Heritage Days at Maple Grove

Heritage Days at Maple Grove

Heritage Days at Maple Grove is an exclusive annual event organized by the Hickory Landmarks Society for area fourth grade level students. It was established by volunteers in 1994 as a means to participate locally in North Carolina Heritage Week, officially proclaimed by the Governor of North Carolina. Each April, schools and school teachers are invited to attend indoor and outdoor activities and learning experiences at historic Maple Grove in Hickory. School visits are scheduled over a 2-day period.  Approximately 1,000 children, teachers, bus drivers, and chaperones from public, private, and home schools attend each year. It is the greatest 2-day concentration of schools and school children for an off-site educational program in the City of Hickory each year.

Established in 1994, Heritage Days at Maple Grove has developed into a popular and quality educational experience for youths to understand the cultural history of  the Hickory, NC region.  Artists, educators, and craftsmen demonstrate their skills to students on the spacious grounds of historic Maple Grove, a historic house museum and one of the oldest standing houses in Hickory. Over 20 trained docent volunteers interpret the history of this 1880’s farmstead through guided tours of the home.  Each craft, display, and dramatic presentation is rooted in early Western Carolina history.   Students are encouraged to participate through “hands-on” activity or interactive conversation to maximize their educational experience.

Selected artists, craftsmen, and interpreters are recruited one year in advance.  There is an informal limit on their number so as to not overwhelm students and to accommodate the large numbers of classes in a relatively short time.  Among the NC arts and crafts taught in a general way are: quilting, bee keeping, soap making, basket making, weaving, woodcarving, pottery making, glass making, gems and minerals, and metal casting. Re-enactor and interpreter groups are hired to interpret, in dramatic fashion, the lifestyles of Cherokee Indians, early Spanish explorers, and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.  Displays of original 19th century Piedmont wagons and an 1880 hearse are scheduled.  A new event now in its second year: Catawba Valley Community College’s drama class will demonstrate the Virginia reel, a Victorian-era dance, wearing period costume and accompanied by a fiddler.

If you are a teacher and your school is interested in scheduling a field trip for Heritage Days at Maple Grove contact the museum office @ 828-322-4731 or email leslie@hickorylandmarks.org. Thanks to the support from our corporate and civic group sponsors admission is free.

2021 Heritage Days at Maple Grove Cancelled

The Hickory Landmarks Society’s Board of Directors has cancelled the 2-day Heritage Days at Maple Grove school program for April 2021. Remote learning and the needs of future in-school instruction have resulted in the cancellation of field trips by many regional school districts. HLS regrets the practical and logical decision to delay the 27th annual program until April 2022. The health and safety for teachers, bus drivers, volunteers, and above all fourth grade students is paramount.

Corporate and Civic Group Supporters:
Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory
Catawba Valley Rotary Club
Kiwanis Club of Western Catawba County
First Piedmont Company – Hickory Furniture Mart
Lake Hickory Rotary Club
Publix Super Markets

In Memory: Diamond Brown – 1956-2016