While many ghost towns in North Carolina are simply one town left in ruin and abandonment, there’s a completely unique ghost town in Hickory, that isn’t one town per se, but a combination of cabins and buildings relocated to a quaint setting by Dr. Bob Hart.
It all began over forty years ago, when one of Hart's friends sold him a cabin for $100. He had no use for the structure, and told Hart it would look good on his land. Now 92 buildings, lots of hard work, and many years later, Hart Square is the most beautiful "ghost town" in North Carolina.
The 200-acre property is home to a variety of cabins and buildings Hart saw and sourced, many from above while flying over the county in his airplane.
On the property you'll find a tobacco barn, a tavern, water well, doctor's office, post office, moonshine still, cotton gin, church, print shop and a general store. The buildings are dated from 1782-1823.
Hart made sure no building was left as simply a shell...in many of the cabins you'll find beds, shoes, brooms, medicine...as if the resident simply stepped out to run errands. In its entirety, Hart views it as a village and it very well is.
At this point you're probably wondering who the man is behind such a wonderful creation. Hart is a doctor by trade, but has used that same tireless dedication to the construction of Hart Square. In the 60s, he purchased the 200 acres, originally as a nature preserve. Once the first cabin was placed on the land, it was almost like a domino effect of others calling and offering their cabins for sale. Hart traveled around the county, moving cabins and structures to his land.
Just like a doctor might heal wounds and preserve life, the same can be applied to his care of the cabins. Many of the cabins required serious work, restructuring, and renovations. Even today, the Village is tirelessly maintained.
(Members of the Hart family from one of the early festivals in the 80s.)
Hart Square is the largest collection of original historic log buildings in the United States. Every fourth Friday in October, the village comes to life and is opened to the public. People come from all over the country to get a glimpse. Over 220 volunteer artisans demonstrate period-techniques. It's the one time a year you can walk through the majestic, perfectly preserved slice of history and feel like you've gone back in time. It's a perfect escape from the day-to-day and one of the most unique locations you'll find not only in North Carolina, but the U.S.
If you want to get an idea of what it’s like to walk through Hart Square, this video below by YouTube user –
TheFotogeek is perfect!
I can’t wait to visit Hart Square for this year’s festival. For information on tickets,