Houk’s Chapel

Houk’s Chapel


1741 Ninth Street, NW in Hickory (surrounded by Fairgrove City Cemetery)

Houk’s Chapel is the oldest standing house of worship in the city of Hickory, restored and preserved for the visiting public as historic landmark. It was built in 1893 by a team of volunteers and reflects a distinct German architectural style. Their leader was Reverend William Kelly Houk (1855-1950) of Morganton, NC, a charismatic Methodist preacher who founded a congregation here and preached for 55 years.

The one room framed church was constructed on a 1-acre tract of land donated to the Methodist Episcopal Church-South by neighbors James Monroe Frye and wife Emeline Winker Frye of West Hickory. Surrounding land served as a graveyard.  In the early 1900’s Lutheran and Baptist congregations shared the chapel briefly and the building  may have housed a public school. Although the Methodist congregation dispersed in the 1950’s other congregations of various faiths became occupants. A much larger municipal cemetery was established on surrounding land. In time the chapel deteriorated and became endangered. In 2004 Houk’s Chapel was donated to the Hickory Landmarks Society by the Methodist Church to save, restore and preserve. The restored chapel was rededicated in 2009.

Today, visitors can see and experience Houk’s Chapel as it appeared in the late 19th century. Original furnishings and artifacts are featured in the period room exhibits.

National Register of Historic Places

Guided Tours by Appointment: 828-322-4731

Houk’s Chapel is available for private group rentals. Ideal for small weddings, education-based religious events, and funeral services for nearby Fairview Cemetery burials.  Capacity: 120. Parking nearby.

Rustic, spirited, the feel of that “old time religion.”

Daily rate: $250. For more information, please contact us.

Houk’s Chapel Rental Contract/Application


Exterior View
c. 1923