The Bunker Hill Covered Bridge, which was improved by Civil War general Herman Haupt, the late 19th-century Historic Murray's Mill, which boasts a 28-foot high waterwheel, and the Harper House, which showcases its intricate Queen Anne stylings, all have something in common: They're maintained and shown by the Catawba County Historical Association, an organization dedicated to preserving and exhibiting historical sites throughout North Carolina.
The Catawba County Museum of History, situated in the former Catawba County Courthouse, depicts the lives of the Catawba River Valley's original settlers and their decedents through artifacts such tools made from hand-dug iron ore, military uniforms, and hand-stitched quilts. Visitors can step back in time into the ornately decorated, Queen Anne–style Harper House, whose period-accurate color schemes, wallpaper, and architectural details paint a picture of southern life in the Victorian era. The Murray & Minges General Store's shelves are still stocked with old-fashioned toys and treats, which at one time must have kept the Murray family children occupied as their parents helmed the Murray Mill. Guests can tour the mill and imagine workers grinding corn and wheat with the tools on display, toiling away to make their sacrifices to the Corn Gods in hopes of one day receiving Fritos.
Behind the security gates at Pomolas Ranch & Equestrian Center, visitors find a small, quiet barn surrounded by 13 acres of lush pasture and leafy trees. It's here, amid these sylvan surroundings, that they can polish their horseback-riding technique or take up the activity for the very first time. Both English- and Western-style riding lessons occur out on the grassy fields on clear days or, if it's stormy or after dusk, inside the lighted arena—large enough at 120'x160' for a full barrel or jumping course. The center hosts guests for individual lessons and equestrian-club members for regular riding, as well as the young guests who arrive for day and overnight riding camps during the summer.
There are few sounds more distinct than that of a bowling ball smacking into a pack of pins. That sound surely triggers a set of childhood memories, tossing balls down the lane while willing them to steer clear of the gutter with your mind. Pla Mor Lanes invites guests to relive old memories and create new ones on their 24 bowling lanes. Kids can cheer on one another during parties, while the older crowd hits the alley on Friday and Saturday nights, when black lights illuminate the alley for cosmic bowling and definitively prove that their dandruff shampoo is working.