The Mecklenburg Historical Association, Charlotte, NC

Dear Friends of History,

The death of our friend Jim Williams is stilll being felt.  After his death we realized how much he did for the MHA and how his passing created a large void.  Beyond dealing with our grief, we had to learn all he knew and did for the organization.  With wonderful assistance from Jim’s children we were able to transfer not only the things he was storing for the MHA, but obtain his many MHA membership lists, mailing lists, etc., and access to the MHA website.  We have made some changes in leadership, and several folks have begun to volunteer for various jobs.

The Board now has President Linda Dalton, Secretary Barbara Taylor, Treasurer Tom Cottingham and Legal Counsel Luther Moore.  Additionally board member Sarah Sue Hardinger has taken on the job of Editor of the MHA Dandelion as well as the weekly/biweekly History Calendar.  A decision was made to produce one newsletter, rather than the separate Dandelion for the docents and the MHA newsletter.  She also has offered to fulfill any book orders, mailing them to folks who request them.

Jane Johnson has offered to Chair the set up and clean up for the dinner meetings.  If you would like to assist her please volunteer.

Barbara Taylor has volunteered to be webmaster for MHA.  As she is new to WordPress she would welcome the assistance of anyone who has expertise in it.  In taking on this position she has resigned as program chair.  Delores Weems has resigned as Dinner Reservation Chair.  We also need someone with talents to set up any A/V equipment needed for Dinner Programs.

We have written up job descriptions for the positions we need filled.  If you would like to serve the MHA in any of the following ways, please contact Linda Dalton at

Thanks for your willingness to help.

Program Chair — Vacant

Approximately 4 months ahead, suggest and get approved speakers for the upcoming meetings.

Contact speakers to see what dates are conducive.  Ask for bio, head shot, short description of program.

Confirm dates with caterer and with church.

Six to 8 weeks before, in time for the Dandelion and MHA newsletter to be published, submit write up of program and bio of speaker, with pictures to editors of the Dandelion and MHA newsletter.

Mail information regarding time and directions to speaker.  Make any additional reservations if necessary.

At church, introduce speakers to president and others.  Prepare introduction or have someone else make introductions of speaker.

Dinner Reservation Chair – Vacant

Program will be listed in the Dandelion and MHA newsletters with your contact information.  Create list of attendees, those who have paid and those needing to pay at door.

Pull nametags and sort alphabetically with one pile for those who have paid and another for those needing to pay.

Friday before meeting, call the church and caterer with number of people coming.  Add a couple to the total.  Tell church how to arrange the tables. (We need to give them a standard set up).

Arrive at church ½ hour before program and set up name tags up on table for those who have paid.  Keep others on the side.  Have about $40 in cash to make change if necessary (lots of ones).  Have a few more name tags and Sharpie in case someone extra walks in.

Give out name tags and take money of those who are paying.

At end of evening, turn over money and reservations to Treasurer.

Ask membership for return of nametags, with strings tucked in.  Rearrange alphabetically.

A/V Person — Vacant

Will communicate with Program chair/speaker for the needs for A/V equipment.

Will arrive at meetings early enough for set up and testing of equipment.

Equipment includes: computer (for power point), screen, podium, microphone


The Mecklenburg Historical Association

The Mecklenburg Historical Association is dedicated to preserving and publicizing the history of Mecklenburg County through regular meetings, publications, special research groups and work with various historic sites.  Founded in 1954 it is the successor to several similar organizations going back to 1875.  Today the MHA is a vibrant organization which meets four times each year to share a meal and hear an interesting speaker.  Various permanent committees meet at other times to do their work in implementing the goals of the MHA.  Read about these activities on this site and in our newsletters, sign up for The History List to receive up to date news of interest to the History Community, and come join us.

The MHA can assist  you in  your research into the history of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.  For genealogical inquiries, contact the Olde Mecklenburg Genealogical Society at

Mecklenburg County was among the first of the “back country” counties of the Colony of North Carolina.  The general area was first settled in the 1750s, and Mecklenburg County was formed out of Anson County in 1763.  The principle city of Mecklenburg County is Charlotte, founded in 1768.  Today Charlotte is the largest city in the two Carolinas, but it was a small country village up to the time of the Civil War.  The county and city were named in honor of Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the new bride of King George III of England.

Although Charlotte was not a large or important town during the early years, some interesting things happened here.  Mecklenburg was the first government body in America to declare independence from the Crown of England, on May 20, 1775.  This document was the famed Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence which you can read about on this site.  Lord Cornwallis came to Charlotte in the fall of 1780 on his way to destroy the Continental Army, but he only stayed sixteen days.  The local partisans were just too hot for him, and he later referred to Charlotte as “A Hornet’s Nest of Rebellion” giving rise to Charlotte being called the Hornet’s Nest City today.  Mecklenburg County was the center of America’s first gold rush, from 1799 to 1861.  The first US Branch Mint was built in Charlotte in 1837 and minted gold coins until the outbreak of the Civil War.  The railroads came to Charlotte in 1852, giving Charlotte connections to both north and south and making it an early transportation center.  Early in the Civil War the Confederate Naval Yard was relocated here from Norfolk, Virginia because of the railroads that ran through here.  During the First World War there was a large training camp here, Camp Greene.  During World War Two Charlotte hosted an Army Air Force training camp at Morris Field.  Today Charlotte is the second largest financial center in the US.