Taxpayers of the County of Johnston provide funding for operations, including personnel and maintenance of the building and equipment. Other expenses, including acquisitions and various outreach activities,  are funded by donations, endowments, sales of local history and genealogy books, and fees for photocopies and digital scans of materials in our archives.

Historic Home Base

The Heritage Center opened its doors to the public on April 15, 2000 in the renovated former home office of First Citizens Bank in the heart of downtown Smithfield, North Carolina. Today's location has space for exhibits, secure artifact storage, and ongoing expansion of the widely acclaimed Johnston County Room collection of local history and genealogy that was previously housed in the Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield.

For location, hours and contact information, see the Contact Us page.

Page last updated:  December 11, 2023