The Belhaven Memorial Museum is a non-profit organization whose mission is
to collect, display and preserve historical and cultural artifacts and objects and
to stimulate and encourage interest and support of the history, art, science and
culture of the Belhaven area, of Beaufort County, and of eastern North Carolina.
The museum builds upon the original collection of Mrs. Eva Blount Way (1869-1962).
Mary Eva Blount Way (1869-1962), or "Miss Eva" as she was known affectionately,
was an avid collector. Her love of things unique began with a small but treasured
collection of buttons given to her by her mother-in-law. Over the years, she accumulated
approximately 30,000 buttons from throughout the United States and around the world.
At the same time, she began acquiring all manner of items of special significance to her,
including Christmas memorabilia, period clothing, toys and dolls, china, farm tools and specimens
from her natural environment.
As word of her preoccupation spread, friends and neighbors began to bring treasures from their
own lives and travels. The result is a fascinating array of priceless artifacts from Beaufort County,
NC and afar which represent nearly a century in the world of Mrs. Eva Blount Way.
In an effort to aid the Red Cross, Miss Eva began to showcase her collection from the Way home
beginning in about 1940. As the collection grew to more than 10,000 items, it eventually expanded
into the family barn. Following her death in 1962, at the age of 93, concerned citizens of the town
of Belhaven initiated efforts to purchase the collection.
On April 1, 1965, the Belhaven Memorial Museum was officially opened on the second floor of the
historic Belhaven Town Hall. The museum today is a unique learning center which allows visitors to
step back into the nineteenth century and glimpse one woman's silent testament to her life and times.