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Now this is not in Charlotte, but looks like…

The hubby and I are on vacation in the land of unsweet tea, no grits and drivers that make their own lanes.  While up here we wanted to tour the United States Military Academy at West Point located in Highland Falls, New York.  A very picturesque town going up the Hudson River,  it sits at the bend and widest point of the Hudson.

While on the tour we went through the Cadet’s Chapel, which is the large Gothic Style Chapel on post.  Built in 1910, it had held weddings, funerals and is an active chapel used on a weekly basis by those on post.  It also boasts the largest pipe organ used by a church in the United States as well as the “Bride’s Escape Door” which was designed for brides with cold feet (never used!).  Each of the windows were gifted by each of the classes that graduated starting in 1911.  Now if you look at it, it may remind you of a church in Charlotte that was designed by Mr. Louis Asbury:

Cadets Chapel_West Point_2017  Photo taken by the author

Now, doesn’t this look like Myers Park United Methodist Church?

I am really enjoying myself up here, but I wish I could find a place that served a good fried chicken dinner (no not Popeye’s – a place like Price’s Chicken Coop!)

I am attaching some pictures that I took inside the Chapel – enjoy!

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Posted by on August 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

May 20 – Meck Dec Day

Current NC State Flag.  Image Courtesy of flaglane.com via Google Images.

Current NC State Flag. Image Courtesy of flaglane.com via Google Images.

On the North Carolina State flag, there are two dates that most people don’t know why they are on the flag.  One of them is May 20, 1775 and the other one is April 12, 1776.  The first date commemorates the signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (some historians call it the “Mecklenburg Resolves, Charlotteans call it “Meck Dec”) which was signed in Charlotte a year before the Declaration of Independence was approved and signed in Philadelphia.  The other date commemorates the Halifax Resolves which also stated that North Carolina would no longer be subjected to the wishes of the British Crown and called for Independence, the first colony to do so again, 2  1/2 months before the Continental Congress would approve the Declaration of Independence.

But, while the a copy of the Halifax Resolves can be son NCPedia.com, any presumed copies of the Mecklenburg Declaration (“Meck Dec”) are presumed to have been lost in a house fire; but Attorney Scott Syfert who published “The First American Declaration of Independence? The Disputed History of the Mecklenburg Declaration of May 20, 1775” says he has evidence that the document actually existed.  This author is of the opinion that the document actually existed and I am also of the opinion that the document actually exists.  Here are my reasons:

1. There are too many witnesses to the reading of the “Meck Dec” on the steps of the County Courthouse by Thomas Polk who was an relative of President James K. Polk including those who signed the document including Hezekiah Alexander.

2. According to witnesses in Salem (now known as Winston Salem) they saw Captain Jack riding through their town on the way back from Philadelphia with the document in his hand.

In years past, there used to be a big celebration of Meck Dec day.  I found this on the cmstory.org site:

Military Unit participating in the 1914 Parade.  Image courtesy of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

Military Unit participating in the 1914 Parade. Image courtesy of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

And that was not enough, we have this plaque not only commemorating Meck Dec, but the Battle of Charlotte in the middle of the Square at Trade and Tryon Streets, I don’t think we would have done it if it did not exist:

Plaque located on the Square commemorating Meck Dec and the Battle of Charlotte.  Image courtesy of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library via Google Images.

Plaque located on the Square commemorating Meck Dec and the Battle of Charlotte. Image courtesy of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library via Google Images.

I hope to meet Attorney Syfert and thank him for writing about a subject that I will admit is controversial because no copies can be found right now.  If you want to learn more please check out:

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Story at cmstory.org.  This is a service of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and where I get a lot of my old images that I use in this blog.

NCPedia; this is where I got my information on the Halifax Resolves as well as  the Meck Dec (they call it the Mecklenburg Resolves).

If you want to see an interview of Attorney Syfert by D. G. Martin on North Carolina Bookwatch, please turn to UNC TV (if you live in North Carolina or get it on your cable system) Sundays at 12:00 PM with a repeat on Thursday at 5:00  PM. If you cannot get UNC TV, please go to http://www.unctv.org/content/ncbookwatch to see full episodes.  I will be DVR’ing this as I will be on the way home from work.

Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Elizabeth Hibbs Wheeler

At the entrance to the small playground at Myers Park Traditional School (MPTS) there is a memorial marker at the entrance to the small playground that the students don’t really pay attention to, but caught my eye when I first came to work at the school  in 2013:

Memorial to Elizabeth Hibbs Wheeler at Myers Park Traditional School.  Photo taken by the author.

Memorial to Elizabeth Hibbs Wheeler at Myers Park Traditional School. Photo taken by the author.

I asked some parents if they knew the family (they didn’t but that was okay) and of course I went on Facebook (Charlotte, NC Past and Present page) for some help from my fellow local historians.  Thanks to them I was able to track down where she lived in Myers Park, her parent’s names and what her dad did and also something about her grandfather and his connection to Mecklenburg County.

Miss. Hibbs lived with her family in Norton Place which is located just north of MPTS, which back then was known as Myers Park School.  According to the 1947 Charlotte City Directory, her dad Robert was a manager for the Wearn Company.  You may remember that name, as it was the same family that owned the old Charlotte Hornets Baseball team back in the 1920’s.  Her mom, also named Elizabeth was a stay at home housewife according to the traditions of the time.

Her grandfather was Henry C. Hibbs, an architect out of Nashville, Tennessee and a contemporary of Louis Asbury. Known for his buildings in the Nashville area, he also designed the Fine Arts building at Davidson College, which still stands today.

Unfortunately, at the age of 11 she passed away of undetermined causes according to her death certificate. She was interred in the “Community Mausoleum” at Forest Lawn Cemetery (now known as Forest Lawn West) located on the “New” Thrift Road about a mile outside of the city limits (now known as Freedom Drive).  To add to the family’s grief, her grandfather would pass away a month after his granddaughter after suffering a massive heart attack.

Mausoleum at Forest Lawn West Cemetery and the resting place of Miss. Wheeler.  Picture taken by author.

Mausoleum at Forest Lawn West Cemetery and the resting place of Miss. Wheeler. Picture taken by author.

Sixty-Six years after her passing, Myers Park School, now known as Myers Park Traditional School has grown to over 700 students and the original building has been added to over the years.  When she was a student it was just one building built in 1927 (opened in 1928), the cafeteria had not been added and would not be until 1954, another addition which would add four more classrooms opened at about the same time.  She would have entered the school by way of the front steps which are still there, but the front entrance has been closed off and made into another classroom.  I like to think that she was a bright 4th or 5th grader who would have gone on to bigger and better things including graduating from Queens College (now Queens University of Charlotte) or another institution of higher learning.  I could see her as a grandmother who may have had children and maybe grandchildren attend MPTS and living a long and fruitful life.

There are some people that I would love to thank for helping me with this entry:

Mrs. Linda Barker of Forest Lawn West Funerals and Crematory for looking up and confirming her internment site.  I realize that I was asking a strange question about a funeral that occurred in 1949 but she was very gracious and very helpful.

Ms. Gina Curry for a copy of Miss. Wheeler’s death certificate from Ancestry.com via Facebook and the Charlotte, NC Past and Present page and my fellow local historians who contribute to the page for their help and assistance.

Mr. Chris Peterson for the link to the Special Collections papers for Henry C. Hibbs from the Nashville (TN) Public Library via Facebook and the Charlotte, NC Past and Present page.

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Not quite so lost sites around town

Instead of talking, I thought I would show some remnants of some of the things that we as a city have let go; although a couple of places are still around and being used in one way or another.

Dilworth Elementary School located on Euclid Avenue near Latta Park still has part of the original building that was not torn down when the 1960’s portion of the building was added.  The old building is still being used and an addition added in the 2000’s comes complete with a fish pond in the lobby and is attached to the Tom Sykes Recreation Center:

Dilworth Elementary School - part of the original building.  Picture taken by the author.

Dilworth Elementary School – part of the original building. Picture taken by the author.

Another building that is still being used is the old McCrorey YMCA at the corner of Caldwell and East 3rd Street.  Currently used by the United Way of Central Carolinas this was in the old neighborhood known as Brooklyn which was destroyed by Urban Renewal in the 1960’s which after 50 years still echoes in the minds and hearts of its former residents.

McCrorey YMCA currently being used by the United Way of Central Carolinas.  Photo taken by the author.

McCrorey YMCA currently being used by the United Way of Central Carolinas. Photo taken by the author.

Last, but by no means least, is the remnants of the old Piedmont and Northern (P & N) Railroad trestle located on South Graham Street near the Bank of America Stadium.  As the area near the stadium and the BB&T Ballpark was the old rail yard, it was natural that trestles would be built across the gullies and ridges that the city was built on.  If you think about it, if the trestle was still in use, it would be lower than the “Canopener” bridges in Durham and Raleigh (you may have remember me talking about them in a previous entry!)

Old P&N Trestle located on South Graham Street near Bank of America Stadium.  Photo taken by the author.

Old P&N Trestle located on South Graham Street near Bank of America Stadium. Photo taken by the author.

I will be doing some more looking around for more buildings and old sites that are not quite “lost” but may not be quite all there either.  Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

TBT – Piedmont and Northern Passenger and Freight Station

You may not believe this but the site of the current BB&T Stadium used to house the old Piedmont & Northern Passenger and Freight Terminals.  If you were living in Charlotte back in the early 2000’s, you may have noticed the old Chesapeake Paper warehouse and some concrete surfaces that resembled a station platform.  Well by the time that the stadium was conceived and built, the railroad tracks had been taken up and the old station had been razed.  I found this old photo of the old station:

Mint Street Terminal of the Piedmont & Northern Railway Station 1945.  Photo by Steve Meyer

Mint Street Terminal of the Piedmont & Northern Railway Station 1945. Photo from the S. David Carriker Collection

You can probably see the Federal Courthouse (which is still there and is famous for several federal cases involving Jim Bakker of the old “PTL” scandal and the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh)

This is what the area looks like now:

The site of the Mint Street Terminal of the Piedmont & Northern Railway 2015.  Photo taken by the author.

The site of the Mint Street Terminal of the Piedmont & Northern Railway 2015. Photo taken by the author.

While looking for some information about the old railroad, which also had stations at Thrift, Belmont, the old Lakewood Park and a yard at Pinoca I found the following two sites, if you are into railroad history I can recommend both of these:

http://wvncrails.weebly.com/piedmont–northernyesterday-and-today.html by Dan Robie.  He also talks about other railroads in North Carolina and West Virginia but has done his research into a topic that a lot of people don’t know about.

http://www.pwrr.org/nstation/charlotte.html.  This website for the Piedmont and Western Railroad Club also has some good information on not only the P & N, but the Southern Railroad and Seaboard Airline Railroad which also had terminals here in Charlotte.

Happy Reading!

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

TBT- Myers Park

Hi! I hadn’t done a TBT article in a couple of weeks, so I thought I would get back into the habit with a puzzle that stumped quite a few people on Facebook a couple of weeks ago.

On the page “Charlotte, NC the Past and Present” frequent contributor James Allen Peacock posted this picture and asked the page members where they thought this was.  He did give the hint that this was one of the first paved streets in the Myers Park Neighborhood:

Queens Road in the early 1900's.  Picture courtesy of James Allen Peacock via Facebook.

Queens Road in the early 1900’s. Picture courtesy of James Allen Peacock via Facebook.

Well, the answers ranged from Queens and Radcliff near what is now Queens University of Charlotte to somewhere near the future Freedom Park.  The answer was, Queens Road at Edgefield Road across from Edgefield Park.  Well, Mr. Peacock (along with James Jack have given me a lot of ideas for this blog – I love them both!) provided the answer, and this same intersection now looks like this in 2015:

Queens Road at Edgefield Drive 2015.  Photo taken by the author.

Queens Road at Edgefield Drive 2015. Photo taken by the author.

A big thanks to James Allen Peacock for his idea and his picture for this article.  Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Abe Lincoln’s Assassination

It was 150 years ago this evening that President Lincoln, along with his wife was at Ford’s Theatre watching “Our American Cousin” when John Wilkes Booth shot him in the back of the head, which proved fatal the next morning.

I was wondering how Southern newspapers treated the news of the assassination, as the war ended just days earlier.  I found this article in the April 16, 1865 New York Times which shows the depth of the feelings that the nation felt when the news of his death came out:

April 16, 1865 New York Times.  Image via ProQuest Historical Papers via the UNC Charlotte Murray Adkins Library.

April 16, 1865 New York Times. Image via ProQuest Historical Papers via the UNC Charlotte Murray Adkins Library.

But because this was after the war, the materials needed to print a newspaper was in short supply, some Southern newspapers were only twice weekly or once a week.  Now in Charlotte,  the Observer and News would be a couple of decades away from starting publication but I was able to find on digitalnc.org copies of the Western Democrat which was being published at that time.  The April 18, 1865 edition only discusses the surrender at Appomattox and not the assassination.

This could be a result of telegraph lines still in the rebuilding stages from the destruction of the war or there was not enough paper that was saved to be scanned into a digital format in the 21st century.  But, the May 29, 1865 edition does talk about the attempted capture of John Wilkes Booth (he was killed in a shootout at Garrett’s Barn in Virginia on April 26, 1865) President Johnson’s orders regarding the property of the former Confederacy including the former Navy, ordering the Postmaster General to reestablish postal routes and any acts and proceedings of the former Confederate government is null and void.

This author is not saying that Charlotte did not mourn the late president, but feelings may still have been raw about the surrender of General Lee and the Confederate Army, the passing of a way of life that was comfortable for most people.  If you want to read more about this time period, you may want to find America Aflame by Dr. David Goldfield (Bloomsbury Press) 2011.  This can be ordered from any bookstore (although for my Charlotte readers you may want to try Park Road Books in the Park Road Shopping Center)

Where did I get my information today?

The Western Democrat, May 29, 1865 edition. Page one, http://newspapers.digitalnc.org/lccn/sn84020712/1865-05-29/ed-1/seq-1/print/image_420x817_from_0,1447_to_3659,8560/ accessed on April 14, 2015

New York Times, April 16, 1865 edition. Page one. via ProQuest Historical Papers.  Accessed through the Murray Adkins Library of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte on April 14, 2015.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2015 in Uncategorized