What makes up a place, a town, a city? The history of Matthews shows us that it is the combination of the people, nature, and the built environment or Town Square. The downtown in Matthews since it’s founding acted as a central focal point of life in Matthews. Downtown still serves this purpose with local stores, restaurants, and community gatherings, although, now with a population of over 29,000 people, downtown Matthews gives visitors and residents an experience much different from our recent past. Riddled with a steady flow of traffic, new buildings are interspersed around the town square and yet through efforts of preservation the face of the past remains.
The town still remains a place for community gathering. With the Women’s Club, Matthews Historical Foundation, the Matthews Heritage Museum and the annual Stumptown Festival to name a few. The maintenance of Matthews' cultural heritage is of vital importance to the town's current community. However, through its growing population, the current sense of community might not ever be the same as it was in the early 1900s with less than 500 people, where every citizen had a familiarity with their fellow residents. This site strives to archive the history of Matthews and to entice contributions from past, current, and future residents to bring back this sense of community. To create a shared history and familiarity with our similarities, shared stories and memories. These materials are designed for research use, education and simple acts of remembering. In addition, a primary component of the site is a geospatial map, which links these photos, newspaper articles and items to their current or past location.
This site is designed to give users a chance to look at objects related to the cultural heritage of Matthews. These linkages to the past will create an understanding of the town’s story and create a communal future. You should feel free to, and are encouraged to contribute to the site. After you explore the site, you are welcome to add your own memories, your own stories, and objects related the history of Matthews. Anything that one adds will be of value. Matthews is a city in a cultural transition, a town of diverse perspectives from across a wide social and geographical range. This archive is created to illuminate the collections within the Matthews Heritage Museum amongst our vertical files and those materials that are not currently on display. However, these are not intended to be the only piece of the puzzle that reveals the town’s history, your contributions are a vital part to the continual development of the site.