Hickory’s Streets, Avenues, Courts…

As I was mailing a Christmas card to a friend in Hickory, I was reminded about how confusing the town’s street system is to me. Has anyone else had the same experience?

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Here’s my friend’s address (with the house number changed to protect his privacy):

100 44th Ave Ct NE

44th Avenue Court Northeast???? How can an avenue be a court?


I used the NC Maps project to see if I could find an older map of Hickory that shows the system, but I didn’t find one. I did find the image above, which is a detail from the 1919 Sanborn Fire Insurance map for Hickory. The numbered streets and avenues don’t line up in a true grid, but it does at least seem to make little bit of sense. I definitely didn’t see any “Avenue Courts NE.” When did this change? How was the system developed? What is its rhyme or reason?

I’m throwing this question out to the blogosphere. Come on all of you Hickorites…help me understand how this system works!