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Category Archives: Streets

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Belgrave Pavement

No I am not kidding, I was looking for anything that may give me a clue as to the location of Wream Field, home of the Charlotte Hornets from 1908-1948 before the owners built Crockett Park (another lost treasure, which I will explore in another article)  when I found this on a 1935 Charlotte City Map:

Belgrave Pavement_1935_

Okay, most of us are familiar with street naming, like Avenue, Street, Boulevard, and even some alleys from the early days of Charlotte but this one threw me for a loop.  Located in Dilworth, which is one of Charlotte’s earliest suburbs, similar to Myers Park was a planned neighborhood with wide winding streets with names such as Berkley, Romany and Buchanan centered around Latta Park, named for Edward Dilworth Latta, Founder and President of the 4C’s Company (Charlotte Consolidated Construction Company) and designed by the Olmsted brothers, one of the first architects and city planners who also designed Central Park in New York City.

Now known as Belgrave Place, it runs between Berkley Avenue and Romany Road ending at Latta Park.  Like many streets in Dilworth it is a tree lined peaceful street with speed humps and large houses of which many were built around the turn of the last century with some modern built homes which for the most of them they were designed to fit into the neighborhood.

Belgrave Place_Google Earth

Belgrave Place. Image courtesy of Google Earth 2015

If you want to learn more about the Dilworth Neighborhood, Edward Latta or about how our neighborhoods got started, please check out:

Sorting out the New South City by Dan Morrill (1998 University of North Carolina Press).  This can be ordered at Park Road Books located in the Park Road Shopping Center.  Written by the Historian at the Levine Museum of the New South located on North College Street, this was actually his doctoral dissertation and is a well written and through look at how Charlotte’s neighborhoods were shaped not only by geography, but politics and history.

 

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2015 in History, Neighborhoods, Places, Streets

 

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What is the name of this street now?

I had seen an report about a year ago on our local ABC affiliate about a forgotten cemetery located in Southwest Charlotte. The story stated that it was a slave cemetery owned by the Shuman Family. Now back around the 1930’s and 1940’s this street went by Shuman Avenue. The name changed sometime during the 1950’s. Do you know what the street is known as now?

Shuman Avenue 1935.  Courtesy Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room (cmlibrary.org)

Shuman Avenue 1935. Courtesy Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room (cmlibrary.org)

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2015 in Places, Streets, Uncategorized

 

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Ceasar R. Blake, Jr. – A forgotten Charlottean

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

 

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Where did part of North Myers Street go?

I was doing so research into my next entry about the old Abbie’s Apartment House which was listed in the 1957 Hills Charlotte City Directory as the “finest hotel for Negros”.  As many of you know, this was during the Jim Crow era which by law and custom, travelers had to stay in separate hotels.  White travelers could stay in the Hotel Charlotte or the Barringer Hotel which blacks had to stay at the Hotel Alexander or the Ebony Guest House.  But when I went to photograph where the hotel was located at 516 North Myers Street, I found this:

This would have been the 500 block - the street was removed during urban renewal.  Photo taken by the author on December 31, 2014.

This would have been the 500 block – the street was removed during urban renewal. Photo taken by the author on December 31, 2014.

Which leads me to another question, why was this part of North Myers Street taken out?  This area, known as First Ward could count as its residents people such as Bishop George Clinton of the AME Zion Church, Thad Tate who not only had a successful barber shop, but also co-founded several business’ including the Mecklenburg Investment Company.  But, I am digressing somewhat and let me get back to my original question.

According to a 1935 Charlotte City map, Myers Street extended north to 12th Street:

1935 Charlotte City Map Courtesy of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

1935 Charlotte City Map Courtesy of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

The street was still complete in a 1962 map, but by the early 1980’s, the 500 block was gone.

While Charlotte has bulldozed not only buildings but also its streets to accommodate the city’s growth. Streets that people may remember from the 1940s and 1950s may have had their routes or names changed or eliminated altogether.  While most people that visit our city often complain about streets that change names sometimes in the middle of an intersection (think of the intersection of Woodlawn Road at South Tryon Street, Woodlawn Road turns into the Billy Graham Parkway).  I’ll be exploring more streets in upcoming entries that have either been plowed under in the name of progress, changed names or had their route changed due to progress.

I hope you will take this journey with me.

Happy New Year!

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2015 in Streets

 

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I’m Back!

Well, after a hiatus due to school and work responsibilities I have come back. I could not remember my original password for this site so I had to create a new one.  I hope that you will rediscover me and come back.

I want to thank Mr. James Harrill, who is currently serving the North Carolina Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons as a District Deputy for discovering my original Lost Charlotte blog and posting one of my entries to Facebook – this was the inspiration for bringing it back.  Also a big thank you to Mr. Damajo Smith for his comments on Facebook, he currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Phylaxis Society which is the research arm for Prince Hall Affiliated Free and Accepted Masons.

There is a blog called “Retro Charlotte” that is authored by Maria David who is the archivist and research librarian for the Charlotte (NC) Observer.  While some people think that there is not enough material for more than one blogger, I have to disagree.  While Ms. David has the resources of the Charlotte Observer, which has been around for over a century (first starting off as the Charlotte Daily Observer) I have the heart and people that I can go to to verify anything that I have heard.

I hope that you will come back and take the journey with me to find out what Charlotte used to be like.

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2014 in Buildings, History, People, Places, Streets

 

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