Hickory’s Hart Square Village Transports Students Back Three Centuries
Tucked away on 200 secluded acres outside of Hickory is a hidden historical gem awaiting North Carolina school field trip visits. Hart Square Village is the largest collection of historical log buildings in the United States.
More than 90 original historic buildings ranging from one-room log cabins to corn cribs, barns, a chapel, grist mill and working cotton gin populate the area around two scenic lakes.
Hickory Physician Dr. Bob Hart and his wife Becky assembled the collection over the past four decades. They sought out old abandoned log structures purchased them, moved them to the property and restored them to their original use. The most important aspect of the buildings, Dr. Bob says, “Is that they are local structures from this area.”
The village was not Dr. Bob’s original intention when he bought the property. He built the lakes as a nature preserve to attract wood ducks and other water fowl. The acquisition of the first cabin occurred when a friend suggested a nearby dilapidated log cabin might look good near one of the lakes. He moved the timbers and reassembled the house as it would have been when it was built. Soon he heard of other log buildings around the area in need of rescuing and the collection began.
Other than special events and one day a year when the public is invited to visit, Hart Square Village is exclusively open to group field trips. The site offers hands-on customized classes to the teacher’s specifications, tying-in classroom lessons with historically-accurate hands-on demonstrations. Recent examples include making Corn Husk Angels and Canjo making and the history of Appalachian musical instruments.
Students will also tour many of the original log buildings and watch an artisan at work.
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