HUNTERSVILLE – The Hugh Torrance House and Store, the oldest standing store in North Carolina, will host an inspirational and educational Valentine’s season celebration with a historic twist and artistic flair this weekend.
The event will be held from 1-6 p.m. Saturday, Feb.12, and will also feature the launch of the HEARTS (History, Ecology, Art, Reunion, Trails and Store) Park mission, a project to provide place-based experiences to explore how nature, history, culture and the built environment work together providing concrete context to better understand the region’s deep history and connections to broader themes.
Festivities will start with a limited-admission event at the neighboring Cedar Grove estate featuring an overview of HEARTS and the Torrance connection to the enslaved African-American poet George Moses Horton.
A reading of the Don Tate children’s biography of Horton by award-winning actor, playwright and director Michael D. Connor will be the main attraction.
A facilitated poetry workshop where attendees create their own valentines in the acrostic style often used by Horton, utilizing historic and artisanal techniques and materials, will follow.
Admission is $25 for adults and $15 for children ages 4-12, with all proceeds benefiting the nonprofit Hugh Torrance House and Store’s efforts to further historic preservation and ecological conservation in our region. Tickets are available at hughtorancehouseandstore.org.
From 4-6 p.m., the free community portion of the event – sponsored by Lake Norman Realty and entitled “Cedar Grove” – will feature performances by the Matt Postle Trio with Kellie Williams and Mahogany Williams.
Postle teaches music at Central Piedmont Community College and the trio performs a mixture of jazz standards, originals and pop covers. The Williamses are both music majors at CPCC pursuing performance careers: Mahogany performs in the college’s jazz ensemble and with other groups and Kellie as well sings with the college jazz ensemble and is an active vocalist singing classical, jazz, opera, popular music and other genres.
In addition to the music, poetry by George Moses Horton will be shared by Connor.
The event hub is at the Hugh Torrance House and Store, 8231 Gilead Road. Beer, wine, beverages and food will be available for purchase at the store and parking will be available in the greenway lot on Gilead Road at McDowell Creek.