For more than thirty years, Dr. Robert Hart of Hickory has rescued and restored Carolina life of the nineteenth century, recreating an entire village, Hart Square—the largest collection of original historic log buildings in the United States.
Each year on the fourth Saturday in October, Dr. and Mrs. Hart open this restoration project to the public. Dating from 1782 to 1873, the seventy log structures—chapels, barns, houses, shops, and more—are all furnished, and around 220 volunteer artisans demonstrate the period techniques of flax breaking and hackling, spinning, weaving, herb dying, open-hearth cooking, broom and shoe making, shingle riving, wheelwrighting, tinsmithing, and moonshining.
Visitors from across the country attend the one-day event, some inspired by the three-part series The 1840 Carolina Village narrated by the late Shelby Foote that airs on PBS stations. Tickets go on sale (9:00 am) on the 1st of October. They may be purchased in person at the Catawba County Museum of History in Newton or over the phone, with a credit card, at 828.465.0383. Directions are included with the tickets, which we mail to you. View a gallery of Hart Square.
For further reading, see the October 2005 article "Cabin Fever" in Our State magazine.