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Explore Huntersville’s Hidden History at Milling Around ‘24

HEARTS events are known for revealing the hidden history of our region by exploring local stories widely unknown in the community. The story of the Torrance Mill is one of these. Now nearly forgotten, the Torrance Mill built in 1824 by Hugh Torance was a centerpiece of the community for decades. Today only the massive stone ruins remain in the woods on private property in Huntersville.

Join us Saturday, Jan 27, 2024, from 1:00-4:00 PM for the second annual “Milling Around,” an outing to the ruins of the historic Torrance Mill featuring renowned mill historian Chuck Ketchie, traditional music and dance, and more.

Chuck Ketchie, this month’s featured speaker, has been researching, photographing, writing, and talking about North Carolina mills for over 45 years. He is the editor of Old Mill News, the international publication of The Society for the Preservation of Old Mills (SPOOM). His knowledge of mill history is extensive and his passion is contagious; come out to learn more about this fascinating piece of local history from a true expert.

Ryan Navey on banjo

The arts are a big part of every HEARTS Happening and this month we are taking it to the mill. Members of the Charlotte Folk Society and the Cabarrus County Arts Council will be performing traditional music and dance local to this area onsite at the mill ruin. The all-star lineup of old-time musicians includes John Renwick on bass and dulcimer, Ryan Navey on banjo and guitar, and Beth Brown on fiddle. Don’t miss this chance to experience authentic local tradition in this unique, natural setting.

John Renwick on dulcimer

The site of the mill ruin is currently privately owned and normally inaccessible to the public. There is no parking allowed nor pedestrian access on the mill property. Guests will park and gather at the HTHS and take a complimentary shuttle to and from the site, then a short winter walk through the woods to the massive stones of the mill ruins.

Please note, that the terrain to the mill ruins is not level nor cleared, and not advisable for guests requiring steady footing or level paths. Please wear attire for outdoors and shoes for the mud, and feel free to bring a chair or blanket. Admission is free and open to the community, but due to limited transportation seating, tickets are required. For tickets click here or go

The historic Hugh Torance House and Store, the oldest standing store in NC will be open for guests before and after the lecture selling snacks, beer, wine, sundries, and more. The Hugh Torance House and Store is one of Mecklenburg County’s few surviving 18th-century structures and is adjacent to Cedar Grove, the 1831 Greek Revival home of James Torrance, son of Hugh and Isabella Torance.

HEARTS (history, ecology, arts, reunion, trails, store) Happenings are monthly community gatherings featuring the arts with lectures exploring local history, nature, and our shared sense of place. ​The Store and HEARTS events are operated by the Hugh Torance House and Store (HTHS), a private 501c3 nonprofit. Group tours and volunteer opportunities for stewardship, preservation, and conservation are available. For more information, visit, email, or call (704) 920-9931. The historic Hugh Torance House and Store is located at 8231 Gilead Road, Huntersville, NC 28078.

This free community event is made possible by dedicated volunteers, HEARTS Circle members, community sponsor Lake Norman Realty, and community donations. All proceeds benefit HTHS’s efforts to further the HEARTS mission of historic preservation, ecological conservation, and forging community connections in our region. For more information visit

For additional Torrance Mill details click here for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission Report.

Mark your calendars for February 17, 2024, for our next HEARTS Happening at Cedar Grove, HEARTSongs: The Power of the Word, click here for info and tickets.

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