How One Hickory Man Preserved an 1800s Ghost Town

In the hills of Hickory, a village has been preserved in its entirety. Bob Hart has been working on this land for more than 40 years now; he’s gathered these 92 buildings from the surrounding counties and moved them to this 200-acre haven.

So once a year, every fourth Saturday in October (this year it’s October 28), Hart invites about 200 artisans and craftsmen he knows to Hart Square. He sells 3,000 tickets. And the people go to work, ginning cotton, making brooms, spinning clay. And for a day, there is life in his village.

There are no people here. Only cabins. Rows and lines of them zigzagging across the land like an Etch A Sketch drawing. Scores of logs stacked on top of each other. There’s a tavern. Tobacco barn. Water well. Doctor’s office. Post office. School. Teeter-totters. Moonshine still. Cotton gin. Church. General store. Print shop.

A village preserved in its entirety. A ghost town from the 1800s, right here in the hills of Hickory.

Who did this?

He’s a doctor, of course. The master at preservation. The man who helps us cheat death, the man who keeps going and going and going until he feels that heart beat once more.

Bob Hart has been going and going for 40 years now on this land. He’s gathered these 92 buildings from the surrounding counties and moved them to this 200-acre haven. He’s stuffed the cabins with beds, chairs, food, dresses, shoes, brooms, medicine. Each structure represents a part of this village he calls Hart Square.

Hart didn’t mean to create a village. It just happened. A friend thought his cabin would look good on Hart’s land, so he sold it to Hart for $100. Then people gave him more cabins. And once he had the cabins, he had to decorate them with original furniture.

Source: mailchi.mp/ourstate

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