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Tag Archives: Prince Hall Masons

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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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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