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Fact Friday 108 - The Original Four Wards - Second Ward

Happy Friday! Second Ward was historically much more diverse less racially integrated than First. Its land lies lower than that of the other three wards, a health hazard in the years before indoor plumbing and storm sewers. Early maps identify the area as "Logtown," indicating that it was largely made up of rude homes. With emancipation in the 1860s, such an area of inexpensive housing was a logical settlement area for the newly freed slaves that flocked to the city.  Dr. Edward Perzel of the UNCC History Department has noted that the ward regularly elected black city councilmen throughout most of the late nineteenth century.  By 1917, when the first known map of Charlotte's racial patterns was drawn, Second Ward was solidly...

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Fact Friday 107 - The Original Four Wards - First Ward

Happy Friday!   First Ward has historically been the Center City's most racially and economically integrated area. It has been the home of rich and poor, black and white, including some of the city's finest homes and businesses. Though hard hit by urban renewal, a surprising amount still remains of the area's heritage.   In the years after the Civil War, First Ward was known as Mechanicsville because of the large number of workers from the Confederate Naval Yard across Trade Street who settled there. The James B. Galloway house at 702 North Brevard is a reminder of the era, a cottage built in 1870 by a man who had come to the city to work at the Naval Yard....

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Fact Friday 106 - The Business District Transformation Pt. 4

Happy Friday!   The story of the transformation of the Center City begins in the 1940s. Though Charlotte residents began driving automobiles in the early 1900s, it took several decades before this new transportation mode had a noticeable effect on land use patterns in the Center City. The beginning of the changes came in 1946 when the first section of Independence Boulevard opened.  The expressway sliced through the heart of black Second Ward and then eastward through the Elizabeth and Chantilly neighborhoods. The expressway soon began to draw businesses from downtown to the cheap farmland at the edge of the city. The trend accelerated in 1956 when Park Road Shopping Center opened at what was then the southern edge of the...

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Charlotte Area Farmers Markets

Every now and then, we like to spread the word about something going on in our lives that really helps us out. Farmers Markets definitely aren't a secret around Charlotte, however maybe the amount of money you can save by shopping at one of these markets instead of a chain grocery store is. For example, my wife and I save around $100 a week by going to farmers market instead of your typical grocery store.  Pro Tip: Try and get on newsletters for the vendors and pre-order what you want specifically :) Here's the short list of Farmers Markets around town: Josh's Farmers Market (Mooresville) - This is ranked #1 because this is where I personally shop every week. I...

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Fact Friday 105 - The Business District Transformation Pt. 3

Happy Friday!   Beyond the central business district, fine houses were still to be found on Trade Street and Tryon Street, and on College and Church streets, which had become fashionable addresses in the 1890s. The suburbs were the choice location for new mansions after the l910s, but many of the established families continued to live in their downtown residences. The major churches reflected this reality by building new, larger sanctuaries in the Center City. Old First Baptist (now Spirit Square), St. Peter's Episcopal, St. Peters Catholic and the now demolished Second Presbyterian Church were all constructed on Tryon Street between 1893 and 1908. First United Methodist and First A. R. P., both erected on North Tryon in the mid...

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