1. Hart Square Village - Known as the "World's Largest Collection of Log Structures from the 1800's" - Hart Square is home to over 100 Log structures from the Hickory Metro area. Each year the Village comes to life for the Annual October Hart Square Festival with Hundreds of volunteers and docents working the working cotton gin, original saw mill, pottery kiln, corn husking station, apple butter station and more! Along with the Annual Festival they host Christmas in the Village events, Founders Day events and more! New to the village will be the addition of the Sigmon Family Education Center which is currently under construction. For more information click here!
2. Southeastern Narrow Gauge & Shoreline Museum - Located in Newton, NC at the former junction of the Southern and Carolina & North-Western Railway. The museum has a wide spectrum of railroad-related displays; from locomotive headlights to an 1877 narrow gauge boxcar; from model layouts to the active Norfolk Southern railroad operation that runs through the middle of the campus. The Museum is open on Fridays from 12:00-4:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. The Museum also puts on regional Train Shows yearly at the Hickory Metro Convention Center. For Museum information click here and for Train Show information click here.
3. Murray's Mill - Preserved intact are the 1913 mill itself, the 1890s Murray & Minges General Store, the 1880s Wheathouse, used as an exhibit gallery, the 1913 John Murray House, furnished to the period, and numerous outbuildings. Run by three generations of the Murray Family who closed operations in 1967, the picturesque structures and surrounding land form the last milling complex in the county, meticulously preserved and interpreted by the Catawba County Historical Association since 1980 when restorations began. Murray's Mill is open to the public Sunday 1-6, Monday - Friday 11-7, Saturday 9-7 - the grounds are open during daylight hours. Admission: Self-guided Tours - $7/person | Guided Tours (subject to availability) - Adults $10, Ages 17-6 $5, Ages 5 & under Free | Active Duty Military & Veterans - Free For more information on the Mill, their festivals and more click here.
4. Hickory Aviation Museum - A not so hidden gem, The Hickory Aviation Museum is located at the Hickory Airport and open to the public (COVID-19 hours) Friday 10am-3pm, Saturday 10am-4pm & Sunday 1pm-4pm. Outdoor aircraft are currently available to view. With displays including war planes, jump suits, military aircraft and more kids of all ages and aircraft enthusiast enjoy time at the museum. Interested in helping out with projects and restoring aircraft to display? They also have volunteer opportunities for enthusiasts to participate in restoring war planes and more! For more information click here!
5. Catawba County Fire Fighters Museum - The Catawba County Firefighters Museum houses the history of Firefighting in Catawba County NC. Included in the museum are antique fire trucks from various County Fire Departments, historical documents, firefighting tools and equipment, as well as fire prevention resources and memorabilia. Open to the public year round - hours may vary due to COVID-19. Check here for updates on opening and special events.
6. Harper House & Lyerly House- Built in 1887 and considered by the North Carolina Department of Archives and History to possess "the finest Queen Anne interior styling in the entire state,” the Harper House, at 310 N. Center Street, and the accompanying Bonniwell-Lyerly House in the Craftsman style, another of Hickory’s finest structures, are poised to serve the broad spectrum of Catawbans and visitors from near and far as the Harper House & Hickory History Center. Daily Tours on the hour: 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm. Harper House Guided Tours: Adult $10.00 | Ages 6-17 $5.00 | Children 5 & Under Free For more information on House tours click here.
7. Henry River Mill Village - The Henry River Mill Village has had a unique and sometimes very eventful history. As the home to a Mill the town housed workers for the Henry River Manufacturing Company that sat along the Henry River. Workers and families were paid in their own currency accepted at the mill general store. With a convenience store onsite the townsfolk rarely headed out into the larger cities near the town. Sitting vacant for many years the Village received new life when it was cast as a site location for the filming of the Hunger Games for Katniss Everdeans home area known as District Twelve. Now the village has a resurgence of visitors and events. New owners have begun repairing many of the village homes to become shops, B&B's and more. The future pans to restore this area are a marvel. Check out their events and more here! Photo Credit: Joe Young Photography
*Looking for even more awesome local historical treasures click here for a listing of other locations!