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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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6th Street Bridge

I have been in Charlotte for over 30 years. While traveling around town, I had not always paid attention to this bridge located on 6th Street just west of Graham Street:

Southern Railway Bridge over 6th Street.  Picture taken by author.

Southern Railway Bridge over 6th Street. Picture taken by author.

Well, I finally got around to checking this bridge out.  It turns out that this was a bridge operated by the old Southern Railroad that led to the old railroad station on West Trade Street:

Southern Railway Station and Stonewall Hotel circa 1908.  Image courtesy of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

Southern Railway Station and Stonewall Hotel circa 1908. Image courtesy of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

This station, designed by Frank Milburn in 1905 in the Mediterranean Style complemented an existing Seaboard Air Line train station on North Tryon Street at 16th Street.   When the station was closed in the 1960’s and the railroad tracks converted to freight traffic and raised above the street, it was thought that everything had been taken away.  Well, in two parking lots located on 5th Street on opposite sides of the street if you look hard enough, you can see the railroad tracks that they didn’t take up:

Old Southern Railway Tracks facing 6th Street.  Picture taken by author.

Old Southern Railway Tracks facing 6th Street. Picture taken by author.

And on the other side of the street, you can see one track but not the other:

Old Southern Railway Track part II.  Picture taken by author.

Old Southern Railway Track part II. Picture taken by author.

I managed to get a shot of the old Right of Way on the bridge looking north towards the silos at Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), I cannot began to describe my excitement as I found out that this actually served the old Charlotte train station:

Old Southern Railway ROW on the 6th Street Bridge.  Picture taken by the author.

Old Southern Railway ROW on the 6th Street Bridge. Picture taken by the author.

I wish I had gone on and find out when this bridge was built, but as I was by myself and the area was deserted I didn’t want to take a chance of running into trouble.  Also, there was ample warning signs that the area was owned by the State of North Carolina:

No Trespassing Sign installed by the NC Department of Transportation.  Picture taken by the author.

No Trespassing Sign installed by the NC Department of Transportation. Picture taken by the author

If you want to learn more about Charlotte’s transportation history and see images from not only the railroad stations, but its early streetcars and other forms of public transportation, please visit http://www.cmstory.org.  This site is run by the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and covers Charlotte and Mecklenburg County History from its beginnings to the present day.

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2015 in Buildings, Business, History, Places

 

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Remember Ice and Coal Dealers?

Westside Ice and Fuel Company ad-1953 Directory

I was looking for another business that I saw on a post on Facebook when I came across this ad in the 1953 Hills Charlotte City Directory for the Westside Ice and Fuel Company.  When I looked up the former address it was located where Johnson C. Smith University has built student housing with ground level retail.

I am not sure when this company went out of business, but when I arrived in Charlotte in 1982, the site was known as Carostate Ice and the parking lot facing Duckworth Avenue held ice machines that the company owned that was either broken or awaiting transportation to area stores to hold bags of ice for sale.

Charlotte before 1960 had several dealers for block ice (this was in the days of iceboxes, which required blocks of ice to help keep foods cold or frozen in the days before substantial freezers on refrigerators)  and coal, which was used to heat homes and sometime business buildings (including schools) in the winter.

I will be exploring these type of businesses in future writings.

I found this ad in the 1953 Hills Charlotte City Directory, courtesy of digitalnc.org

 

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2015 in Business, History, Places

 

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Can anyone explain this?

Last year I was working with the After-School Enrichment Program at Myers Park Traditional (where I work this year as a Teacher Assistant). I had gotten off the bus at Queens University last April and saw this:

Taken in the common area at Queens University near the Student Union April 30, 2014 by the author

 

In the ending days of the Civil War, the Confederate Naval Yard was moved from Norfolk, Virginia to Charlotte.  Now while this may seem strange to have a naval yard so far inland, to the Confederates, it made sense as the Union Navy had effectively blockaded the entire Southern coastline since the beginning of the war.

Now here comes my question – the company that manufactured this manhole cover did not come into exsistance until the 1870’s and after the Naval Yard in Charlotte was dismantled. I hope that someone with knowledge of Charlotte history and the Civil War can answer some questions for me, like how did this end up at Queens University when the area was created in the 20th century?  Was this moved from somewhere in Center City Charlotte?

I hope that someone can help me with these questions.

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2015 in History, Places

 

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