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History

  • Pre-1900

    • North Charlotte is mostly farm and swamp land with a sprinkling of residents. The County Poorhouse is on The Plaza.
    • 1870: The first county home for the poor is established on “Poorhouse Road,” now The Plaza. The home was at the current site of Spencer Memorial on 36th Street.
    • 1896: Charlotte’s Smallpox epidemic hits the area. A stone building at the county home is most likely used as a “pest house” to sequester the affected. Some may be buried in mass graves.
  • 1900-1909

    • 1903: Highland Park Mill #3 and surrounding mill village, including Highland Park Inn is established.
    • 1905: Mecklenburg Mill and mill village is established
      The Costner House (now Revolution Ale House) is erected as the largest private residence in North Charlotte.
    • 1907: Spencer United Methodist Church is established on current YMCA site
    • 1908: North Charlotte Baptist Church is established on the 500 block of 36th Street the first service is held Christmas Day. The first baptism is held in the Mecklenburg Mill (Mercury) Pond at 37th and North Caldwell (now North Davidson) streets.

     

  • 1910-1920

    • Trolley service is established connecting Uptown to North Charlotte via current North Davidson and 36th streets.
    • 1912: Hand Pharmacy (now Cabo Fish Taco) is built. The second floor hosts lodge and union meetings.
    • 1916: Johnston Mill opens next to Mecklenburg Mill.
  • 1920-1929

    • Electric Park on current 36th Street near The Plaza is a favorite recreation spot for residents. Amenities include a municipal lake, dance hall, and swimming pool.
    • 1921: North Charlotte Primary School is built behind the parsonage at Spencer Memorial, currently the site of the Johnston YMCA.
    • 1929: North Charlotte is included in the Charlotte city directories. The district includes a barbershop, drug store, dry goods store, doctor’s office, and five small grocery stores.
    • North Charlotte Presbyterian Church is erected on 36th St. at McDowell St.
    • Herrin Brothers Coal opens on Herrin Avenue.
  • 1930-1939

    • Public bathhouses and outhouses make way for indoor plumbing.
    • 1932: The Larkwood Silk Hosiery Mill opens on North Brevard Street and Charles Avenue.
    • 1935: Fire Station #7 opens. The basement includes two jail cells, and prisoners are allegedly delivered by trolley.
    • Herrin Brothers Coal opens a second location on 36th St. The Herrin Avenue site becomes Herrin Brothers Lumber Co.
    • Trolley service ceases during this decade
  • 1940-1949

    • The commercial district of North Charlotte expands further down 36th Street towards The Plaza.
      Highland Park Inn (built 1905) is a thriving boarding house managed by Ceola Shue (we have a photo). Adults would throw coins from upstairs as children shook the “money tree” thinking nickels magically fell from it.
    • 1941: Highland Park #3 Baseball Team finishes second in the 1941 Amateur Baseball World Series.
    • 1946 – Astor Theatre opens as a popular movie theater.
  • 1950-1959

    • 1951: Johnston YMCA is built by the Johnston Foundation
    • 1953: Spencer United Methodist Church moves to Electric Park, the former recreation center on 36th St. and original site of the county home.
    • 1954: A two-year-old boy drowns in Mercury Pond near the water tower at North Davidson and 37th Street. This is the third child drowning at this site, sparking residents to demand that the city drain the pond.
    • 1954: Highland Mill Elementary breaks ground on Clemson Avenue. Construction is stalled after workers uncover unmarked graves. Remains from 28 graves are moved to Pinewood Cemetery under the assumption that the remains belong to Center Grove AME Zion church, which moved from the site to Craighead Street in 1900. Others believe smallpox victims were buried there.
  • 1960-1969

    • 1969: Both Highland Park and Mecklenburg Mill close, drastically affecting the local economy. The baseball stand and field behind Highland Mill, once home to the Twilight League and later to youth programs, closes as well.
  • 1970-1979

    • Astor Theatre (Neighborhood Theatre), after showing B movies in the 1960s, becomes a full-blown XXX movie theater and novelty shop.
    • 1975: Johnston Mill, the last major textile mill in operation in Charlotte, closes.
  • 1980-1999

    • 1986: The Historic North Charlotte Neighborhood Association is established to redevelop the mills and improve the neighborhood.
    • 1989: Ruth Ava Lyons and Paul Sires open Center of the Earth Gallery  – the first gallery in NoDa – giving birth “The Arts District”.
    • In these decades, Pat's Time for One More was a popular hole in the wall bar where artists came to socialize. It was next door to Studio 23, and a hole was cut in the wall so drinkers could appreciate art. Pat Nevin, the owner, was known for her extravagant dress – always complete with an ornate hat.
    • Friends of Van Gogh established Absinthe and Acanthas art galleries on either side of Pat's.
      Fat City Deli opens in 1995 and anchors the punk/alternative scene in NoDa.
    • Gallery Crawls begin on the first Friday of the month. A second monthly crawl is added later.
    • 1997: Lois Moore Yandle publishes The Spirit of a Proud People, a book celebrating North Charlotte mill life.
  • 2000-2009

    • NoDa Neighborhood Association is founded to preserve the historic and artistic character of NoDa during “gentrification.”  The Charlotte Observer story from 1986 says it was established then.  See above.
    • Stuart Sloan opens Salvador Deli, launching free outdoor concerts and making great strides for live music in NoDa.
    • Gallery Crawls embrace capoeira dancers, fire spinners, street artists, etc. even as galleries closed due to the recession
    • 2009: Despite the recession, Crepe Cellar Kitchen & Pub opens up in the abandoned space that was formerly Addie’s Jamaican Cuisine.
  • 2010-

    • The Matheson Bridge mural was created by William Puckett to celebrate Mecklenburg’s independence from Great Britain a.k.a. “Meck Dec Day”.
    • Growlers Pour House – a neighborhood bar serving craft beer and beer food - opens at the corner of N. Davidson and 35th.