Hickory, North Carolina
Hickory has been long-known as the furniture capital of the world. For years, people have driven great distances to the huge furniture showrooms looking for bargains. Miles of showrooms and outlets offer heavily discounted prices to shoppers who spend hours and even days searching for quality furniture.
Like many North Carolina towns, Hickory's early success was tied to the railroad which helped it to develop into a trading center. After the Civil War, the city continued to expand and grow but it was not until 1901, when the first furniture plant opened, that Hickory achieved its true calling. Hickory became a boom town as scores of furniture, textile and hosiery plants opened.
"The Hickory Museum of Art is the second oldest in the state and, in addition to exhibits, offers art classes and lectures to the public."
Clearly, the town of Hickory was built on hard work but that is balanced by the many recreational activities offered by its surroundings. Four Catawba River lakes are nearby, inviting boaters and fishermen to enjoy the water. A wealth of parks, from small city green spaces to large state parks, provide everything from tennis courts and sports fields to challenging hiking trails. The Catawba River Park is but one example with its picnic shelters, hiking and biking paths, observation deck, footbridge crossing Silver Creek and handicap-accessible walking trails.
Cultural events are part of the Hickory lifestyle, as well. With groups such as Hickory Choral Society and Hickory Community Theatre, the performing arts are well represented. The Hickory Museum of Art is the second oldest in the state and, in addition to exhibits, offers art classes and lectures to the public. The Western Piedmont Symphony often includes visiting classical music stars.
Many historic sites exist in Hickory and surrounding Caldwell County, including Maple Grove, which was built in 3 and is one of Hickory's oldest structures. The J. Summie Propst house was built about the same time as Maple Grove and features intricate woodwork carvings. An interesting feature of this house is the scaled back porches and balustrades which were designed to accommodate Mrs. Propst, who was only 4'10" tall. With so much to see and do and its proximity to the mountains and metropolitan area, it is no wonder so many people choose to move to Hickory.
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