News RSS



Fact Friday 100 - Charlotte Gold + Innovation

Happy Friday everyone!   From 1804 to 1828, North Carolina was the source of all the gold produced in the United States! It was discovered in Cabarrus County, NC on the Reid family farm, nearly 50 years before the boom in California. Today, this farm is called the Reed Mine and is designated as a North Carolina State Historic Site.   Gold was discovered in the southwest area of Charlotte by Samuel McComb in 1825. McComb discovered on his land a gold bearing lode that was a half mile long and approximately 100 feet wide. The McComb Mine, later renamed the St. Catherine Mine, led to further prospecting and the development of at least one more mine along the vein,...

Continue reading →



Fact Friday 99 – CLT + JFK + GW + FDR + DNC = ?

Happy Friday everyone!   In September 1960, U.S. presidential hopeful Senator John F. Kennedy made a campaign stop in Charlotte. In advance of the November election, he greeted voters with smiles while riding down Tryon Street – one of our city’s most significant and traveled paths. Among others, he was escorted by Mecklenburg County Police Chief George Stephens and North Carolina Governor Luther Hodges.   Kennedy’s visit is part of a long list of notable U.S. presidents who have graced the Queen City with their presence along their respective campaign trails and during their terms in office.   President George Washington visited Charlotte and Mecklenburg County Founder Thomas Polk in the spring of 1791. More than a century later, President...

Continue reading →



Fact Friday 98 – Railroad Ties… to Columbia

Happy Friday everyone!   If you’ve been following the Fact Friday series for a while, you may know I’ve touched on the significance of the railroad construction to Charlotte’s development a few times, and first brushed on Charlotte’s first railroad in Fact Friday 25. Today, we’ll do a deeper dive. Get your swimsuits!   In the late 1840s, the leaders of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County and those of Columbia, South Carolina (just 93 miles, 1.5 hrs south of Charlotte on I-77) agreed to build a railroad that would link the two growing southern cities. The Charlotte and South Carolina Railroad was Charlotte’s first passenger train. It arrived on October 21, 1852. Although Charlotte’s population at the time was only about...

Continue reading →



Fact Friday 97 – The Great Flood

Happy Friday everyone!   When 22 inches of rain hit the North Carolina mountains in mid July (July 16) 1916, something was bound to happen below. A fierce storm with high winds blew in from the Atlantic near Charleston. The tropical hurricane hit Charlotte with 50 mile an hour winds, blowing away roots and snapping off and up turning trees. “The next morning the city look like a cyclone head hit,” wrote W. M. Bell of Charlotte. The Washington weather bureau warned that Charleston was in the storms direct path, but it veered inland, with Piedmont and western North Carolina in its direct path, and then hurtled west without warning toward Asheville. In hours, every stream became a raging river...

Continue reading →



Fact Friday 96 – The Auto Invades Pt. 2

Happy Friday everyone!   Ford Motor Company under estimated the southerner’s yen and for motorcars. When Ford built its Charlotte service branch in 1914, there were only 40 employees to furnish service parts to Carolina dealers; but the enthusiastic market alter the plan. In 1915, workers assembled 6,85 Ford automobiles. In 1916, the plant met a payroll of approximately $60,000, and in 1918, it turned out 85 cars daily. In the mid 1920s, after expansion into a new plant on the large Hutchison farm at Statesville and Derita Roads, 300 cars a day rolled off the assembly line. The plant closed in the early ‘30s.   Frye and Crowell's was the first Ford garage in Charlotte. W.G. Frye Wrecking Service. ...

Continue reading →