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Lakewood Park

It is Sunday afternoon, you went to church that morning and you and your family are looking for something to do.  If it is between 1910 and 1933, your thoughts would turn to maybe taking a streetcar to Lakewood Park where you and your family could ride the boats on the lake,visit the other attractions or listen to a band in the pavilion located next to the lake.

Built in 1910 after the Southern Electric Company (one of the predecessor companies to today’s Duke Energy) to  built a dam and lake to cool electric turbines in nearby Chadwick Mill it soon became a recreational destination for those living in Charlotte and the surrounding area.  Of course due to the Jim Crow laws on the books at the time, Blacks were not permitted to visit the park and ads of the period made sure that Whites were the only ones who could visit the park:

Lakewood Park Ad for May 29 1915.  Photo courtesy of the Lakewood Park website.

Lakewood Park Ad for May 29 1915. Photo courtesy of the Lakewood Park website.

During the First World Way when Camp Greene was in full swing, soldiers were encouraged to visit the park, as the streetcar line ran right next to the camp; during this period Liberty Park was built for those soldiers but did not have all of the attractions that Lakewood had (like a lake!)

Unfortunately the park was closed in 1933 due to the Great Depression when people could no longer afford to visit.  The lake was drained in April 1936 when the dam holding the water in broke.  Another amusement park on this scale would not be seen in Charlotte until Carowinds opened up in 1973.  If you want to learn more about Lakewood Park, and of course where I got my information from, please check out:

http://www.lakewoodparkcharlotte.com/.  This site gives the history of the park with photographs and postcards of the era.

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Story at http://www.cmstry.org this site, sponsored by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library is a great resource for local history with images, copies of documents and links to other history sites.

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Posted by on June 1, 2015 in History

 

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Throwback Thursday

I thought I would do a Throwback Thursday article.  This is a popular thing to do on Facebook, and yes I have commented on a picture or thrown a picture or two in myself.  Today I am showing a place in an old photograph and what it looks like today.  All older photographs are from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library or the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission and the newer photos have been taken by me.

Today, let us look at the intersection of 4th Street and Queens Road, which is the entrance to Myers Park.  Back when this photo was taken, the tree cover had not been planted yet:

Entrance to Myers Park (1912).  Picture courtesy of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

Entrance to Myers Park (1912). Picture courtesy of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

According to the library, the trolley entrance was designed by John Nolen and built by the Stephens Company of Winnsboro, South Carolina.  Here what it looks like today:

Queens @ 4th II_2015

Queens at 4th Street 2015. Picture taken by the author.

While the trolley entrance is long gone, the two shelters are still there.  Please look for another entry next Thursday when I show you a location from the past and what it looks like now.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2015 in History, Neighborhoods

 

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