Hickory, city (1990 pop. 28,301), Burke and Catawba counties, W N.C., at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mts.; inc. 1870. It is a processing and trade center for an abundant agricultural region (grain, soybeans, poultry, hogs, cattle, dairying). Manufactures include furniture; textiles and tape; stone, plastic, and metal products; electric and electronic equipment; optical fibers; and consumer goods. Tourism is also important, and Hickory is the seat of Lenoir-Rhyne College. In the city are the Hickory Museum of Art and the Catawba Science Center. The Hickory Motor Speedway is nearby.