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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Horne Creek Living Historical Farm

by Lisa R. Turney, 2006

Horne Creek Living Historical Farm in southeastern Surry County, a North Carolina State Historic Site, grew out of an interest on the part of a broad-based coalition of businesspeople, educators, farmers, and others in the northwest Piedmont who wished to preserve the state's agricultural heritage. The coalition came together in the 1960s, and a legislative appropriation funded a study of the feasibility of creating an agricultural museum. The site chosen for the museum, the Hauser family farm, was considered one of the best-preserved examples of a nineteenth-century, middle-class North Carolina farm. It had begun as a 100-acre tract of land obtained by John Hauser, the great-grandson of Alsatian immigrants, in 1830. Throughout the nineteenth century the farm prospered under the stewardship of Hauser and his youngest son, Thomas. By 1900 Thomas, his wife, and their 12 children (11 boys and 1 girl), together with several hired hands, raised tobacco, fruit, corn, wheat, oats, rye, hay, vegetables, and livestock on 450 acres. The farm continued to thrive through the first decade of the twentieth century, until the death of Thomas Hauser in 1911.

Rather than focus on this single farm, it was agreed, the museum should be representative of farms throughout the northwest Piedmont. This decision led to the site's being called Horne Creek Living Historical Farm-the name deriving from the creek running through the property. On 17 Oct. 1987 the farm was officially designated a North Carolina State Historic Site.

The staff and volunteers at Horne Creek Living Historical Farm strive to recreate the physical environment and agricultural and domestic activities of the Hauser farm, and others like it, between 1900 and 1910. Using agricultural and household implements, breeds of livestock, and varieties of plants that were available to the Hausers and their neighbors early in the twentieth century, the staff has transformed this site into a "historical laboratory" where it is possible to study traditional methods of constructing buildings, planting and harvesting crops, and preserving foods. Educational programs are offered to teach the making of useful farm and household necessities of the past. Among the structures on the farm are a tobacco barn, fruit house, well house, smokehouse, and corncrib; in addition there is an orchard, a garden, and even a family cemetery.


Gilbert C. Fite, Cotton Fields No More: Southern Agriculture, 1865-1980 (1984).

Richard F. Knapp, ed., North Carolina's State Historic Sites: A Brief History and Status Report (1995).

Linda A. McCurdy, The Hauser Farm on Horne Creek in Surry County, North Carolina, Circa 1880 (1987).

Additional Resources:

"Horne Creek Farm: Site Overview." North Carolina State Historic Sites.

"Horne Creek Living Historical Farm State Historic Site.", North Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of Tourism (accessed September 19, 2012).

"Land Transferred at Horne Creek Farm." In Sites: News from the North Carolina Division of State Historic Sites. August 2005. p5. (accessed September 19, 2012).

"Horne Creek Living Historical Farm." Fifty-Third Biennial Report of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History July 1, 2008 Through June 30, 2010. Raleigh [N.C.]: Office of Archives And History, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. 2011. (accessed September 19, 2012).

"Folks To Frolic At Horne Creek’s 15th Annual Cornshucking." In Sites: News from the North Carolina Division of State Historic Sites. October-November 2005. p5. (accessed September 19, 2012).

Image Credits:

Horne Creek Farm - DanTraveling Travel North Carolina. YouTube video. 8:56. posted by dmccoig on Jan 19, 2008. (accessed September 19, 2012).

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