534 Third Ave., NW (within Shuford Memorial Park and Gardens)
The Propst House is a finely crafted Second French Empire Style house built in 1882 and restored for the visiting public as house museum. It was originally the home of John Summie Propst (1853-1940) and his wife Nancy Jane Abernethy Propst (1858-1932). “Summie” Propst was carpenter, homebuilder and woodcarver in Hickory and constructed some of the city’s finest early 20th century houses.
The two-story frame house was constructed by Propst on a lot along the railroad in a fashionable West Hickory neighborhood. Married in 1874 the childless, middle class couple would later supplement their income by renting their house to boarders.
“Jenny” Propst was an outstanding cook and gardener. By the 1960’s the property became vacant and deteriorated rapidly. In 1967 the Hickory Landmarks Society, Inc. was established in part to save, restore and preserve the Propst House as a historic site. The building was moved to its present site in 1970.
Today, visitors can see and experience the restored house as it appeared in the late 19th century. It is the only surviving example of this architectural style in Hickory. Original family items and furnishings are among the period room exhibits.
National Register of Historic Places
Hours: 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm Thursdays and Sundays and by appointment. Closed seasonally from December 15 to the spring. Our 2023 opening date will be announced soon.
Meanwhile, we invite you to watch the following virtual tour video of the Propst House and adjacent Cookhouse. Guide: Patrick Daily. Filming and Editing: Heidy Garcia.
A History of the Summie Propst House
Phil Gilisson Docent Lecture – Nov. 6 2003
From I-40 take exit #125 (Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard) one mile to 1st Ave. SW (a.k.a. Tate Boulevard) then left at signal. Turn right on 2nd Street, NE (a.k.a. Highway #127), then 3 blocks to signal. Turn left onto 3rd Ave. Eight blocks, then right at signal. Building is within Shuford Park on right.
From Lenoir,NC take highway #321 south across Catawba River Bridge, then left at signal. Follow 11th St. (a.k.a. Old Lenoir Blvd.) one mile as it merges into 3rd Ave. NW, then left at 6th St., NW signal. 2 Blocks. Shuford Park on right.