FAQ City: Where are Charlotte’s Revolutionary War era buildings? | DFA 90.7


Editor’s Note: A version of this episode originally aired on May 22, 2018.

Last month Charlotte celebrated what is known as “Meck Dec Day”, the annual holiday in honor of Mecklenburg’s declaration of independence. On May 20, 1775, more than a year before the declaration of independence the United States of Charlotte declared itself “free and independent” from British rule. In honor of Meck’s Day, this week, FAQ City revisits a 2018 episode of Charlotte’s War of Independence story.

Listener Mark Doherty is curious about the history of Charlotte’s War of Independence, in particular, where is it?

“Knowing that Charlotte played a role during the War of Independence, I would expect to see a neighborhood or sites related to that war,” Doherty said. “Like the North End of Boston comes to mind because I’m from New England.”

And maybe you’ve wondered, too, after stumbling across one of the city’s many historic plaques and markers that tell about the historic buildings that used be here but no longer. So, do we have any original sites left? And if so, where?

Nick de la Canal

Do you recognize these Masonic runes? Historians believe that the Alexander House may have been built to represent a Masonic Lodge. Some believe that these symbols were carved by Hezekiah Alexander himself.

Special thanks to historian and local lawyer Scott Syfert for lending his voice and knowledge to this episode. By the way, he wrote two books on the history of Charlotte, the first carrying a microscope on the local legend of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, titled “The First Declaration of Independence?” The second is titled “Eminent Charlotteans: Twelve Historical Profiles From North Carolina’s Queen City”.

If, after listening to this episode, you would like to experience Hezekiah Alexander’s house for yourself, house tours are included with admission to the Charlotte History Museum.

Additionally, if you’re looking for cooler Revolutionary War-era historical places in the region, here are a few honorable mentions, all of which are open to the public:

  • Historic rural hill in Huntersville is a large 265 acre lot that was once a farm during the Revolutionary War. On the property today are an old school, the ruins of the family mansion, an old cemetery and several other historic buildings, including a log cabin dating from around 1760s, as well as a well and an ash house dating from around 1760s. 1788.
  • Historic Latta Plantation in Huntersville is a 52-acre living story more oriented to the early 1800s. It includes an original two-story plantation house and a few other buildings from this period. But it also has an original log cabin that is said to have been built between 1760 and 1790, which would place it at the time of the Revolution.
  • Hugh Torance Home and Store – is yet another site in Huntersville. This site would house the oldest operating store in North Carolina. The log house section of the building was constructed in 1779 and was subsequently extended into a store in 1805.
  • Old colonists’ cemetery is not exactly a building, but it is a site of the Revolutionary War era nonetheless. Located near downtown Charlotte, this cemetery is home to the remains of many of the city’s early settlers. Some graves date from 1776.

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