Howdy from Hickory...

Steve is standing at the birthplace of this town, well what's left of it. In the 1850s, under a huge hickory tree, Henry Robinson built a tavern of logs. The city of "Hickory Tavern" was established in 1863, and the name was eventually changed to the city of Hickory in 1873.

The community of Hickory was the first for many things in North Carolina. It was one of the first towns to install electric lights in 1888; build a complete sewage system in 1904; and run on the council-manager form of government it adopted in 1913.
A must was a visit to The Harper House. Built in 1887 by Daniel Webster Shuler, who founded Hickory’s first bank. The Harper Family, the last of seven families to occupy it, was by far the longest residents—from 1923. The Harpers’ long stay was also providential, for each of the three generations appreciated the house’s architectural significance, preserving the foyer’s carved, coffered ceiling and intricate stained-glass window; the parquet floors of the dining room and grand parlor; the ornate brass-work of the heavy doorknobs, sashes, keyplates, and many sets of pocket doors; the piano-grade cherry of the staircase with two landings and the dining room’s carved wainscoting, as well as the numerous silhouettes of family friends on the walls of the attic, where Mr. and Mrs. Harper, Sr. entertained during Prohibition.
A hipped roof with lower cross gables, the Harper House’s exterior is composed of classic Queen Anne features: irregular massing, half-timbered gables, differing wall textures, including pebbledash and scalloped wooden shingles, a full-width porch extending along two sides, as well as a second-story porch, and a tower with stained-glass windows.

The Harper House was purchased by Finley Harper owner of Harper Motor Company (ca. 1928). His was one of the first car dealerships in Hickory and one of the first Ford dealers in the state. Over the years the company earned a reputation as an honest, reliable business (hence being able to afford such an incredible home).
This was one of those buildings that intrigued me. Hosiery? According to the Register of Historic Places, Hollar Hosiery Mills building clearly illustrates the development of Hickory’s hosiery industry during the first half of the twentieth century. Hosiery production contributed significantly to the emergence of Hickory as one of the leading manufacturing cities in the Piedmont. In 1930, the city boasted seven hosiery mills. By the end of the decade, thirty-two hosiery plants operated in Hickory and employed roughly half of the city’s industrial work force. Interesting, right?
If the weather is as wet as expected, we may be visiting the inside of this place. The Carolina Theater opened Christmas Eve of 1934. The structure had state of the art sound projectors, with a seating capacity of 746, and also offered air conditioning, new at this time. It is now considered an enduring theater showing discounted 2nd-run films in a renovated space with character.

This was not something one sees in the middle of a town very often. This 210 MM Howitzer was captured in Germany, during WWI, and brought to America. The cannon was erected and dedicated on May 30th, 1927 after the American Legion Post 48 and the City funded $200 for the shipment of it from New Jersey. In front of the cannon sits a marker with an inscription that details the importance of the cannon and the memorial as a whole. Originally it was placed to honor those from the community who served in World War I. Later, it was rededicated to honor veterans from all wars who served their country.
I have a thing for trains, their depots and the nostalgia they evoke. Pair this one, originally built and used by Southern Railway (circa 1912), with a cool, old car and it just  screams, "Take a photo!" Neat little town!

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