Hickory is a city in Catawba County, North Carolina. Hickory has the 162nd largest urban area in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 341,851, making it the 4th largest metropolitan area in North Carolina. The city's population was 37,222 at the 2000 census. The city's 2010 estimated population is 40,010.
In the 1850s, under a huge Hickory Tree, Henry Robinson built a tavern of logs. The city of "Hickory Tavern" was established in 1863 and the name was eventually changed to "Hickory" in 1873.
The first train operated in the city of "Hickory Tavern" in 1859. The first lot was sold to Henry Link for $45.00 in 1858. His house is now known as "The 1859 Cafe." The community of Hickory was the first for many things in North Carolina including the council-manager form of government it adopted in 1913. Hickory was also one of the first towns to install electric lights in 1888 and a complete sewage system in 1904.