The Taylor Wheelwright Shop, ca. 1800

1. The Taylor Wheelright Shop - Hart Square

The Taylor Wheelwright Shop, ca. 1800

Please click on the thumbnail for a slideshow of historical images and the restoration. About eight miles from Hart Square, in the Vale community of Lincoln County, Bob discovered this small cabin. No longer needed as a dwelling, it had been last used as a tractor or wagon shed, the chimney removed and a wide entrance cut into the gable-end timbers. “It was perfect for a wheelwright shop!” Bob says. The small window’s hand-forged shutter pins with rosehead nails date the cabin to 1800 or earlier. Bob acquired the structure from Ken McCurry and moved it in 1994. Laura Brotherton shared with the Harts that her grandfather Monroe Taylor lived in the cabin before enlisting to fight in the Civil War.

After he moved the cabin, Bob heard about a nineteenth-century wheelwright shop on the outskirts of Lenoir. He tracked down the owner, who said Bob was welcome to visit, but there was nothing left of value. Bob and Harold found the place overgrown with vines and had to cut down a tree to get inside. There were no forges, tools, or anvils, “but something you would rarely find,” Bob says, “at an antiques show: stock for making wagon wheels, different sized patterns for wheels, hubs and spokes in various stages of completion, blocks ready to be turned for hubs, a few primitive wooden hoop dogs, a few wagon rims, and several dry-rotted wagon wheels.”   They loaded up two truck beds, and these objects are now on display, “which lends credence,” Becky notes, “to the saying that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”