Along The Great Wagon Road

Arts & Life
5:48 am
Mon January 26, 2015

When Cars Ran On Rails; Charlotte's Streetcar Past

An undated photograph of a streetcar in Dilworth, Charlotte's original streetcar neighborhood
Credit Courtesy of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission

It's time for another radio road trip Along the Great Wagon Road - our series exploring the history of the Charlotte region with Tom Hanchett of the Levine Museum of the New South.

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Local News
6:28 am
Thu November 27, 2014

'Fared Sumptuously On The Way' - A Thanksgiving Meal That Made News

Is your Thanksgiving dinner worth a story in the newspaper?
Credit WFAE archieves

Today, as you roast your turkey, grill your vegetables or consider where you’ll order takeout consider this: way back in the day a great Thanksgiving meal could make the newspaper. And we’re not talking about reviews. Here's the story of just such a feast.

This particular Thanksgiving meal was spotted by Nicholas Graham, a librarian at UNC Chapel Hill. "Well, we do a lot of work digitizing old newspapers," Graham explains. 

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Local News
5:30 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Along The Great Wagon Road: The Rosenwald Schools

Undated photo of students at a Rosenwald School
Courtesy of the Virgina Department of Historical Resources

It's time for another radio road trip Along The Great Wagon Road - our series exploring the history of the Charlotte region with Tom Hanchett of the Levine Museum of the New South.

Today, our road trip takes us north on I-77  a bit to Huntersville, where an extraordinary piece of American history is hidden in plain sight. It’s a monument to one of America’s great forgotten philanthropists and of white-black partnership in the Jim Crow South.

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Local News
5:00 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Rock Hill's Short-Lived Auto Manufacturer: The Anderson Motor Company

The 1921 Anderson on display at the Old Cotton Mill in downtown Rock Hill, S.C.
Credit Jim Stratakos / The Rock Hill Herald

It’s time for another stop Along the Great Wagon Road, WFAE’s series exploring the history of the Charlotte region with Tom Hanchett of the Levine Museum of the New South. In this installment, the story of a car company in an unexpected place.

In 1881, the first cotton mill opened in Rock Hill, South Carolina—the first in the state to be powered by steam. Over the next 15 years, the town’s population would grow more than seven times over. By the early 20th Century, that mill would have an unusual neighbor: the Anderson Motor Company.

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Local News
12:00 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Harry Golden Takes On The Seersuckered South

Harry Golden, journalist and civil rights activist in Charlotte c.1970's.
Courtesy of J Murrey Atkins Library / UNC Charlotte

Long before Charlotte had its crown of skyscrapers, rings of highways and cape of sprawling suburbs, there were two trails that crossed each other in a relatively flat section of piedmont.

The path that went east-to-west would eventually be called Trade Street – fitting since it originally connected two rivers.

The North-South trail would turn into what we now know as Tryon Street. And that trail was part of the key path for settlers, a path then known as The Great Wagon Road. 

Today, we begin a new series, Along The Great Wagon Road: Occasional Detours Through History.

Our first detour takes us to the corner of 7th and Hawthorne in Charlotte’s Elizabeth neighborhood. And the life of a man who fought bigotry with a biting sense of humor.

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Local News
9:44 am
Mon March 24, 2014

The Once And (Potential) Future Brooklyn, Charlotte

Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

For much of the 20th century, the southeastern quadrant of Uptown Charlotte contained a bustling neighborhood known as Brooklyn. It formed because of segregation, but grew into the center of Charlotte’s black community.  Torn down and paved over, a vibrant Second Ward became a sleepy government district. But city leaders plan to revive the area through a new development that bears a familiar name, if they can get it off the ground.

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Charlotte Music
10:36 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Before Nashville, There Was Charlotte

Old 78 records.

Before Nashville became the country music capital of the country, Charlotte was a major center for early country and blues artists to record. Record companies looking for new sounds outside the big cities of the north came to Charlotte several times between the late '20s and '40s in search of “hillbilly” and “race” music as it was called back then.

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