Fact Friday 278 - Shuffletown and it's Famous Dragway

Fact Friday 278 - Shuffletown and it's Famous Dragway

Happy Friday!


Few records exist for this former hamlet as it was rarely more than a group of farmers living next to the Catawba River. The earliest known records of Shuffletown are of a ferry operating on the Catawba river. Since at least 1764, this ferry transported merchants, settlers, and slaves to Charlotte. In the early 1800s, Sam Spurrier, the local blacksmith, built a general store which became town center. 

Following Emancipation, blacks and whites lived peacefully side by side. It is believed that they were all small farmers and thus all lived in similar situations, bringing them closer together than their more urban neighbors. 

Several stories exist about where the name Shuffletown came from:

  • In the Civil War era, a traveling English salesman suggested Sheffield after the British town which was slurred into Shuffletown.
  • The name came from a description of drunk men hobbling home from Spurrier’s General Store and Bar.
  • ​After the Civil War, freed slaves shuffled towards the crossroads.

The Shuffletown Dragway was built in 1958 to make a safer space for drag racing other than the old route of “the service station to the bridge on Rozzelles Ferry Road.” Originally made of dirt, it was finally paved in 1964. Races included roadsters, motorcycles, and “the ever popular Ford vs. Chevrolet race.” It was so popular houses began springing up near the track until 1996 when complaints about the noise shut it down. In 2010, the abandoned track was developed into the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Park.


Some videos of old races can still be found online. The Shuffletown Grill, which was built in 1957, pays tribute to the Dragway with its memorabilia theme. 

To read first-hand accounts of the Dragway from the Charlotte Observer, click here

By 1953, 110 families were spread out over 10 miles, an area that surrounds Bellhaven Road and Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road.

Shuffletown was bulldozed in 2000. The former neighborhood is now mostly gated communities, referred to as Mountain Island Lake by developers.

Until next week!


Email me at chris@704shop.com if you have interesting Charlotte facts you’d like to share or just to provide feedback!

Information taken from: 

UNC Charlotte J. Murray Atkins Library Online - Historic Charlotte Neighborhoods - Shuffletown. 

“We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.” – Frederick Douglass

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