The Catawba County Historical Association consists of several historical sites throughout Catawba County, and have a lot to offer the community. These sites include the Harper House/Hickory History Center, Museum of History, Historic Murray's Mill, Bunker Hill Bridge, as well as several cemeteries.
Considered by the North Carolina Department of Archives and History to possess "the finest Queen Anne interior styling in the entire state,” the Shuler-Harper House, at 310 N. Center Street, and the accompanying Bonniwell-Lyerly House in the Craftsman style, another of Hickory’s finest structures, are poised to serve the broad spectrum of Catawbans and visitors from near and far as the Harper House/Hickory History Center.
The Catawba County Museum of History offers testimony to the hardy settlers of the Catawba River Valley and their resourceful descendants who carved a world-renowned furniture and textile empire out of the backwoods. It is the story of the American Dream as perceived by the self-sufficient Scotch-Irish, German, English, and African peoples who followed the Native American trails along the Catawba River in search of a place to call home. The story is artfully displayed in the unique setting of the former Catawba County Courthouse, an imposing National Register Renaissance Revival structure built in 1924, on the square in downtown Newton.
A ten-minute hop, skip, and a jump from I-40, the Murray’s Mill Historic District, in the rolling countryside of eastern Catawba County, nestles just as it was a century ago along the banks of Balls Creek. It's perfect for an afternoon picnic or a quick leg-stretcher. A placid pond slips over a mill dam, and the 28’ waterwheel of this National Register Historic Site makes its slow way round. Nailed to a door-frame in the general store, an old coffee can catches bottle-caps, and a porch swing awaits you out front, as does a chat with a friendly guide before beginning your tour.
Designated as a National Civil Engineering Landmark in 2001, the Bunker Hill Covered Bridge is the only remaining example in wood of the Improved Lattice Truss patented by General Herman Haupt. It joins the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Dorton Arena in representing North Carolina on this prestigious list. One of only two original remaining covered bridges in North Carolina, the other being Mt. Pisgah in Randolph County, the Bunker Hill Covered Bridge was built in 1895 by Andy L. Ramsour. Catawba County Commissioners in 1894 had called on nearby owners of Bunker Hill Farm to build and maintain a bridge that would cross Lyle’s Creek on the old Island Ford Road, a former Native American trail. The landowners hired Ramsour, keeper of the Horseford covered bridge that spanned the Catawba River north of Hickory. He likely found Haupt’s design in a popular book on bridge building.
Your donations help:
Support the restoration and preservation of Murray's Mill and the Bunker Hill Covered Bridge, and to provide historical hands-on educational programs in area schools.
There are many ways you can get involved.
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