- Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, undated
Latta Park opened in 1891 and quickly became a popular recreation spot with its lake, pavilion, greenhouse and picnic areas. Here's a story from 1892.
From the Charlotte Observer, published as Daily Charlotte Observer; Date: 05-20-1892 (excerpt)
The Fireworks at Latta
The Grand Stand Well Filled - A Great Crowd on the Grounds - The Exhibition Fine.
The exhibition of fireworks was faithful to the programme in the excellence, variety and number of the prominent pieces, together with rockets, candles, etc. Part first of the gorgeous spectacle was ushered in by the explosion of a bomb, and immediately with marvelous celerity a skirmish line of soft and variegated lights flashed across the grounds from side to side - in front of which "Jumbo," the elephant, waving his giant orange-colored trunk, and flashing his carmine eye at the grand stand, while his starry tail wagged sympathetically, moved in astronomical majesty and twinkling feet across the campus.
Every moment or two the grounds and stand were irradiated by the ignition of inflammable matter arranged at different points, which poured forth waves of light which one can best term as of velvety softness and and exquisite color.
An agile trapezist, who turned over the bar, swung himself back and forth, and finally prematurely lost his hold and fell to the ground, greatly delighting the spectators.
The crowd was notably decorous - merry, good-humored and very orderly.
Edward Dilworth Latta, who spearheaded the creation of the park. Undated photo.