History of Hickory



The furniture industry had a major influence on the development of Hickory, North Carolina.
Hickory, NC: History and Facts

Hickory, NC has a long and interesting history. It dates back more than 150 years, and it all started with an idea and a small, welcoming tavern.

In the 1850s, Henry Robinson built a tavern beneath a large oak tree and a town sprang up around it. In 1863, the town, then called Hickory Tavern’ was established. It was not until ten years later in 1873 that the name changed simply to Hickory, which it has remained since. The first train came through the town in 1859, which gave a boost to the town’s economy.

Hickory was also one of the first towns that adopted the council-manager form of city government. They chose this type of government in 1913. Other interesting Hickory facts include that it was one of the first towns to have electric lights, which it got in 1888, and it had a sewage system installed in 1904.

One of the things for which the city is most well known is the furniture industry. Hickory boasts one of the oldest furniture manufacturers in the country, and the company still operates on the same site. Today the company is called Hickory White, but when it started in 1903, it was called the Hickory Manufacturing Company. An interesting fact about the company is that during WWII, to help with the war effort, the company made ammunition instead of furniture. More than 100 years after its inception, the company is still making great furniture.

In the 1940s, a terrible outbreak of polio struck the area around Hickory. People were not allowed to go outside because they feared that they would contract the disease. The town was not equipped to take care of the problem on its own, so the citizens, along with the March of Domes built a hospital for the children of the area. It took less than 54 hours from the time they had the idea until the hospital was complete. The speed at which the community came together and built the hospital – called by most the Miracle of Hickory – was amazing. That closeness of community still thrives in Hickory today.

Learn more about the history and facts of Hickory, NC before you come to visit. You will be able to find out everything you need to know about the city, the people, and the culture, which will make your visit special or your relocation a breeze.

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