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The following articles detail various events from the 1891 Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence celebration in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Charlotte News: 5/14/1891 p.1; 5/20/1891 p.1; 5/21/1891 p.1
Bring In the Hornet’s Nests 5/14/1891 p.1 The coat of arms of Charlotte’s 20th May is a hornet nest, to immortalize the name given the people of Charlotte by Lord Cornwallis, during his brief stay among them. In all 20th May celebrations, the hornet nest has been a conspicuous figure, but the climax was reached last 20th, when THE NEWS came forth with a nest, the dimensions of which struck the people with amazement. Eighty feet of wire were consumed in constructing the framework, and thirty ordinary hornet nests were torn up for material with which to cover the whole. The work was so well done that it would have fooled a genuine hornet. THE NEWS presented the nest to the Hornets Nest Riflemen. Esquire D. G. Maxwell is in charge of the hornet nest bureau, and he wants to buy 100 nests. The price varies according to the size of the nest. Small nests bring 5 cents and from that the price goes up to 50 cents. There is only a limited supply of nests on hand, and those who bring them in this week will find a ready sale for them.
The Fireworks Tonight 5/20/1891 p.1 The expert sent here to superintend the fireworks display tonight has been hard at work all day, and has everything arranged for a great display. The display will be given at the graded school grounds, at 8 o’clock, and will be the most elaborate ever given in the State. Some of the bombs will go half a mile high, and that part of the show can be enjoyed by our neighbors for 20 miles around. The display last year was a magnificent one, but the display to be made tonight will be a still better one. The set pieces and the figures in the air will be worth seeing. Every visitor who sees the fireworks display will feel repaid by that show alone for the trip to Charlotte. Take THE NEWS’ word for that. Lookout for the Balloon-It May Go 25 Miles. The balloons to be sent up tonight are of the kind that has made a reputation for travelling. The expert in charge of fireworks says that these balloons frequently go 25 miles. There will be a great race after the one that sails off with the deed to a lot in Dilworth, and there promises to be some rides that will lay Jack Gilpin in the shade. People to the windward of Charlotte are requested to let down the bars and keep the roads clear, for there will be a terrific clattering of hoofs in the wake of that balloon.
BROWN GETS THE DEED. 5/21/1891 p.1 The Balloon is Found by the Side of the Beattie’s Ford Road Six Miles From Town, by J. E. Brown, Who Gets a Lot in Dilworth. One of the original features of the fireworks display last night, was the sending up of a balloon, to which was attached a tin box, bearing a certificate that the finder would be entitled to a deed for a lot in Dilworth. Three balloons were sent up. The certificate was carried by the second balloon. All three balloons sailed high over the city in a northwesterly direction. The first balloon landed at Biddleville. The second sailed out of sight; the third was burned by fireworks at a great height. This morning, as Mr. J. E. Brown, who lives near the Capp’s Hill Mine, was coming to town, his attention was attracted by a balloon lying in a field by the Beattie’s Ford Road six miles from town. He picked up the balloon and saw the tin box attached. He broke open the box and found the certificate entitling him to a lot in Dilworth. The certificate was signed by E. D. Latta, president and J. L. Chambers, secretary, and called for a deed to lot No. 2, in block 69. That block is located in the southern portion of Dilworth, and the lot fronts on Springville Avenue. It is one of the prettiest lots in Dilworth.