Fun Facts and History of Charlotte, North Carolina

Restaurants in Charlotte - Pike's Old Fashioned Soda Shop

Whenever traveling to new cities or towns I love to dive into the history of the place. Normally my family and I take tours to give us the full info about the place. Since our time was limited this time around for Charlotte, I still indulged myself in learning all the coolest info before our trip.

Charlotte, North Carolina – Fun Facts – Did You Know…

  • Charlotte is the largest city in the state of North Carolina.
  • It is the third fastest growing major city in the United States.
  • Charlotte is home to the corporate headquarters of Bank of America and the east coast operations of Wells Fargo. This makes it the second largest banking center in the United States.
  • Charlotte was named in honor of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who had become the Queen of Great Britain just seven years before the town’s incorporation.
  • Because of the previous fact it was nicknamed the Queen City.
  • May 20, the traditional date of the signing of the declaration, is celebrated annually in Charlotte as “MecDec”. They fire muskets and cannons.
  • North Carolina’s state flag and state seal also bear the date of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Charlotte is traditionally considered home of Southern Presbyterianism.
  • Charlotte mint was not reopened at the war’s end, but the building, albeit in a different location, now houses the Mint Museum of Art.
  • Financier Hugh McColltransformed North Carolina National Bank (NCNB) is a national player that became known as NationsBank, eventually merging with BankAmerica to become Bank of America.

Charlotte, North Carolina History

  • The area that is now Charlotte was settled by people of European descent around 1755.
  • Thomas Spratt and his family were the first to settle here.
  • Thomas Polk (granduncle of U.S. President James K. Polk) married Thomas Spratt’s daughter and built his house in the area.
  • Within decades of Polk’s settling, the area grew to become “Charlotte Town” in 1768.
  • In 1770, surveyors marked the streets in a grid pattern for future development. The east–west trading path became Trade Street, and the Great Wagon Road became Tryon Street (in honor of William Tryon, a governor of colonial North Carolina) The intersection is commonly known as “Trade & Tryon” but is properly called “Independence Square”.
  • In 1775, local leaders signed the Mecklenburg Resolves or the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. It isn’t a true declaration of independence but it is among the first such declarations that eventually led to the American Revolution.
  • In the 19th century, numerous Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic churches formed in the city giving it the nickname, “The City of Churches”.
  • In 1799, in nearby Cabarrus County, 12-year-old Conrad Reed found a 17-pound rock, which his family used as a doorstop. Three years later, a jeweler determined it was nearly solid gold. This set off the nation’s first gold rush.
  • 1835 – Charlotte Mint opened (branch of the United States Mint specializing in gold coinage).
  • North Carolina was the chief producer of gold in the United States until the Sierra Nevada find in 1848.
  • The Reed Gold Mine operated until 1912.
  • The Charlotte Mint stopped existing in 1861 when Confederate forces seized it at the outbreak of the Civil War.
  • The city’s first boom came after the Civil War, as a cotton processing center and a railroad hub.
  • Population grew during World War I, when the U.S. government established Camp Greene north of present-day Wilkinson Boulevard. Many soldiers and suppliers stayed after the war.
  • The city’s modern-day banking industry achieved prominence in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
  • On September 22, 1989, the city took a direct hit from Hurricane Hugo. It caused massive property damage, destroyed 80,000 trees, and knocked out electrical power to most of the population.
  • In December 2002, Charlotte, and much of central North Carolina, were hit by an ice storm that resulted in more than 1.3 million people losing power.
  • Today the city is restored and booming with great restaurants, tons to do with the family and a lovely city for walking around.
Be Sociable, Share!
Be Sociable, Share!

About Marina Kuperman Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 10+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

One Response to Fun Facts and History of Charlotte, North Carolina

  1. Pingback: Charlotte NC Food | Charlotte North Carolina Restaurants | TravelingMom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *