A Step Back into the Past…

This past Saturday, I was able to be a part of an annual event held in this area. Dr. Robert Hart has spent the last 30 years rescuing and restoring Carolina life of the nineteenth century, recreating an entire village, Hart Square—the largest collection of original historic log buildings in the United States. Dating from 1782 to 1873, the seventy log structures—chapels, barns, houses, shops, and more—are all furnished, and around 220 volunteer artisans demonstrate the period techniques of flax breaking and hackling, spinning, weaving, herb dying, open-hearth cooking, broom and shoemaking, shingle riving, wheelwrighting, tinsmithing, and moonshining. It is ‘Living History’ at it’s finest. I’ve had the pleasure of spending the last year participating in local living history events but this was by far, the best. This was the first time I’ve attended this event and I hope it won’t be the last.

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. It was cool but not cold and the sun shining off the pond, which the buildings surround, was awe-inspiring. We spent the day touring the buildings, while dressed in our period (1860’s) clothing and answering questions about that time period, and the way of life to anyone who asked.

My daughter was able to attend with us and wore the period Wedding Dress I made for her. She was the ‘Belle of the Ball’ and could barely walk 10 steps without having to stop to have her picture made.


She was lovely, as usual, and I was quite proud of the dress I’d spent so much time making her turned out so well. She was able to share her knowledge of the time with those who asked and she enjoyed the day as much as we did.

I was able to gather a lot of information, research, for the historical’s I’m outlining. The old ‘Jailhouse’, no more than a square building with a single, large cell and the General Store (built in 1790) gave me a unique visual of those buildings and the inside, that will aid my muse when it comes time to write.

I was only able to take a handful of pictures (I forgot to charge my camera battery), something I regret now, as I missed photos of the horse-powered machinery. The cotton gin held our attention for a while, as did the other folk crafting.

This gentleman was scraping hides clean. I watched him for a while, imagining the things people would have used those same hides for 100 years ago.

Of course, I can’t possible go without giving you a look of myself, in all my period finery. Another one of the dresses I made due to a hobby that keeps me from my keyboard more than it should. When I get quite online, you can bet I’m slouched over my sewing machine, trying to create a new dress and probably cursing a blue streak that it isn’t working the first time I try.

To see more of my dresses, visit my Hobby Page on Pinterest!

All material &copy2005-2012 to Lily Graison
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About Lily Graison

Lily Graison is a USA TODAY bestselling author of historical western romances. She also writes a variety of genres under the name L. R. Grasion. Most all of her stories lean heavily to the spicy side with strong female leads and heroes who tend to always get what they want. She writes full time and lives in Hickory, NC with her husband and a house full of Yorkies

2 Responses to A Step Back into the Past…

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great pics. Very neat to see the buildings still standing.

    If you need more research help, my little brother’s been a Civil War reenactor for nearly 10 years and is currently doing his Masters in 1800s history, so let me know.


  2. Lily Graison says:

    Hi Kim,

    I will certainly keep that in mind when I get going on the stories. Thanks!

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