Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Brief History of Charlotte, NC

Charlotte became the largest city in the two Carolinas' in the 1930’s when it overtook Charleston, South Carolina as a major distribution, textile, and banking center. Today distribution – In terms of trucking and the railroad – is a stable industry here, textile is just about all gone – Either gone out of business or gone over seas – and banking is still somewhat of a major industry in Charlotte, however, its future is in limbo. As far as I know, Charlotte is still number two behind Wall Street in New York in terms of banking and financing.

Charlotte was incorporated in 1768 after the General Assembly of North Carolina along with Royal Governor William Tryon decided to name this new city in honor of the young wife of King George III of England; Charlotte of Mecklenburg, Germany. This was an attempt to get on or stay on the good side of the king. As a tribute to the governor, the General Assembly renamed Charlotte's major street in his honor; Tryon Street.

The city portion of Charlotte began in Uptown which was divided into four wards in 1869 that served as voting and political districts. Dividing the wards in Uptown Charlotte are the two oldest streets in the city; Trade Street from the East to West, and Tryon Street from the South to the North. Trade and Tryon Streets were Native American trade routes from the South to the North and from the East/Coastal Plains to the West/Mountains of North Carolina.

The two major Native American tribes that were already here in the 1750’s -- When the first settler’s arrive from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -- were Catawba and Cherokee Indians. Today, the Catawba Indians are located just south of Charlotte in York County, South Carolina and the Catawba River – Just ten miles West of Uptown Charlotte – is named in their honor. The Cherokee Indians are located in the mountains just Southwest of Asheville, North Carolina and operate a gaming facility called Harrah’s Cherokee Pavilion.

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