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Ceasar R. Blake, Jr. – A forgotten Charlottean

10 Jan

Ceasar R. Blake, Jr. (1886-1931) is one of those people that outside of the Prince Hall Masonic family here in Charlotte that no one knows anything about. Serving as the Imperial Potentate for the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Prince Hall Affiliated (A.E.A.O.N.M.S.) or better known as the Shriners, he also served as the presiding officer of Paul Drayton Lodge # 7, later serving the Prince Hall Grand Lodge as the Grand Senior Warden.

Ceasar R. Blake as Imperial Potentate.  Photo Courtesy of Willie Harris, Jr.

Ceasar R. Blake, Jr.  as Imperial Potentate of the Prince Hall Shriners. Photo Courtesy of P.P Willie Harris, Jr.of Rameses Temple # 51

In his private life, according to the 1912 Hills Charlotte City Directory (page 131), he was a clerk with Norfolk and Southern Railway (page 331) and lived at 411 East 1st Street which was between Brevard and Caldwell Streets in the old Brooklyn neighborhood.  When he passed away in 1931, he was buried at Pinewood Cemetery, which was set aside for blacks as it was custom and and law during this period.

Headstone for Ceasar R. Blake, Jr.  at Pinewood Cemetery.  Photo taken by the author April 2009

Headstone for Ceasar R. Blake, Jr. at Pinewood Cemetery. Photo taken by the author April 2009

I encourage you to read more about him or the period in which he lived.

I got my information from:

1912 Hills Charlotte City Directory (Hackley and Moale Printers) via DigitalNC.org

History of Prince Hall Masonry and Appendant Bodies in the Charlotte Area, 32nd and 33rd Districts, Formerly the 19th and 20th Masonic Districts & 14th and 24th OES Districts by James E. Harrell (self-published, 1994)

Photo Credits:

Picture of Mr. Blake courtesy of Mr. Willie Harris, Jr.

Headstone photo by the author taken April 2009

Update (01/11/15):  Thanks to my husband who reminded me that First Street did not cross Sugar Creek back in those days,  I went back to verify my information and to find the right place via the 1911 Sanford Fire Insurance Map located at:

http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/ncmaps/id/2298/rec/6

 

 

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4 Comments

Posted by on January 10, 2015 in History, People, Streets

 

Tags: , ,

4 responses to “Ceasar R. Blake, Jr. – A forgotten Charlottean

  1. mentre

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  2. Eric

    October 17, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Very informative. Thank you

    Like

     
  3. MorningStarMediaSolu (@therealbigbuff)

    April 4, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    do you have any information on zafa temple in Durham NC?

    Like

     
    • mariaperry1

      April 4, 2017 at 10:13 pm

      Thank you so much for reading my blog. I’m sorry that I don’t have any information on Zafa Temple # 176 in Durham. You may want to check with Mr. Antonie Lilly who is a member of that temple (you can google him to get some contact information) who can steer you in the right direction. Good Luck!

      Like

       

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