Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Outlaws Massacre and a Funeral

   'On July 4, 1979, the worst mass killing in Charlotte's history took place at a ramshackle two-room house in north Charlotte. Five members or associates of the Outlaws motorcycle club were slain in a shooting spree that probably lasted fewer than 10 seconds.  Witnesses disappeared, were intimidated by the biker culture or just refused to talk. The killers have not been apprehended.'- Leigh Dyer, staff

   Here's a look at one gang member's funeral - July 7, 1979.
   (Reader says the funeral was at Salisbury National Cemetery.)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Retro Family Dollar

    Today's big news is that Matthews-based Family Dollar is being bought out by rival Dollar Tree. Here's a quick flashback.

Uptown Charlotte, 1970.
(not sure of address)

1963 Christmas ad




Providence Road Sundries and others

   I came across this odd pocket of photos and thought I'd share. The image of the old railroad building is intriguing...

'Providence Road Sundries at 1522 Providence - hamburgers and beer, but no sundries.' 1979 
Elmer Horton/Staff

 Robert Hall clothing store, 1977. Staff
I think this was on Wilkinson Blvd.

'East Boulevard: Filling Stations Can Be Recycled.' 1975. Staff
Berrybrook Farms is there now at intersection with Kenilworth. 
Anyone remember a service station before that?

'Park Manufacturing Co. building on Arlington Avenue.' 1978. Staff
Razed in 1998 to make way for The Arlington condos.

'The sign on this small railroad building in North Carolina announces the city, but hardly in grand style. Weeds surround it, and a passenger might get a pretty glum image of the town from it. Charlotte's main train station several blocks away is somewhat more in keeping with the Queen City's stature.' 1980
Bob Brown/Staff
There is no way this building is still standing. Is it?

 Click here for a popular blog post about old Independence Blvd.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

World War I Begins, 1914

Europe went to war and the Charlotte Daily Observer provided readers with profiles of the major players. It gradually became clear that this was going to be 'the greatest conflagration the world has ever known'.

                                                     July 29 - August 5, 1914

Rulers of Nations in Conflict and Map of War Territory
Lower Picture, King Peter of Servia; above, Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria
'Vienna, July 29 - Although enormous pressue is being brought to bear on Austria and Servia by the powers in an attempt to settle without war the differences that threaten to involve all Europe in the conflict, both countries are going ahead with their military preparations. The best the powers now hope to be able to accomplish is to confine the fighting to the two countries, Austria and Servia, and to prevent general warfare.'

August 2, 1914.

Will He Involve All Europe in War?
Czar Nicholas of Russia
'The giving of a single order by Czar Nicholas of Russia may throw all of Europe into a war that will be the bloodiest in the world's history. By restraining that order the Czar has the power to confine the present conflict to Austria and Servia. The order that would bring about an all-European conflict is the order to send Russian troops across the Austrian or German borders. Russia's position is a peculiar one. Were she to enter the war and win, her borders would be carried to the Carpathians on the Southwest and she would again seize the ancient Polish lands of Posen and East and West Prussia from Germany. Also when Austria is crushed and Germany is defeated nothing could restrain her from her long-dreamed occupation of Constantinople. If defeated Russia has little to lose. For these reasons the indications are that then Czar will not hesitate to plunge all Europe into war.'

August 3, 1914

Cause of the European Conflagration
   'Franz Josef is the oldest of the monarchs and rulers of the six  Powers of Europe. In all humanexpectation he cannot live more than a few years. He is now celebrating the end of a long life by causing the greatest conflagration the world has known. Once Russia is driven to strike to save Servia the European war will be on.
   Germany, bound by the agreement of the Triple Alliance, must go to the aid of the aged Emperor. Italy, another member of the alliance, must follow Germany.
   Thereupon France and England, the parties with Russia to the Triple Entente, must help the Czar.
Unless the peaceful counsels of Sir Edward Grey, foreign minister of Great Britain, prevail, the six Powers of Europe, and several of the smaller Nations, will be drawn into the greatest war history has known.
   King George of Great Britain is comparatively a young man. The Czar is also young as rulers go. The Kaiser is a little past the meridian of life. Victor Emmanuel of Italy has not yet reached his prime, and the President of France has just reached it. The aged ruler of the dual monarchy, who reigned with the fathers of the present monarchs, who saw Queen Victoria and her son Edward VII pass, who has seen three Czars, two Emperors of Germany and many Presidents of France, will have been the cause of the world's greatest war before his reign comes to an end - if Russia strikes the blow the world looks for now.'

England's King and Man who heads British Fleet
King George V and Admiral Callaghan. Photograph taken on flagship's deck on the occasion of the King's recent visit to fleet at Spithead.
   'Admiral Sir George Ashtley Callaghan, K.C.B., an Irishman, is the man who heads the British fleet, the largest in the world, which has started westward through the North Sea under sealed orders. The supposition is that the fleet carries orders to find and engage the German flotilla, second only to the English Navy.'

 August 5, 1914

Europe's Least and Most Experienced War Chiefs Who May Face Each Other
Crown Prince Alexander of Servia (at left) and General Von Moltke.
'Credit for any victories gained by the Servians over Austria's troops must go almost entirely to the young Crown Prince, Alexander, who, when his father King Peter, fled from the Capital, took complete charge of Servia's troops. Although he has had little previous military training his movements thus far have been those of an experienced fighting man. With Germany in the fray, Servia's troops will face those of General Von Moltke.'

Friday, July 25, 2014

Bathing Suit Scandal!

I came across this 1922 story while looking for bathing suit ads. The whole thing is just hysterical to me! I hope you like it, too.


'One-Piece Bathing Suits and Bloomers Demoralize Hines Chapel Community'

Special to the Observer  June 4, 1922

Summer Girls at Camp Hicone Prove Bigger Attraction Than Eloquence of Preacher at Hines Chapel, and Wives in Neighborhood Are Raising a Row Because Friend Husband Is More Attracted by the Scenery Outside Than by the Kitchen Chores

(Check out some ads from the era while you read the rest of the story!)

'Greensboro, June 3 - Girls who go to Camp Hicone this summer will not attend church while dressed in bloomers, and the women in the neighborhood of the camp would prefer that a ban be placed on one-piece bathing suits, or better still, that their husbands be prohibited by law from going off directly after dinner to discuss the crops with the neighbors, this discussion always taking place at the hour the girls have chosen to swim in the lake.'

  'One Sunday last summer a large number of girls went to church at Hines chapel wearing their camping costumes, each costume consisting of a middy blouse and a pair of bloomers. The pastor of the church, Rev. C.E. Gerringer, states that the lack of attention paid to his sermon that morning was appalling. It was so noticeable that but very little than the cause for the distraction of the congregation was discussed for the next few weeks. But things quieted down and nothing was done about it.'

    'A couple of weeks later however an official of the church was on his way home one night about 9 o'clock and as he passed the chapel he heard peculiar noises. Somebody, he thinks it was a crowd of the campers, were in the church, the organ on which nothing except sacred music had ever been played, was doing it's best to substitute for a jazz band and the aisles were being used for dancing.'

    'The good church member, shocked almost beyond speech by the desecration, did not enter but rushed on home. Next day he spread the news. This was also talked about considerably.'

   'During the month of May there has been conduct at the camp which should not be tolerated, conduct which is demoralizing  the community about Camp Hicone.'

  'Girls with one-piece bathing suits are observed pretty nearly every Sunday afternoon about the swimming pool and almost every man in the community has acquired the habit of leaving home pretty soon after dinner to visit a neighbor to discuss the crops, leaving always before his wife has the dishes washed in order to keep her from accompanying him.'

   'And inasmuch as sometimes girls swim Sunday mornings the attendance at the morning service has suffered a serious decrease.'

     'A committee appointed in March will probably be called upon to act.'

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Plaza-Midwood: Then and Now

    One of the earliest 'streetcar suburbs', Plaza-Midwood real estate has gained in value in the last twenty years. Here are 1990 photos, newer pix from Meck Co GIS site, and tax values from 1991 and 2011 (the closest years available).

1424 Hamorton Place

1991 tax value:  $40,130
2011 tax value: $329,200


2100 The Plaza ('Kilgo House?')

1991 tax value: $150,750 
2011 tax value: $978,100


 1324 Thomas Avenue

1991 tax value: $36,040
2011 tax value: $249,600


 1216 Clement Avenue

1991 tax value: $30,140
2011 tax value: $224,900


1801 The Plaza ('Woodside House'?)

1991 tax value: $125,100
2011 tax value: $417,100

Not familiar with the Meck Co GIS? Here's a link .... go see what your neighbor paid for his house, LOL!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Looking back: Ivey's department stores

Remembering Ivey's department stores

Ivey's Ends an Era - Uptown's last department store pulls out 

By Ted Mellnik, Staff 
August 18, 1990

For the first time this century, Charlotte's uptown doesn't have a department store. Ivey's, the last one, closed for good on Friday. 'Good evening. We thank you for your loyal years of patronage, ' dock supervisor Sharon Bryant announced at 5:30 p.m. over the store's public address system. 'Ivey's is now closed. Ivey's is now closed.' Her purchase of a 99-cent orange-and-white striped tank top was the store's last sale. There was little else left.

For Ivey's, it was the end of a 90-year stand. For most of those years, uptown Charlotte, with three large department stores, was the southern Piedmont's premier shopping district. 'Nothing had the uniqueness this Ivey's had, ' said Yates Palmer, 51, who as a 9-year-old regularly came 65 miles from Valdese with his mother to shop. 'It was one of the most prestigious stores in the Southeast.' Palmer, now a Charlotte resident, dropped by the store at 127 N. Tryon St. on Friday afternoon, for the first time in 15 years, just to take a last look.

1920's. Charlotte Observer file photo.
Uptown Ivey's, 1972.

'The first floor was mostly empty, with only a few odds and ends of women's wear hanging near the last open cash register. Years ago, this was the floor where a grand chandelier hung from the two- story ceiling near the entry, where department store magnate J.B. Ivey mounded live tulips each spring. Jewelry, hosiery, handbags and accessories, cosmetics, menswear, lunch counter and candy store.

 Upstairs, on floors two through five: just about everything else. 'It was a real treat, coming down here when I was a little girl, ' said Priscilla Schmidt, a former Ivey's personnel manager who recalled visiting the store as a 7-year-old in the late 1940s. 'It was a big deal to come in Ivey's and go shopping. It was elegant. You walked in the front door and it just smelled elegant.' Then came suburban shopping malls in the 1960s and 1970s and a series of new owners in the 1980s.'

'A peek into Ivey's from the N. Tryon Street walkway reveals new boutiques.'
1978. Don Hunter/Staff

'First, Marshall Field bought Ivey's from the Ivey family. Then Batus bought Marshall Field. In June, the 23-store Ivey's chain was sold to Dillard Department Stores Inc., and the sales staff was given 60 days' notice that the uptown store would close. 'I would have thought they would have waited another year,' said Madge Entrekin, a retiring 29-year veteran in Ivey's children's wear. She wished that Dillard's had hung on to the uptown store until three nearby skyscrapers are completed. Said Elizabeth Hill, who spent 22 years selling lingerie: 'They didn't even give us a chance.'

'Cay Austin dances a scene from Coppelia while Missy (left) and Jane Pattishall watch in fashions they'll be modelling at the children's show at Ivey's downtown tomorrow night.'
1973. Elmer Horton/Staff

Cosmetic counters at Ivey's SouthPark.
1979. Elmer Horton/Staff

'Window display at Ivey's  ... advertising winter coats.'
1976. Staff. Not sure which location.

Kitchenware at Ivey's SouthPark.
1981. Jeep Hunter/Staff

Ivey's SouthPark. Undated.


 Ivey's at Cotswold, 1988. 
Photographer's notes: 'Ivey's is being taken over by a firm called Steinmart, we think, at the Cotswold Mall store. Ivey's won't let us shoot inside the store so we'd like to get a photo of the store from either inside the mall area or from outside in the parking lot.'   Bob Leverone/Staff


'Ivey's Charlottetown Mall store now sells only clearance merchandise.'
1981. Jeep Hunter/Staff

'Entrance to Ivey's Terrace: the amosphere is just a little bit formal.'
1976. Elmer Horton/Staff.
(This uptown restaurant had been serving food to its customers since before World War I and closed in 1989.)