photograph by Lissa Gotwals

Feature Image: The U.S. headquarters of the Natuzzi Italia furniture company is a giant “ship” sailing through downtown. For the Italian designer, the shape symbolized their journey across the Atlantic.


PHOTOGRAPH BY LISSA GOTWALS

High Point Station

High Point grew up at the intersection of road and rail: In the mid-19th century, plans to build a plank road from Fayetteville to Salem and a railroad from Goldsboro to Charlotte crossed paths in southwestern Guilford County. There, what had been a quiet community of Quaker settlers soon blossomed into a center of commerce and manufacturing. Today, 160 years after the city was incorporated, trains still rumble through downtown daily, passing the beautifully restored 1907 depot and a monument to workers on the Fayetteville and Western Plank Road. Nearby, a plaque describes how surveyors identified this crossroads town as the highest point on the rail line, revealing the history hidden in High Point’s name. 

High Point Station
100 West High Avenue
High Point, NC 27260
(800) 872-7245
amtrak.com


PHOTOGRAPH BY ANAGRAM PHOTO

High Point Theatre & Theatre Art Galleries

Tucked into the northeast corner of the International Home Furnishings Center is the 929-seat High Point Theatre, where dramatic productions, dance companies, and musicians like the Chapel Hill-based group Mipso (pictured) take the stage. Inside the theater, the bright, spacious rooms of Theatre Art Galleries (TAG) feature rotating exhibits. TAG also coordinates art classes at local schools and Boys & Girls Clubs, and their “Kaleidoscope Youth Gallery” gives young artists a chance to share their work with the community.

High Point Theatre
220 East Commerce Avenue
High Point, NC 27260
(336) 883-3401
highpointtheatre.com

Theatre Art Galleries
220 East Commerce Avenue
High Point, NC 27260
(336) 887-2137
tagart.org


PHOTOGRAPH BY LISSA GOTWALS

The String & Splinter Club

For much of the 20th century, High Point’s hosiery mills flourished alongside its furniture factories, and in 1956, leaders of the two industries founded a private club with a shared name: The String & Splinter. In 1983, the club found a permanent home in the former Tomlinson Chair factory, which had undergone an elegant transformation: dark wood, brass accents, and Persian rugs. Members continue to come to the String & Splinter for business lunches, Rotary meetings, and bridge games in a setting that evokes classic style.

The String & Splinter Club
305 West High Avenue
High Point, NC 27260
(336) 882-8191
stringandsplinter.com


PHOTOGRAPH BY ANAGRAM PHOTO

The Dog House

The way Jean Freedle tells it, the six friends who opened a pool hall in 1942 only started serving hot dogs so that patrons wouldn’t have to leave to get something to eat. More than 75 years later, it’s the hot dogs that have endured at this cash-only diner. Freedle (right) bought The Dog House in 1975, and though she’s semiretired, she still loves talking to the carousel of regulars who come around each day. Order your hot dog — or burger or bologna — “loaded,” “slaw,” or “all the way.” All of them, Freedle says, taste best at the old-school lunch counter.

The Dog House
668 North Main Street
High Point, NC 27260
(336) 886-4953
facebook.com/thedoghousehp


PHOTOGRAPH BY ANAGRAM PHOTO

Brown Truck Brewery

Britt Lytle and John Vaughan had a clear vision for the brewery they opened in 2016: great beer, of course, but also a casual, comfortable space where friends and neighbors could enjoy each other’s company. A patio with couches and cornhole and deep conversations. A place that would make High Point proud. During Brown Truck’s first year in business, brewmaster Ian Burnett’s beers earned a handful of awards at the Great American Beer Festival, including Very Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year. Beers like Dry-Hopped Saison No. 4.5 and IPA No. 14 — each named simply for its test batch number — are a pleasure to drink, as reliable as Lytle’s (brown) 1986 Ford pickup truck.

Brown Truck Brewery
1234 North Main Street
High Point, NC 27262
(336) 886-1234
browntruckbrewery.com


PHOTOGRAPH BY LISSA GOTWALS

J.H. Adams Inn

By the time he built his family a mansion on Main Street in 1918, John Hampton Adams had spun gold from the local textile industry. With his business partner James Henry Millis, Adams helped organize the High Point Hosiery Mill, ushering in a boom period in High Point. The two men opened more hosiery mills, and eventually, their Adams-Millis Corporation grew into one of the largest hosiery manufacturing firms in the world. Adams and his wife, Elizabeth, often entertained guests at their grand, Italian Renaissance-style home. In 2001, the mansion became a 31-room inn, and today, parties on the patio still carry the sparkle of old-fashioned glamour.

J.H. Adams Inn
1108 North Main Street
High Point, NC 27262
(336) 882-3267
jhadamsinn.com


PHOTOGRAPH BY ANAGRAM PHOTO

Historic Johnson Street

High Point’s first “streetcar suburb” began to take shape just after the turn of the 20th century, as the city expanded northward. Johnson Place was “High Point’s best residence section,” boasted one brochure, “in the right end of the city, the North, and in line with all the important new developments.” Those qualities attracted furniture magnates, mill owners, and civic leaders. One of the earliest residents was Ferdinand Ecker, whose Ecker Glass Company supplied glass and mirrors to the furniture industry. Along this tree-lined street of historic homes, Ecker’s (right) is the oldest, and its 1908 blend of Queen Anne Victorian and Colonial Revival elements has made it one of the most recognizable addresses in the city.


PHOTOGRAPH BY ANAGRAM PHOTO

Kepley’s Barbecue

The origins of Bob Burleson’s barbecue restaurant on Main Street — distinctive corrugated metal on the outside, cozy wood paneling on the inside — go back to 1948, when Hayden Kepley began selling barbecue out of a Quonset hut from World War II. Burleson, then 16, worked for Mr. Kepley as a curb boy and eventually came to own the restaurant himself. The Burleson family’s chopped barbecue, homemade hush puppies and slaw, and vinegar-and-red-pepper sauce are famous in High Point — and beyond. Following a visit from Martha Stewart, orders poured in from around the country, and Burleson happily obliged. He keeps a binder of receipts from as far away as California and Texas, and a sign over the register promises, “Pigs can fly: We ship anywhere in the USA.”

Kepley’s Barbecue
1304 North Main Street
High Point, NC 27260
(336) 884-1021
kepleysbarbecue.com


PHOTOGRAPH BY ANAGRAM PHOTO

High Point University

Classical music fills the air along the Gene and Jane Kester International Promenade, and flags from around the world proudly denote the nations represented in High Point University’s student body. Not far from this modern “outdoor classroom” stands the oldest building on campus, Roberts Hall, whose clock tower has watched over the school since the Methodist Protestant Church founded it in 1924. Here, where past meets present, bronze sculptures by Cornelius-based artist Jon Hair celebrate leaders, luminaries, and legends: Students might find themselves sitting next to a pensive-looking Mark Twain, or gazing up at a 35-foot sculpture of Atlas shouldering an Olympic globe.


PHOTOGRAPH BY ANAGRAM PHOTO

Oak Hollow Lake

When the west fork of the Deep River was impounded in 1971, the primary purpose was to supply drinking water to the city. But Oak Hollow Lake opened to the public the following year, and its 800 acres soon became the heart of outdoor recreation in High Point. Graceful sailboats and roaring drag boats have raced across its waters. Kayakers find a peaceful place to paddle. On the shore, golfers play rounds on the scenic lakeside course, and jazz fans gather to honor John Coltrane each Labor Day weekend at Festival Park. In 2016, Oak Hollow Marina opened a new fishing trail, the first of its kind in North Carolina: Hidden under the water’s surface, a system of “fish attractors” help anglers understand bass behaviors.


PHOTOGRAPH BY ANAGRAM PHOTO

High Point Museum

The first home of the High Point Museum was a little red schoolhouse, a repurposed classroom that was only open on Sunday afternoons. In 1971, the Historical Society opened a new museum near the still-standing 1786 Haley House, eventually relocating an 1841 blacksmith shop and the old Hoggatt House (above) to create a small historical park. Inside the museum, the story of High Point — beginning with the Saura and Keyauwee tribes, some of the area’s earliest residents — winds through the main level. Downstairs, a multi-spindle carving machine anchors an exhibit devoted to the city’s furniture heritage. Videos, photos, and memorabilia show how the business of manufacturing furniture rippled into a constellation of industries — glass and mirrors, upholstery, photography and advertising — and how, together, they built a city.

High Point Museum
1859 East Lexington Avenue
High Point, NC 27262
(336) 885-1859
highpointnc.gov

This story was published on

Saintsing is an associate editor at Our State magazine and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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