- Stand on the intersection of Trade and Tryon in Uptown Charlotte and you’re standing at the birthplace of trade and commerce for this area. But it isn’t what you think. A large group of Loyalists (colonists who were still loyal to King George) decided to colonize the area that would become Charlotte because it was already the intersection of two Native American trading paths. These paths are now, you guessed it, Trade St and Tryon St.
- Did you know the original branch of the United States Mint was actually located in Charlotte? This was back in the gold standard days and in 1837, when The Charlotte Mint opened, it created more than $5 million in gold currency. During the Civil War, it was used as a hospital and military office for the Confederate government. In 1931, when the building was set to be demolished, a group of citizens came together to have it moved to its current location in Eastover and turned the building into the Mint Museum Randolph—the state’s first art museum!
- The Ballantyne neighborhood almost had another name. See if you can guess what it was going to be, based on the story. The development was first reported on in 1991. The area was farmland along the city’s planned outer belt. The plan was to transform 1,756 acres of mostly undeveloped land in south Mecklenburg County into offices, shops and residences in a community of 10,000 to 12,000 people. The second choice, “Ballantyne,” was also of Scot-Irish origin. Figured it out yet? It was almost named “Edinborough.”
- Ever wondered why our downtown is actually called “Uptown”? The Native American trading paths (now Trade St and Tryon St) was the highest elevation point in the city, so everyone had to go up to reach this point. Hence. . . Uptown. This never faded, but it wasn’t until the 70’s that the City Council decided that the shopping and business district in the center city area be officially declared “Uptown Charlotte.”
- The “Queen City” nickname comes from the name of King George III’s wife, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
Would you like to go on a tour of some of the locations mentioned below? Feel free to contact me if you’re interested in checking them out in person!
Photo by Cody Hughes @clhughes21
It’s easy to forget about the library. The library isn’t offended. It knows you buy your physical copies of books at your local indie bookstore. It knows there is nothing easier than the “One Click Buy” button for your Kindle. But it would also like to remind you, maybe with a polite throat clearing, that the library is still here. Waiting. With books and also more than books.
Here are ten ways to use the library you might not have thought of just yet.
- Place a hold on almost any material and have it delivered to a library branch of your choice. The limit is 99 items out at once which is more items than anyone needs at any point in time anyway!
- Access the library of instructional videos—covering business, technical and creative skills, there are more than 3,000 courses with 129,942 video tutorials.
- Learn a new language using Mango Languages, a language-learning software with over 70 world language courses and over 17 ESL/ELL courses.
- View old pictures of Charlotte neighborhoods at The Carolina Room at the Main Library or at The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Story, the library’s local history and genealogy website.
- For those who qualify, you can request Outreach Services which bring the library experience to a person who is home-bound, in senior housing, within correctional facilities, living with disabilities, living in transition, or new to this country.
- Read digital versions of current magazines. There are hundreds of magazines to view on your computer, tablet or smart phone through library services. Just ask your nearest friendly librarian.
- Download five free songs a week!
- Visit the “Idea Box.” Located on the first floor of the Main Library, the Idea Box has 3D printers, sewing machines, laser & vinyl cutters, knitting machines, and more.
- Attend free classes. Charlotte Libraries offer more than 22,000 programs open to the public. Topics include: job skills, how to download items from the library’s collection to an e-reader or smart device, etc.
- Have a quiet moment in any of the reading rooms, surrounded by the smell of old books and magic 😉
Photo by Cody Hughes @clhughes21