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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

 

Easter Monday

Easter Eggs.  Image courtesy of Google Images.

Easter Eggs. Image courtesy of Google Images.

Up until 1987, the Monday after Easter was a state holiday that gave people a chance to do the things that they didn’t do on Easter Sunday such as attending baseball games, holding Easter Egg hunts or just enjoying a day off from work.  According to NCPedia it was proposed so that members of the General Assembly could attend the annual baseball game between NC State and Wake Forest University, which at that time was located in the town of Wake Forest in northern Wake County, but of course no paper records exist of the reasoning behind bringing this about.

A search of the 1935 General Assembly session minutes shows that this bill, which was S.B. 483 which included not only declaring the Monday after Easter as a state holiday, but also declares Decoration Day (which later became Memorial Day) a legal holiday to be celebrated on the 30th of May.

If you want to check out some more interesting facts about our state and our city, please check out NCPedia at:  ncpedia.org

Where did I get my information today?

“Easter Monday Holiday” Williford, Jo Ann 2006, NCPedia The University of North Carolina Press.  http://ncpedia.org/easter-monday-holiday.  Accessed April 5, 2015

“Chapter 212 – An Act to Amend Section Three Thousand Nine Hundred and Fifty Nine of the Consolidated Statutes so as to make Easter Monday and Decoration Day Legal Holidays” NC General Assembly 1935 Session.  Chapter 212, page 227.  Accessed via NCPedia on April 5, 2015.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2015 in History

 

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Thrift Community

Before Charlotte started swallowing up its neighboring unincorporated communities with names such as Paw Creek, Sharon, Newell, Clear Creek and Dixie these little crossroads and sometimes actual towns had their own post office, grocery or general store and regular mail service.  Now, what’s left of them has been incorporated into the Charlotte city limits and sometimes the only way to find out that they did exist are street signs for the streets that have been named for them or memories of our older residents.

One of these towns located in western Mecklenburg County was the town of Thrift.  Located on Mt. Holly Road going towards the town of Mt. Holly (NC 27) they could boast of having a nearby train station, the Piedmont and Northern station at Paw Creek as well as a regular post office.

1972 Highway Maintenance Map showing the township of Thrift.  Courtesy of the NC Maps Collection of the Wilson Library of the University of North Carolina.

1972 Highway Maintenance Map showing the township of Thrift. Courtesy of the NC Maps Collection of the Wilson Library of the University of North Carolina.

Unfortunately, nothing remains of the community today, not even the post office. I have even gone down Highway 27 in an effort to find any traces of the old community except for the name of a short road named Thrift (which is off of Freedom Drive)

Thrift Road 2015.  Image courtesy of Google Earth.

Thrift Road 2015. Image courtesy of Google Earth.

If anyone who used to live out that way before the tank farms were built wants to talk with me, please let me know – I will be happy to help you record and save your memories.

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

TBT – Cecil Street (Again?)

Okay – I seem to have a fascination with Cecil Street, which is now considered Kings Drive.  Back in the day however, Cecil Street used to end at the pasture for Thompson Orphanage and then take up on the other side of the property near Central High School. This picture, taken in the early 1950’s on the street at the edge of the Cherry Community features my dear hubby, his dad and two of his siblings Greg and Beverly Perry.  Unfortunately, three of them have passed on, but I still have the hubby!

Albert Perry, Leroy Perry, Gregory Perry and Beverly Perry at the end of Cecil Street in the early 1950's.  Photo from the author's collection.

Albert Perry, Leroy Perry, Gregory Perry and Beverly Perry at the end of Cecil Street in the early 1950’s. Photo from the author’s collection.

Here is what that spot looks like today:

Cecil Street at Kings Drive 2015.  Image courtesy of Google Earth.

Cecil Street at Kings Drive 2015. Image courtesy of Google Earth.

I wish that my late father in law could have seen the changes in his hometown.  Oh well, I think he is looking down and smiling. I hope that everyone has a safe holiday weekend!

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2015 in History, Neighborhoods, People

 

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