Visitors from across North Carolina and the United States returned to the Carolina life of the Nineteenth Century at Hart Square on October 27. The one-day event showcases the work of Dr. Robert Hart of Hickory who for more than 30 years has rescued, restored and recreated an entire village. Hart Square’s original historic log buildings make up the largest collection in the United States.
Some visitors from across the country have been inspired to attend the event by viewing the three-part series “The 1840 Carolina Village” narrated by the late Shelby Foote that airs on PBS stations.
The restoration project is always held on the fourth Saturday in October. Tickets to the event are only available each year through the Catawba County History Museum, starting the beginning of October. Proceeds are donated to the Hart's Square Foundation and the Catawba County Historical Association.
The 70 log structures are all furnished and around 220 volunteer artisans demonstrate techniques of the period (1782-1873). Demonstrations include flax breaking and hackling, spinning, weaving, herb dying, open-hearth cooking, broom and shoe making, shingle riving, wheel wrighting, tin smithing, and moonshining.
Buildings include a working grist mill, a groundhog kiln for firing pottery, printing shop with period-appropriate printing press, cotton gin, covered bridge, firehouse, and many, many more.
Dr. Hart began this project when he purchased a small tract of land with the purpose of establishing a wildlife refuge and a retreat from his busy family practice.
(Information from http://www.catawbahistory.org/hart_square.php)