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Hugh Torance House and Store


The historic Hugh Torance House and Store is North Carolina's oldest surviving store and one of Mecklenburg County’s few surviving 18th century structures.  Located in Huntersville, North Carolina, the house and mercantile establishment is a true historical treasure.  

The log house section of the building was built as a residence around 1779.  In 1805 the building was expanded to include a store which operated until 1825. As the Torance (later changed to Torrence then Torrance) family obtained land and wealth it became a cotton plantation of 3,000 acres worked by over a hundred slaves.   Extensive family history kept through generations allows us to interpret nearly a century of Mecklenburg’s rich mercantile and plantation history. 

Site tours focus on the life of Hugh Torance, merchant and planter, and his son James who operated a store there 1808-1825.  The interiors of the house, store, and storage workshop feature authentic period pieces, artifacts, documents, wears, and tools.  Tours run from April through October, on every 1st and 3rd Sunday.  We invite you to come and experience life as it was in antebellum Mecklenburg County.

BIG NEWS FOR US!!!  Read all about it!

Historic Hugh Torance House & Store in Huntersville Completes Restoration

Torance front pic 640x427(Huntersville, NC January 7, 2015) - The Board of Directors of the Hugh Torance House & Store on Gilead Road in Huntersville are proud to announce completion of repairs funded by a Special Projects Grant from the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution. This grant was sponsored by the local Alexandriana Chapter of the NSDAR. The Hugh Torance House & Store is one of the few remaining 18th century structures in Mecklenburg County and is the oldest standing store in North Carolina. The structure was built by Hugh Torance, a Revolutionary War veteran and dates to the 1770's. Hugh Torance (1743-1816) immigrated to the American colonies from Ireland in 1763 and came to Mecklenburg County in the 1770's. He became a very successful merchant and planter. Hugh's son, James Torance, opened a store in the original log portion of the house in 1805. The "Torance Store" was an integral part of Mecklenburg County backcountry society. It is located at 8231 Gilead Road in Huntersville.

The Hugh Torance House & Store was salvaged and restored in the 1980's by a group of historic-minded local citizens. Today it is a small non-profit 501(c)3 organization run entirely by volunteers. It is open to the public and serves as an educational field trip for school tours, scouts, senior groups and historical and genealogical associations.

As a result of a recent inspection by Andrew Roby General Contractors, it was discovered that structural support repairs (due to failure of the main support beam and piers) were needed along with chimney flashing, floor repairs and electrical wiring repairs. Thanks to the DAR Special Projects Grant, Andrew Roby General Contractors has now completed all of this work and went above and beyond their scope of service to provide historically sensitive repairs that will keep this important historic landmark open to the public far into the future.Torance Work Sign 3 640x480

Bill Russell, Chairman of the Board said the Board is extremely grateful to Andrew Roby General Contractors for their excellent work and to the Alexandriana Chapter of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, for their financial support for this project. "I recently had the opportunity to lead a tour of special needs adults through the home, after the repair work was completed, and they were awestruck by their return to a simpler colonial time in our history. We simply could not have had the house ready without the support of the DAR and the Town of Huntersville who continue their strong support of our history and cultural heritage," said Russell.

For more information about the store, visit the website at Group Tours are available by calling Bill Russell at the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce at 704-892-1922

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