you're reading...

Cornelius News

Hugh Torance House and Store releases annual report, and looks ahead

Thank you for making history in 2022 at the Hugh Torance House and Store. We couldn’t have done it without you. — 2022 annual report

April 11. The Hugh Torance House and Store Inc., a 32 year-old  non-profit in Huntersville, last year invested in a fresh approach to reach more people, connect more deeply with our local stories, and share our local history through place-based experiences.

In addition, a new web-site and new marketing were launched to promote our programming and expanded offerings to the community.   

“The outcome was a complete success, and exceeded 2022 outreach predictions in all areas,” according to the group’s 2022 annual report released publicly last week. “Last February, these ideas were hopes and dreams, but a year later, we have solid evidence this approach is working.”

New audiences are coming together for each event, and repeat visitors keep coming back. “We are building on the successes of last year and evolving and exploring more ways to continue this exciting momentum in 2023,” the report states.

2022, a history by the numbers

—Nearly 1,600 visitors enjoyed the historic Hugh Torrance House and Store during one of the 60 days we were open to the community in 2022, exceeding projections by nearly 300 percent.

Connected online through our blog, social media and website with more than 10,000 online, 6,000 unique site visitors, and 600 subscribers to our blog for first to know information.

—Launched a membership community to create a sustainable organization called HEARTS Circle. 60 new members enjoyed our membership gala at Cedar Grove this past September. The group set a goal to double that number in 2023.

How it’s done

Place-based experiences explore how nature, history, culture, and the built environment work together to make a place unique, providing concrete context to better understand the deep his-tory of a particular place through connections to broader themes.

HEARTS events provide place-based experiences connecting hearts through time.

H is for history: There’s nothing like immersing yourself in the past to see new perspectives.

—Following stories and history connected to the land from prehistory to the present.

—Our region before the arrival of humans

—Geological changes such as the Catawba River formation during the  Appalachian range creation 220 million years ago.

is for ecology: Reconnect with nature on an ecological island.

—Extinct plants and animals.

—Current plants and animals.

—Native and invasive species.

—Historic uses of plants and animals.

—Conservation and stewardship volunteer opportunities.

A is for the arts: You can’t have HEARTS without the Arts.

—Through the arts, historic and ecological narratives can be explored in unique and creative ways.

—Attracts and engages diverse audiences.

—Brings people together.

R is for reunion: Connections through collections reconnect history.

—Research and genealogy resource.

—Documenting and sharing the lives of all people connect-ed to the land through time, including the descendants of more than 100 formerly enslaved people, as well as specific indigenous tribes and their stories.

—Thousands of connections, stories, and reunions.

T is for trails: Where trails intersect, people come together.

—Multi-faceted, place-based learning opportunity to connect history with nature.

—Connectivity to McDowell Greenway and Carolina Thread Trail.

S is for store: The 1779 Hugh Torrance House and Store, 8231 Gilead Road, Huntersville, known as the oldest standing store in North Carolina.

—Vision for a regularly open store and community hub.

—Offering refreshments, sundries, honey, and wares of local artisans and more.

What’s in store in 2023

This year will feature local lore, connections, live music, art, nature and more.

The store is open 1-4 pm Sundays for tours, excluding major holidays.

For tickets for ghost tours and special events, go to www.HughT.org.

There are no HEARTS event in April, but the group recommends these activities:

April 15-16, Loch Norman Highland Games; the Hugh Torance store will be closed on Sunday. 

April 28-29, Lincoln County Historic Property Tour

Click here for events May-December.