RSS

Category Archives: Business

Image

6th Street Bridge

I have been in Charlotte for over 30 years. While traveling around town, I had not always paid attention to this bridge located on 6th Street just west of Graham Street:

Southern Railway Bridge over 6th Street.  Picture taken by author.

Southern Railway Bridge over 6th Street. Picture taken by author.

Well, I finally got around to checking this bridge out.  It turns out that this was a bridge operated by the old Southern Railroad that led to the old railroad station on West Trade Street:

Southern Railway Station and Stonewall Hotel circa 1908.  Image courtesy of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

Southern Railway Station and Stonewall Hotel circa 1908. Image courtesy of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

This station, designed by Frank Milburn in 1905 in the Mediterranean Style complemented an existing Seaboard Air Line train station on North Tryon Street at 16th Street.   When the station was closed in the 1960’s and the railroad tracks converted to freight traffic and raised above the street, it was thought that everything had been taken away.  Well, in two parking lots located on 5th Street on opposite sides of the street if you look hard enough, you can see the railroad tracks that they didn’t take up:

Old Southern Railway Tracks facing 6th Street.  Picture taken by author.

Old Southern Railway Tracks facing 6th Street. Picture taken by author.

And on the other side of the street, you can see one track but not the other:

Old Southern Railway Track part II.  Picture taken by author.

Old Southern Railway Track part II. Picture taken by author.

I managed to get a shot of the old Right of Way on the bridge looking north towards the silos at Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), I cannot began to describe my excitement as I found out that this actually served the old Charlotte train station:

Old Southern Railway ROW on the 6th Street Bridge.  Picture taken by the author.

Old Southern Railway ROW on the 6th Street Bridge. Picture taken by the author.

I wish I had gone on and find out when this bridge was built, but as I was by myself and the area was deserted I didn’t want to take a chance of running into trouble.  Also, there was ample warning signs that the area was owned by the State of North Carolina:

No Trespassing Sign installed by the NC Department of Transportation.  Picture taken by the author.

No Trespassing Sign installed by the NC Department of Transportation. Picture taken by the author

If you want to learn more about Charlotte’s transportation history and see images from not only the railroad stations, but its early streetcars and other forms of public transportation, please visit http://www.cmstory.org.  This site is run by the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and covers Charlotte and Mecklenburg County History from its beginnings to the present day.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 1, 2015 in Buildings, Business, History, Places

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Need to go grocery shopping?

Grocery shopping is easier today with all of the choices that we have.  We have stores such as Harris Teeter, Publix, and Food Lion for us regular shoppers.  For those who are looking for speciality stores we have Trader Joes, Whole Foods or Earthfare.  Back in the day when the city was smaller, we could go to our neighborhood grocer or to one of the early supermarket chains that had stores in the area.  While they were not the large stores that we are used to (and some of us expect!)  they filled a need for fresh food at good prices.

One of those early chains was Colonel Stores.  Started as Pender’s Stores in Richmond, Virginia in the early part of the 20th century they grew into the Carolinas and had several stores in the Charlotte area, including one located at 209 North College Street which was demolished and is now the Wake Forest School of Business and the Holiday Inn Center City.

Colonial Store "Rooster Logo" via rkpuma.com and Google Images

Colonial Store “Rooster Logo” via rkpuma.com and Google Images

I wish that I could have found a picture of the old store but could not find one.  I know that I will be exploring these old stores in future blog posts.  For more history about grocery stores both here in the Charlotte area and in other parts of the South, please check out the Grocerteria blog at http://www.groceteria.com.  You will not only learn about the history of familiar chains such as Winn Dixie and A&P, but also where they were located and what may or may not be there now.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 30, 2015 in Buildings, Business, History

 

Tags: , ,

Image

Remember Ice and Coal Dealers?

Westside Ice and Fuel Company ad-1953 Directory

I was looking for another business that I saw on a post on Facebook when I came across this ad in the 1953 Hills Charlotte City Directory for the Westside Ice and Fuel Company.  When I looked up the former address it was located where Johnson C. Smith University has built student housing with ground level retail.

I am not sure when this company went out of business, but when I arrived in Charlotte in 1982, the site was known as Carostate Ice and the parking lot facing Duckworth Avenue held ice machines that the company owned that was either broken or awaiting transportation to area stores to hold bags of ice for sale.

Charlotte before 1960 had several dealers for block ice (this was in the days of iceboxes, which required blocks of ice to help keep foods cold or frozen in the days before substantial freezers on refrigerators)  and coal, which was used to heat homes and sometime business buildings (including schools) in the winter.

I will be exploring these type of businesses in future writings.

I found this ad in the 1953 Hills Charlotte City Directory, courtesy of digitalnc.org

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 18, 2015 in Business, History, Places

 

Tags: , , ,