Community, Photography

My Hometown History

This is my contribution to Scott’s Hometown History assignment. My  hometown was Muang Kao Laos, a place that I knew very little of and vaguely remember since I left there when I was only 6. Since then I have lived in many places and my current adopted hometown is Hickory, North Carolina. When I was little growing up in Brooklyn, New York, the word uptown or downtown means the city to me or Manhattan, and in a small town such as Hickory the word downtown is the heart of the city.  This is downtown Hickory, a park-like atmosphere of the Union Square.

Photo taken on Monday evening. Canon T2i, EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/8, 1/200sec, ISO 200, focal length 40mm, cropped, evaluative metering

The city used to be called the Hickory Tavern and was established in 1863.  The name was eventually changed to Hickory in 1873. My co-worker said that it didn’t use to look like this when she was growing up. The Union Square was restored from 1974-77.

Canon T2i, EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/6.3, 1/1250sec, ISO 200, focal length 17mm, evaluative metering

Hickory has been named an “All-America City” three times. The All-America City Award is given annually to only ten cities in the United States. It is a very prestigious award that represents a community’s ability to work together and achieve critical local issues. Hickory won this award in 2007, as well as 1967 and 1987. I like downtown Hickory, it has many historical houses that is rich with history and small town charm.

Canon T2i, EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/5.6, 1/250sec, ISO 200, focal length 32mm, evaluative metering

Across the street from the Union Square is the old Hickory Station.  We used to have a passenger train ran through town years ago.  The train depot was later converted to a restaurant and now out of business. The parking lot is being used as the Farmer’s Market on Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning.

Canon T2i, EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/11, 1/200sec, ISO 200, focal length 20mm, evaluative metering

I had a hard time locating an old picture of  Hickory, then I remember the note cards that my ex-boss gave me as a gift before he left. This was what the Hickory Station looked like back in the days.

Canon T2i, EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens, Manual, f/5.6, 1/250sec, ISO 1600, focal length 34mm, evaluative metering

17 thoughts on “My Hometown History”

  1. As many times I’ve been to Hickory, I never visit those places you mentioned above. Perhaps, on my future visit I’ll get to check out some of those places.

    1. seeharhed, Hickory streets, avenues and lanes are very confusing and some of us have all of that on our home address. I discovered the Union Square while I was walking for the March of Dimes over 10 years ago and for the longest time I never knew how to get there by car. This is where they have all the festivals such as October Fest, Hickory Alive (Friday night live music in the summer). It’s a nice place to hang out.

  2. A nice looking town with a peaceful atmosphere. I like the park in the square. Do you go to the Farmers´Market on Saturdays ? Thanks for the great visit of Hickory and information.

    1. Hi Isa, I go to the Flea Market closer to home but I thought about visiting this Farmer’s Market last Saturday to take picture for the assignment but had to attend a funeral instead and missed it. I might go this weekend to check it out.

  3. Downtown Hickory looks like a very nice place – carefully renovated and very peaceful without cars and traffic. You really deserved your 3 awards!

    1. Hi truels, there are many restaurants within walking distance and plenty of parking spaces so it’s very convinience for people. It’s very festive in the Summer where they have concerts at the square every Friday nights.

  4. It’s a very pleasant community, Nye. I’m glad that it’s “home” to you and your whole family. It’s a great compliment to a place to make it home. And I really like the composition of the Union Square shot!

    1. Thanks Gerry, my sisters love visiting us during their Summer vacation. It’s a peaceful lifestyle and I really like it here comparing to living in NYC.

  5. Hickory’s downtown is very nice and clean. The drawing on the sign “Please clean up after your pet” is very funny.

    Btw, the name of your town always remind me of hickory wood for “Hickory Smoked” BBQ. 🙂

    1. Cambree, I think the town is named after the Hickory tree, so hickory wood is from our area. We need to take Max downtown, I bet he would like it. The cost of living is low and you get more bang for your bucks. 🙂

  6. Nye, it sounds like Hickory is an ideal All-American town. Interesting about the words “uptown” and “downtown”. When I grew up in Yale, we walked “uptown”. Now, living in L’Anse, we go “downtown”. I wonder how much this has to do with the hills around the town? If the town is in a valley, is it more likely to be “downtown”? Or if you’re climbing a hill to reach, would it be “uptown”?

    1. Kathy, as for me the further I have to travel then it’s called uptown. I used to think that uptown Manhattan (NY) was where all the business activities and came to find out later that it’s downtown or lower Manhattan in the Wall Street area. I guess I got confused with shopping. 🙂

      Climbing the hill for uptown and valley for downtown makes perfect sense to me. 🙂

  7. Nye, i’ve bee to Hickory often but never seen this side of Hickory before, next time I am up there I’ll really have to exlore Hickory!!!

    1. ze, it has many neat locations for photo shoot. I should have stayed for the golden hour. I saw a beautiful sunset that evening but I was on the other side of town and wouldn’t get back in time.

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