Introduction to Hickory, North Carolina
Hickory is located in Catawba County in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The city is recognized as the economic and cultural center of the Catawba River Valley. Hickory is situated in the nation's prominent furniture manufacturing region.
Hickory was established by Henry Weidner who migrated to the region from Montgomery Pennsylvania. In 1750, along with his brother-in-law he acquired a land grant which included thousands of acres of land. During the 1790's Henry Robinson built a tavern located under an enormous hickory tree in the northwest portion of Catawba County. The region took the name Hickory Tavern and the name stayed attached to the area for about 100 years. In 1859 the railroad reached Hickory Tavern and caused a significant increase in the population. In 1870 the city was incorporated and in 1891 Lenoir-Rhyne College was established by Lutheran pastors.
Hickory and the surrounding region is well known as a center for making furniture. Hickory White, formerly named Hickory Manufacturing Company is regarded as one of the oldest furniture manufacturing companies in the country. The "Miracle of Hickory" occurred in 1944 when a devastating outbreak of polio swept the region. During the outbreak the citizens in the area along with the March of Dimes built a hospital for the children who were victims of polio. They transformed buildings that were part of a summer camp and the hospital was ready for patients in two and a half days.
Hickory is served by the Charlotte/Douglas Intl. Airport. The Piedmont Wagon Transit System provides transportation for the county.
- Hickory Museum of Art is recognized as the first museum in the Southeast to have a substantial collection of American art.
- Catawaba Science Center.
- Hickory Motor Speedway.
- Hickory Crawdads Minor League Baseball.
- Hiddenite Gems offers visitors the opportunity to dig and sluice for gems such as amethyst, emeralds, aquamarines, smoky quartz and sapphires.
- The Ivey Arboretum in Carolina Park features hundreds of rare trees and shrubs.
- Hickory Community Concert Association hosts concerts by well known performers.
- Hickory is well known as a major manufacturing and shopping area for furniture. The Hickory Furniture Mart is the most popular tourist attraction in the area.
Hickory is home to Lenoir-Rhyne College, Catawba Valley Community College and HMHEC. Lenoir-Rhine College is a private liberal arts college.