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Industrial South 1879-1913

1903 - North Charlotte

Even with streetcar transportation nearby, mill owners must provide a place to live for families who work at the mills. Near the Highland Park Mill #3, 200 houses become part of the growing North Charlotte community. 

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1880 - Traditions Fade Away

The old ways of the Catawba Indians are dying out. The young people of the tribe have learned English and no longer want to speak their native Catawba language. Missionaries have taught them to practice the white man's religion. Some even marry white settlers. It will be many years before the Catawba Indian culture again flourishes.

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1885 - Buford Hotel

The Buford Hotel opens. At Fourth and Tryon streets, it will host inventor Thomas Edison and his wife when they visit Charlotte. Other prominent Charlotteans will make their homes at the Buford home, including industrialist D.A. Tompkins. The Buford Hotel will operate until 1915, when its lower floors will be converted to storerooms for the Union National Bank.

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1905 - Brevard Street Library

Sometime in the month of June, 1905, the Brevard Street Library opens to serve black residents. In these early days of the 20th century, segregation is the law. Black and white people attend separate schools and churches. They ride in separate sections of buses. When the Civil Rights movement gathers strength later this century, people of different races will work to achieve equality.

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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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