Charlotte Regional History Consortium


The Southern Piedmont Region

Beginning in the late 1750's, folks started settling in the Carolina's "backcountry".  Some came down the "Great Wagon Road" from Pennsylvania, some came up the rivers from Charlestown, and others made their way along Indian trails - "trading paths" - from Wilmington and other points east. Many, if not most of these early settlers were Scots-Irish Presbyterians and German Lutherans.  A small community named Charlottetown was established at the convergence of the Trading Path and the Great Wagon Road and today is the commercial hub of a thirteen county region as well as the Mecklenburg County Seat.  Most of the counties in the region were formed from Mecklenburg County prior to 1800.

In the 19th century, Mecklenburg and surrounding counties became the gold mining capital of the United States resulting in Charlotte acquiring the first branch of the US Mint.  With the strength of the railways in the 1850s, there emerged a transportation and business hub that gradually led Charlotte to its preeminence as the nation's second largest banking center.

Information about these topics and much more is available to families, school groups, businesses, and community organizations by visiting our area's historic sites, cultural attractions, and research resources.

Charlotte Regional History Consortium

The Charlotte Regional History Consortium promotes cooperation among and interest in the region's history organizations and resources.  Founded in 1994, the Consortium holds quarterly meetings which allow the member organizations an opportunity to exchange ideas, arrange cooperative events, and coordinate program scheduling.  A quarterly newsletter is produced and sent to all members which includes meeting minutes, a schedule of upcoming events, and special program announcements.

Announcements

Participating Organizations

Andrew Jackson State Park
This 360-acre park was established to honor the seventh President of the United States, Andrew Jackson. The museum tells the story of Jackson's boyhood experiences during the Revolutionary War in the Carolina Back Country. The focal point of the grounds is an equestrian statue of young Jackson by famed sculptress Anna Hyatt Huntington. A replica of a late 18th-century schoolhouse also is on the grounds.

196 Andrew Jackson Park Road
Lancaster SC 29720
Phone: 803-285-3344
Hours: Open daily 9:00 am - 9:00 pm Daylight Savings Time; 8:00 am - 6:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.
Fees: Park and museum entrance are free. Recreational opportunities include a campground, fishing lake, picnic shelters and nature trails.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Carolinas Historic Aviation Commission & Museum
The aviation history of the Carolinas comes alive at the Aviation Museum, housed in the original hangar built for Charlotte's first municipal airport. Numerous aircraft are on exhibit. There are also rotating exhibits of aviation memorabilia and artifacts.

4108 Airport Drive
Charlotte NC 28208
Phone: 704-359-8442
Hours: Tuesday 10-8, Monday - Saturday 10-5, Sunday 1-5.
Fees: Admission charged.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Catawba Valley Scottish Society at Rural Hill Farm
The Catawba Valley Scottish Society seeks to introduce the people of the Carolinas to the rich pageantry of their Scottish heritage. The historic Rural Hill homesite hosts many special events. The Society has plans to build a Scottish Living History and Genealogical Research Center there.

4431 Neck Road
Huntersville NC 28070
Phone: 704-875-3113
Hours: Open third weekend in April for Loch Norman highland Games, first weekend in November for Rural Hill Sheep Dog Trials, and August and September for the Amazing Maize Maze.
Fees: Admission charged.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Charlotte Folk Society
The Charlotte Folk Society is dedicated to promoting the enjoyment, preservation and continuance of traditional folk music, dance, crafts, and lore through classes on acoustic instruments, concerts, programs, an instrument lending library and archives of traditional music. Monthly programs held at CPCC in Uptown Charlotte and Myers Park Baptist Church. Concert locations vary.

PO Box 36864
Charlotte NC 28226
Phone: 704-372-FOLK
Visit Their Website


Charlotte Jewish Historical Society
The Society collects, records, documents and preserves the history of the Charlotte Jewish community. "By Street & Number -- Two Centuries of Charlotte Jewish Life," a driving tour map of historic Jewish Charlotte, is available at no charge. The collection includes a photo archive and an extensive video oral history collection. Located adjacent to the Jewish Community Center at Shalom Park on Providence Road.

5007 Providence Road
Charlotte NC 28226
Phone: 704-366-507
Hours: Open by appointment.
Fees: Free admission.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Charlotte Museum of History Hezekiah Alexander Homesite & American Freedom Bell
Explore three centuries of regional heritage at the Charlotte Museum of History. Visit the Revolutionary War era home of Hezekiah Alexander (circa 1774). Tour the restored and refurnished landmark home with a costumed docent as your guide. Hear the sound of the American Freedom Bell, which is also located on the museum grounds.

3500 Shamrock Drive
Charlotte NC 28215
Phone: 704-568-1774
Hours: Tuesday 10-9, Wednesday - Saturday 10-5, Sunday 1-5. Public tours for the house 1:15 & 3:15 Tuesday - Sunday.
Fees: Admission charged.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Charlotte Trolley and Museum
Take a ride on Number 85 as the last trolley to operate in Charlotte rolls again! Also visit the Charlotte Trolley Museum which explains the role of the electric streetcars in the development of Charlotte beyond the inner city at the turn of the 20th century.

2104 South Boulevard
Charlotte NC 28203
Phone: 704-375-0850
Hours: Friday - Sunday 10-6. Trolley operates Friday - Saturday 10-9, Sunday 10-6.
Fees: Museum admission free. Trolley fare charged (children under 12 free with adult).
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission
The Historic Landmarks Commission (est. 1973) identifies and designates historic landmarks, reviews proposed alterations to existing landmarks, and acquires renovates and resells endangered historic properties.

2100 Randolph Road
Charlotte NC 28207
Phone: 704-376-9115
Hours: Monday - Friday 10-5 by appointment.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Davidson Historical Society
The Davidson historical Society was formed to promote an understanding and appreciate of the history of Davidson, NC and the surrounding area. Walking tours of the town and Davidson College are available upon request.

PO Box 144
Davidson NC 28036
Phone: 704-892-8528


Gaston County Museum of Art & History
The main building of the Museum -- the historic Hoffman Hotel (1852) -- houses permanent galleries and temporary exhibits featuring regional history and local and national art. A modern Carriage house contains North Carolina's largest public collection of horse drawn vehicles.

131 West Main Street
Dallas NC 28034
Phone: 704-922-7681 24-Hour INFO-LINE 704-852-6025
Hours: Tuesday - Friday 10-5, Saturday 1-5 and 4th Sunday 2-5, closed Monday.
Fees: Free admission.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Heritage Room of Union County
Staffed by historians, the Heritage Room houses reference materials for use on site. Holdings include books, census records, birth and marriage indexes, maps, scrapbooks, surname files, old newspapers, church and school files, cemetery indexes, exchange bulletins and old photographs. Located on the first floor of the Old Union County Courthouse in downtown Monroe on the square.

300 North Main Street
Monroe NC 28111
Phone: 704-289-6737
Hours: Monday - Wednesday 10-3, Thursday 1-4.
Fees: Free admission
Map/Directions


Historic Brattonsville
Historic Brattonsville is a 775-acre living history village and Revolutionary War battlefield site. Features 29 18th and 19th century historic structures and programs chronicling Carolina Piedmont development from the 1750s through the 1840s. Includes the Walt Schrader Trails, eight miles of natural paths, and an award winning heritage farm program, which includes preservation of rare breeds of farm animals.

1444 Brattonsville Road
McConnells SC 29726
Phone: 803-684-2327
Hours: Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday 1p.m. to 5 p.m. Closed New Years Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Fees: Admission charged.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Historic Latta Plantation
Latta Plantation (c. 1800), a living history farm and museum, portrays early 19th century plantation life. The site was home to James Latta, a Scots-Irish merchant and planter. Situated n 53 acres of the original plantation, the site includes the original dwelling house and smokehouse, 11 outbuildings as well as historic livestock breeds, gardens and costumed interpreters.

5225 Sample Road
Huntersville NC 28078
Phone: 704-875-2312
Hours: September - May: Closed Mondays, Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday 12 - 5 p.m. June - August: Closed Mondays, Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Different hours may apply for special events. All tours on regular days are self-guided.
Fees: Admission charged.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Historic Rosedale Plantation
Rosedale, built in 1815, is one of the finest examples of Federal period architecture in North Carolina. Visitors will learn about the 19th century lifestyles of Piedmont area residents as well as view three rooms of original French wallpaper. The eight acres include restored formal gardens and numerous treasure trees.

3427 North Tryon Street
Charlotte NC 28206
Phone: 704-335-0325
Hours: Tours Thursday and Sunday 1-4, group tours weekdays by appointment. Grounds are open weekdays 9-4. Closed January.
Fees: Admission charged.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Hugh Torance House and Store
The oldest standing store building in North Carolina, the Hugh Torance House and Store is one of Mecklenburg's few remaining 18th century structures. The log portion of the house was build c. 1779 with a storehouse addition c. 1787 and a Federal addition c. 1805. Hugh Torance house and Sore, Inc. is a non-profit organization responsible for restoring and preserving this historical site. Tour of the site focuses on the life of Hugh Torance and his son James. Hugh was a merchant and planter and James operate a store from this site 1805-1825. His store records survive. Interior woodwork is similar to that found in Latta Plantation.

Gilead Road
Huntersville NC 28070
Phone: 704-875-3271
Hours: Open for tours the second Sunday of every month from June 8th to September 14th. Hours are 2 PM until 5 PM. Our first person reinactors will be there to portray Hugh and Isabella Torance with their son, James, and one of Isabella's daughters.
Fees: Admission charged.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Iredell Museum of Arts & Heritage
Located in an 1899 water pump station, the Museum offers a varied permanent collection of fine art an artifacts, including an Egyptian mummy. Walking trails meander through 30 wooded acres with one leading to a pioneer settlement where programs are offered by costumed interpreters.

1335 Museum Road
Statesville NC 28677
Phone: 704-873-4734
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 10-5, Sunday 2-5
Fees: Admission charged.
Map/Directions


James C. Dowd House
Built in 1879 by Confederate Captain James C. Dowd, this two-story Victorian house is best known locally for its role during World War I as headquarters for the US Army at Camp Greene, a military training base. Today the house is furnished and has exhibits documenting its role during World War I.

2216 Monument Street
Charlotte NC 28208
Phone: 704-398-2260
Hours: Open by appointment.
Fees: Free admission.
Map/Directions


James K. Polk Memorial
James K. Polk Memorial is located on the site of the birthplace of the 11th US President. The Memorial's exhibitions commemorate significant events in the Polk administration. Reconstructions of typical homestead buildings -- a log house, separate kitchen and pack house -- are authentically furnished.

308 South Polk Street
Pineville NC 28134
Phone: 704-889-7145
Hours: April - October: Monday - Saturday 9-5, Sunday 1-5. November - March: Tuesday - Saturday 10-4, Sunday 1-4.
Fees: Free admission.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Levine Museum of the New South
The museum explores the diverse history of the South since the Civil War with a focus on Charlotte and the surrounding Carolina Piedmont region. It has permanent and changing exhibitions, educational programs and activities for all ages and interests. Large groups can be accommodated by reservation.

324 North College Street
Charlotte NC 28202
Phone: 704-333-1887
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11-5.
Fees: Admission charged.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Mecklenburg Historical Association
Mecklenburg Historical Association (founded 1954) promotes interest and pride in the county's history. MHA has program meetings quarterly, publishes books, assists with historic site preservation and sponsors the MHA Docents. The Docents conduct ongoing research, serve several area sites as tour guides and present programs on local history in the public schools.

PO Box 35032
Charlotte NC 28235
Phone: 704-333-6422
Visit Their Website


Mint Hill Country Doctors Museum
Housed in a restored turn-of-the-century country doctor's office, this special museum focuses on the practice of medicine in rural Mecklenburg County from 1880 to 1930. Exhibits include hand-blown medicine bottles, instruments, and medical equipment and furnishings, plus an herb garden.

4311 Hillside Drive
Mint Hill NC 28227
Phone: 704-573-0726
Hours: Open second Sunday of month 2-5. Groups by appointment.
Fees: Free admission.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Museum of the Waxhaws (Andrew Jackson Memorial)
As a regional history museum, the Museum covers the area named after the Waxhaw Indians who once populated the region. It serves also as a memorial to the 7th US President, Andrew Jackson, who was born nearby, and highlights the region's Scots-Irish settlers.

8215 Waxhaw Highway
Waxhaw NC 28173
Phone: 704-843-1832
Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10-5, Sunday 1-5.
Fees: Admission charged.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


North Carolina Transportation Museum
Located on the site of what was once Southern Railway's largest steam locomotive servicing facility, the Museum features antique automobiles, an airplane, and railroad rolling stock. Exhibits trace the development of transportation in NC. There is a season train ride and audiovisual program.

411 South Salisbury Avenue
Spencer NC 28159
Phone: 704-636-2889
Hours: April 1 - October 31, Monday - Saturday 9-5, Sunday 1-5; November 1 - March 31: Tuesday - Saturday 10-4, Sunday 1-4.
Fees: Museum free, small admission for train ride. Call ahead for cost and times.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Preserve Elmwood Pinewood Cemetary
The Joint Committee to Preserve Elmwood/Pinewood Cemetery (PEP) is committed to ensuring that Elmwood/Pinewood remains a serene, beautiful memorial and an urban oasis for all Charlotteans to enjoy. We welcome the participation of other groups or individuals in this effort. Respect for the wishes of relatives of those buried must be paramount. We must be ever mindful of the concerns regarding the veneration of Confederate soldiers and the recognition of those who suffered under slavery and segregation. Our purpose is to preserve this architectural treasure, to return it to its original park-like atmosphere and, to use it as an opportunity to teach future generations about our past.

2100 Randolph Road
Charlotte NC 28207
Phone: 704-386-7286
Hours: Guided tours are given on the third Saturday of each month.
Visit Their Website


Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site
In 1799 on the farm of German immigrant John Reed, a 17-pound gold nugget was discovered. Reed Gold Mine was noted for its large, pure nuggets, the most substantial of which weighed 28 pounds. Today, visitors can tour a portion of the underground mine, an ore crushing mill, the Talking Rocks Trail, pan for gold and view museum exhibits.

9621 Reed Mine Road
Stanfield NC 28163
Phone: 704-721-4653
Hours: April - October: Monday - Saturday 9-5, Sunday 1-5. November - March: Tuesday - Saturday, 10-4, Sunday 1-4.
Fees: Free admission. Small fee for panning for gold (available April - October).
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County
This reference collection focuses on the Carolinas and the Southeast United States, past and present. Formats include books, periodicals, newspapers, microfilm, microfiche and computers. Visitors can research local history, genealogy, demographics, etc. Photocopy machines are available. Located in the heart of uptown Charlotte, the library runs the length of 6th Street from College to Tryon with the front entrance on 6th Street.

301 North Tryon Street
Charlotte NC 28202
Phone: 704-336-5153
Hours: Monday - Thursday 9-9, Saturday 9-6, Sunday 1-6.
Fees: Free admission. Parking is a available for a fee in area parking lots.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Rowan Museum
The 1854 Courthouse which survived Stoneman's Raid in 1865, is one of the finest examples of pre-Civil War architecture in the state. Throughout its grand old rooms, including the beautiful second floor courtroom and public gathering place, the life and history of Rowan County is presented through displays and interpretive exhibits. The Museum also operates two historic house museums: The Utzman-Chambers House, 1815 and Old Stone House, 1766.

202 North Main Street
Salisbury NC 28144
Phone: 704-633-5946
Hours: Thursday - Sunday, 1-4
Fees: Admission charged.
Map/Directions


Schiele Museum of Natural History and Planetarium
See the brilliant new Henry Hall of the American Indian. Measure-up to a skeleton of Tyrannosaurus Rex. Enjoy Planetarium programs and changing exhibits which explore the region from prehistoric times through the Colonial period. Visit the museum's Backcountry Farm, Gristmill and reconstructed Southeastern American Indian Village on the 3/4-mile long Nature Trail that winds along Slick Run Creek.

1500 East Garrison Boulevard
Gastonia NC 28054
Phone: 704-866-6900
Hours: Monday - Saturday, 9-5, Sunday 1-5. Outdoor exhibit hours vary seasonally.
Fees: Admission charged except for second Tuesday each month, 4-8 pm.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Second Ward High School National Alumni Foundation, Inc. Alumni House/Museum
Second Ward High School (1923-1969) was the first public high school for Blacks in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. While the original building does not survive, alumni -- through the Foundation -- purchased a house and designated it "The Alumni House/Museum" to store and display artifacts and memorabilia.

1905 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte NC 28216
Phone: 704-398-8333
Hours: Open by appointment only to groups or individuals.
Map/Directions


Special Collections at UNC Charlotte
This research collection contains approximately 1 million manuscripts, 50,000 photographs and 7,000 architectural drawings that document the social, political and architectural history of Mecklenburg and surrounding counties from the 18th century to the present. Located on the 10th floor, Dalton Library Tower on UNC Charlotte campus.

Special Collections, Atkins Library, UNCC, 9201 University City Boulevard
Charlotte NC 28223
Phone: 704-547-2449
Hours: Monday - Friday 9-5. Appointment suggested.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Stanly County Museum
Discover the Piedmont's rural heritage in Albemarle, gate to Morrow Mountain State Park. Museum features historical exhibits plus tours of two antebellum homes. Gift shop and research room.

245 East Main Street
Albemarle NC 28001
Phone: 704-986-3777
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 - 5:30. First Saturday 10-2.
Fees: Free admission.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Wadsworth House
Wadsworth House is a conference and special events facility that provides meeting space as well as plan and coordinate other events. The house was designed by prominent North Carolina architect, Louis H. Asbury, in 1910 and built in 19ll by developer, E.C. Griffith. The Wadsworth House is a two and one-half story frame house sheathed in wood shingles with architectural features of the Arts and Craft Era. It was originally built for George Pierce Wadsworth, a local businessman who served as president of Wadsworth Sons Company, a family business that operated a diverse group of businesses including a hardware store and a baking company.

400 South Summit Avenue
Charlotte NC 28208
Phone: 704-332-3050
Hours: Monday - Friday 9 am - 5 pm. Other hours available by appointment.
Fees: Rental fee plus fees for additional services. Contact facility for specifics.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


Woodlawn School
Woodlawn House was built in 1836 by George W. Stinson, the first trustee of Davidson College. It was used as a residence until 2002, when it was renovated for use as an administration building for a private school. It is a fine example of a Greek Revival/Federal style home, with a fireplace in each of its eight rooms, large entry hall, columns on the front porch, and spiraling staircase. Woodlawn was a popular destination for many early Davidson College students, since Mr. Stinson had 4 daughters and allowed square dancing (which was frowned on by the college's Presbyterian founders).

131 Woodlawn School Loop
Mooresville NC 28115
Phone: 704-895-8653
Hours: Tours by appointment only Monday through Thursday, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
Fees: No admission charged. Donations accepted.
Visit Their Website

Map/Directions


 


Thanks to our host:

Special thanks to Charlotte Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Mecklenburg Historical Association and Sarah Belk Gambrell for financial assistance.

Copyright 2003  by Charlotte Regional History Consortium, Jeannie Marion, President,  all rights reserved.