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HEARTS Irish Connection Saturday March 18th

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

Hugh Torance House and Store, Huntersville, NC

Did you know that the oldest standing store in NC is right here in Huntersville? Dating from 1779, the Hugh Torance House and Store was built by an Irish immigrant who made his way to this area after landing in Philadelphia. But what brought Hugh Torance here and what was he leaving behind on the Emerald Isle?

Join us for “The Irish Connection,” a HEARTS (history, ecology, art, reunion, trails, store) happening to explore these questions and also enjoy a hearty dose of traditional Irish song and dance. It all happens Saturday, March 18, from 2:00-5:30 at Huntersville’s historic Cedar Grove and Hugh Torance House and Store.

Tabitha Wood

This month’s featured speaker is Tabitha Wood, an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte who specializes in Irish history. Tabitha will share her insights into 18th-century Ireland and the conditions that led thousands of Scots-Irish to set sail for America for the first mass Irish immigration.

Connick Irish Dancers

The Connick School of Irish Dance is back again this year. “With tremendous competitive success, our dancers have qualified for and competed at regional, national, and international competitions, traveling throughout North America, Mexico, Ireland, Scotland, and England,” said founder Sandra Connick. Their talented and amazing dancers will perform two sets at Cedar Grove during the event. “Last year’s thrilling performance was an audience favorite, and seeing them perform in the historic house was a magical and inspiring experience,” said HEARTS chairperson, Abigail Jennings.

Andi Hearn and Davey Mathias

The musical highlight for the afternoon is the traditional Irish music of Andi Hearn and Davey Mathias. This duo has been performing, teaching, and promoting Irish traditional music together for 25 years. Hearn is a fiddler, singer, and concertina player, and Mathias is a guitarist specializing in traditional accompaniment for Irish music. Don’t miss this chance to hear beautifully authentic Irish music in an intimate and historic setting.

HEARTS happenings are free, monthly, place-based gatherings featuring music, visual arts, and lectures exploring local history, nature, and our shared sense of place. Tickets are recommended to ensure admission to this popular event. Please visit the Events page at

The Hugh Torance House and Store will be open from 2:00-5:30 selling snacks, beer, wine, sundries, and more. Plan to come early and/or stay late to enjoy the historic grounds and take a tour of the oldest standing store in NC. 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.

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

​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.

Save the date for the May HEARTS event on May 6, 2023, Wildflowers and Bluegrass, a celebration of native flora and homegrown music.

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