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Down U.S. 70 East, just a few miles southeast of Hickory, lies a close-knit community of about 3,000 people.
Claremont, most Catawba County natives say, is an old-fashioned farming and manufacturing town â€” one that has a similar history to the areaâ€™s handful of municipalities that stretches back to the late 1800s.
To city locals, though, Claremont is a different place â€” where family is linked by more than blood, and community support is king.
In recent years, art has become one of Claremont's prominent pillars embraced by the community.
Quietly, itâ€™s become a stopping place for southern writers and the town has quickly become one of the biggest rural artsy cities in North Carolina.
To read more of this story, pick up the weekend edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.