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HEARTS Event “Healing History” at Cedar Grove July 16th

The "H" in HEARTS comes alive this month with Healing History, the latest in a new series of place-based happenings at Huntersville’s Cedar Grove and Hugh Torance House and Store. Each HEARTS (History, Ecology, Art, Reunion, Trails, Store) event is a multi-faceted, local-centric exploration of our shared sense of place. July’s installment, Healing History, presents an enlightening and captivating look back at local medical history by sharing the stories of two gifted healers from our past. Presenting the stories of Mrs. Hattie Torrence and Dr. James Alexander, this free community event begins at 2:00 on Saturday, July 16, at Cedar Grove. Next door, the historic Hugh Torance House and Store will be open from 1:00-6:00 with tours, food, beverages, and local sundries.

Healing History opens with Robert Cooke offering a glimpse into Native American and 18th-century medical techniques with his dramatic interpretation of Dr. James Alexander (1756-1836). Dr. Alexander, son of Hezekiah Alexander, was a surgeon/herbalist and a member of the Mecklenburg Militia who practiced during the Revolutionary War and treated many wounded soldiers. Dr. Alexander studied Native American medicine as well as surgery, and, as Cooke says,” preferred to spend more time healing with medicine than cutting”. In addition, the 19th-century prosthetics of Hugh Torance’s grandson Richard Allison Torrance (1833-1927), will be displayed.

Next, we’ll travel through time to the early twentieth century for “In Hattie’s Hands,” sharing the story of local midwife Mrs. Hattie Torrence (1875-1953). In addition to holding the future in her hands as a midwife, Torrence’s hands also held our past, as she recorded and preserved a trove of precious genealogical information in the form of her birth records. Torrence’s records from the early 20th century include births from Davidson, Mooresville, Iredell, Coddle Creek, Dewese, and Lemley.

Torrence’s story, as well as an overview of midwifery through the ages, will be presented by Sakina O’Uhuru, RN, CNM, MS. O'Uhuru has practiced the art of midwifery providing maternal health care for underserved populations for over 30 years. Both Cooke and O'Uhuru will be on hand for a Q&A session following the program.

As with every HEARTS event, local music and art will be front and center. On display in the gallery at Cedar Grove is “Nature Through the Artist's Eyes,” featuring the work of Nicole Schoepflin and Tony Griffin.

And this month’s Cedar Groove musical guest is Jason Moss and the Hosses, offering a swinging combo of rockabilly, country, and honky tonk.

“Healing History” is the fifth event for HTHS featuring the HEARTS mission highlighting History, Ecology, Arts, Reunion, Trails, and Store. HEARTS events share place-based experiences and explore local connections through the arts, nature, and history, providing a multi-faceted event for all ages.

The Hugh Torance House and Store is the oldest standing store in North Carolina and is one of Mecklenburg County’s few surviving 18th-century structures. It is adjacent to Cedar Grove, the 1831 Greek Revival home of James Torrance, son of Hugh and Isabella Torance. Cedar Grove opens its doors for HEARTS events presenting music, drama, and visual arts connecting local history, nature, stories, and the community together.

This is a free community event with RSVPs requested on the Events page. All guests registering online become eligible for door prizes announced at the event throughout the day.

This event is made possible by dedicated volunteers, HEARTS Circle members, 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.

The historic Hugh Torance House and Store is located at 8231 Gilead Road, Huntersville, NC 28078. Parking is available in the new greenway parking lot on Gilead Road at McDowell Creek.

​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.

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