About Sallie Mae Ligon Museum & Archives

01Our museum, housed in the Cobb Center at Dunn Cottage, is located on the scenic campus of the Masonic Home for Children, in Oxford, North Carolina.

The museum holds the permanent collections of North Carolina’s first and oldest operating residential home for children, which opened its doors to children in need for the first time in 1873.

Dunn Cottage, or “the baby cottage”, was built in 1929, and was home to all the youngest children at Oxford until 2003, when residents moved to smaller, “family-style” cottages.

In 2005, the repurposed and renovated Cobb Center at Dunn Cottage was opened. to house the Sallie Mae Ligon Museum and Archives, which includes the Colenda Gallery, the Ligon Gallery, the Family Life Center, and the museum’s archives, along with administration space and conference sites.

The Colenda Gallery reflects the story of the nearly 10,000 children who lived here, by illustrating their daily activities in objects and photographs that span the history of this Home since 1873.

The Ligon Gallery timeline, tells our history through the point of view of the builders who raised our buildings, the staff who worked here, and the donors who supported our work. The timeline chronicles events in the world, in North Carolina, and in Oxford that affected our children’s lives.

Our Family Life Center is an interactive gallery offering young visitors a chance to experience what it was like for our children to work in the print shop, make shoes for 600 small feet, prepare bread for 300 hungry diners, and sleep in a dormitory with 29 brothers or sisters.


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