Museum and Archival Collections
of the Hickory Landmarks Society


The Hickory Landmarks Society Maintains a collection of over 6,000 objects valuable for their aesthetic qualities, historic and native associations, and their consistency with HLS’  Mission. Objects may be accessioned into the Museum Collection if they are (1) related to the history and material culture of Maple Grove, the Propst House, the Corinth Church Parsonage, the Clement Geitner House, Houk’s Chapel and their residents, (2) related to the history and material culture of any building that may become the possession of HLS, and (3) reflective or illustrative of Hickory area life, landmarks, and built environment.

I.  Buildings as Artifacts, Acquisitions

A.  Historic Landmark Property Acquisitions/ Date of Acquisition

1.  Propst House (1968) and Maple Grove (1970)
2.  Corinth Church Parsonage  (1986)
3.  Propst Cookhouse (2000)
4.  Houk’s Chapel  (2003)

B. Major  Museum Furnishings and Artifact Collections

1.  Miss Metta Deal & Mrs. J. E. Gregory Collection (1968), Propst House Furnishings.  Initially stored at John Cilley House
2.  1970’s = active collecting occurring at PH (via purchases, gifts) and a surge in 1981 at Maple Grove from      Designer Showcase House effort
3.  Thomas Mott Furniture Collection (1980’s)
4.  McAllister Collection (1998)
5.  Piedmont Wagon Company Collection, 4 wagons (1999-2016)

II. HLS Archives, Library, and Photographic Image Collections.
          A. Background

Bobbie Patterson, former HLS director: 1980’s research.  Since mid-1990’s collecting accelerated via donations and purchases.  Some original manuscripts, copies, duplicates, articles, oral history, newspaper clippings, etc.. 4 -drawer file cabinet.  Manuscript material generally not catalogued or inventoried at present time but contains valuable reference material related to many early Hickory families, including the Links, Geitners, Propst, Shuford, Abernethy, and Lindsay families.

B.  Archival Collections

1. Family Collections – all acquired through donations

a. Shuford (19th & early 20th c): Watt Shuford scrapbook; Nora Shuford Self (photos, letters, clippings); Adelaide Shuford (photos, letters, unpublished autobiography)

b. Geitner (19th & early 20th c.): Personal family letters, photos, business correspondence-W. Carolina Power Co. Piedmont Wagon Co., Clement Geitner tax records 1899-1900

c. Setzer (early 20th – 1970’s): Large collection of personal family correspondence, photos, memorabilia, books, maps, business        correspondence – Elliott Building Co. ledgers: 1920’s (built the county courthouse). Roux Setzer-moved with family to Hickory from Newton.  Cache of WWII letters from parents while in Hickory.

d. Heider, Joel (1940’s): Well known Hickory resident who died young in 1949. Was a popular, accomplished student, pilot, & photographer.  Mostly photographs.

e. Crouch Lumber Co. (1910‘s-1970’s).  Extensive collection of company records, including early employment records, reference library, job books, ledgers, house plans for over 500 homes built in the Hickory area, early M.G. Crouch correspondence as a cabinet maker. 

f. Propst  (1880’s-1940) Multiple files related to family and Propst building construction, 1880’s store ledger

C. HLS Map Collection
1. Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Hickory  (1885-1935…various years)
2. 1886 Yoder Map of Catawba County (copy)
3. 1907 Bird’s Eye View map of Hickory
4. 1915 Map of Hickory with property owners
5. 1927 Map of Hickory with postal routes and names.

D.  HLS Photo Collection

  • Marshall Denton Collection (1967-1972).  300 aerial views of Hickory area, showing details of city before urban development.
  • Postcards

E. HLS Historic Preservation Collection
1. Frances Moody Papers
2. State and City sponsored Architectural Surveys of Hickory, including Historic District Expansion Study.
3. HLS Corporate records and Scrapbooks (1968-present)
4. From Tavern To Town book research notes and records.

F.  Audio-Visual Collection  (less than 100 items)

G.  Historic Preservation Research Library – 300+ volumes

1.   Collecting themes: National, state, & local historic preservation topics; national, state, and local architectural topics; Local history. Hickory City Directories (1945-1970’s).  Copies of Branson’s Business Directories from the 19th c. in Hickory and related areas.
2.   Minnie and J. A. Bowles letters: Compilation (1871-1903).….Hickory and Statesville
3.   Compilation of personal letters to and from early Hickory Tavern resident Livingston Clinard  (1871-1880). Hall brothers store.

H.  Museum Archival, Furniture, and Artifact Collections will be further refined and will grow in numbers and quality. We are currently developing primary and secondary source material collections for The Propst family, Shuford family, and Houk’s Chapel.

We are in the age of digital image technology. Thanks to a recent grant from the United Arts Council of Catawba County and the North Carolina Arts Council 100% of objects in our museum collection have been professionally photographed.  Upon completion of their entry into our digital database items and their catalog information will eventually be accessible via this web site. The focus of our collecting is Hickory‘s material culture, and we welcome new items that fit into our collecting policy. If you have an original artifact or image of Hickory related subjects that you would like to share with us we would be receptive. Gifts of antiquities to the Hickory Landmarks Society are deductible for income tax purposes.