The Avery County Bicentennial Commission was created in 1974 by the Avery County Heritage, Festivals, and Horizons. The first Heritage project involved oral history recordings made by many Avery County residents. For Festivals the Bicentennial Commission concentrated on a crafts fair and re-enactment of a Revolutionary event. Horizons concept embraced the desire to perpetuate something rediscovered, re-emphasized or renovated. Since the commission could not restore the oldest building in Avery County located in Cranberry, the Avery County Commissions gave the Bicentennial Commission the old Avery County Jail to house artifacts and genealogies and those who have served Avery County.