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Industrial South 1879-1913

1897 - Banking Industry Grows

Without money to build and expand their facilities, businesses cannot grow. The Charlotte National Bank opens this year. It will lends funds, called capital, to help businesses become strong and healthy. The Charlotte National Bank will join with Winston-Salem's Wachovia Loan and Trust Company in 1939. It will then be known as Wachovia Bank and Trust.

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1900 Ivey's opens

February 18, 1900 - The Belk family department stores now have a competitor. J.B. Ivey opens a shop in Charlotte at North Tryon near Sixth Street. All retail employees work long hours. Some area stores are open from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. Men earn $12 to $15 per week, women slightly less. Children work, too, earning 25 to 50 cents per day.

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1906 - Mercy Hospital

An order of nuns called the Sisters of Mercy opens a 25-bed hospital. It is Charlotte's first hospital designated for white patients that admits blacks. Begun on First Street, Mercy Hospital will move to Fifth Street. In the 1990s it will become part of the Carolinas Medical System.Mercy Hospital

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1910 - Changing Economy

Industry grows, attracting people away from farms to the cities of the South. Investors come, too, bringing jobs. Charlotte's population finally surpasses that of Raleigh, North Carolina's capital. As the region shifts away from the mostly agricultural economy of tobacco and cotton, it becomes one of textile production and industry. 

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1880 - First Cotton Mill

Until now, cotton grown in Mecklenburg County has traveled north to be made into cloth, or milled. At West Fifth and Graham streets, R.M. and D.W. Oates begin the Charlotte Cotton Mill. They employ 70 people, mostly women, to clean, spin and weave the cotton thread into cloth.

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1911 - Myers Park

On 1220 acres of farmland southeast of downtown Charlotte, landscape architect John Nolen is at work. He designs a neighborhood of winding streets, much different from the downtown grid pattern, for a new area called Myers Park. At the same time, developer E.D. Latta brings the Olmstead Brothers of Boston to Charlotte. Famous for designing the White House grounds, these innovative architects will turn their talents to Dilworth, and create the curved avenues and side streets of Dilworth Roads East and West.Beginning of Myers ParkAerial View of Myers Park 

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1897 - Duke Power

American Tobacco Company executive James B. Duke is buying land along the Catawba River. He believes a type of power, called hydro-electric, can be made here. Until now, most mill machinery has been powered by steam. Duke's enterprise, the Southern Power Company, will attract industry to the area when they offer affordable hydro-electric power.James B. Duke

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1885 - Dr. Annie Alexander

A Charlotte woman died because she was too embarrassed to let a male doctor examine her. Dr. Annie Alexander returns to Charlotte to become the city's first female physician. She has just earned the highest score in her class on Maryland's medical exams. Dr. Alexander will practice medicine for an entire year before she earns $2.00.

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1907 - Selwyn Hotel

No other hotel will enhance the city's image as a modern business center more than the Selwyn, located at the corner of Trade and Church streets. It is named for Lord Selwyn, a British noblemen who once owned the land where Charlotte was settled. The Selwyn will operate for more than 60 years, and boast a reputation as the state's finest hotel. It will be followed in 1923 by the 400-room Hotel Charlotte on West Trade Street.

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1900 - Horseless Carriage

November 30, 1900 - Two automobiles, the first to arrive in the Queen City, are unloaded at Charlotte's rail depot. Businessman Oswald Barringer keeps one and sells the other to Dr. C.G. McManaway. The early autos are called locomobiles.

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