After rejecting several ideas, I decided to begin this blog with a brief history and photos of my beautiful home town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
In the 1700’s, a young German named Henry Weidner came from Montgomery, Pennsylvania to find a new home in the South. He settled on the banks of the South Fork and Henry Rivers, near the Catawba Indian settlement. Henry married Katrina Mull in 1750. He and his brother-in-law Adam Mull, took out a land grant that encompassed thousands of acres. A stagecoach turnpike was established several miles to the northwest of the Weidner home, at a point where the trails of the Cherokee and Catawba Indians crossed. The junction opened up the area for transportation and communication.
William Hale opened a store at this stagecoach turnpike and established a post office under the name of Chestnut Oak. Henry Robinson, one of Henry Weidner’s descendants, built a log tavern beneath a huge hickory tree during the 1850’s. The inn was known as “Hickory Tavern.” In 1959, the first train operated in Hickory Tavern – opening up the area for further settlement. The first lot sold in Hickory Tavern was purchased by Henry Link 1858 for $45. His house is now known as the 1859 Cafe.
In 1860, a charter was granted to the Town of Hickory Tavern. Three years later, the name was changed to “Hickory”. Hickory was one of the first towns in North Carolina to install electric lights in 1888.
Downtown (Union Square) was restored from 1974-77 and the train depot converted to a restaurant. Hickory is now the economic, social, and cultural center of the Catawba River Valley and has been named “All American City” three times: 1967, 1987 and 2007.
Click for more information on the history of Hickory.