Posts Tagged ‘Charlotte’

A railroad festival in Old Fort, harvest festivals in New Bern and Durham and arts festivals in Raleigh and Charlotte are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find across North Carolina this weekend.

Here are seven things on our weekend agenda:

1. Join the Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort for a family festival focused on the history of railroads Saturday.



2. Celebrate the arrival of fall Saturday with harvest festivals at Tryon Palace in New Bern and Historic Stagville in Durham.





4. Meet artists Peter Oakley and Elizabeth Brim Friday at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh. The work of these two North Carolina sculptors is featured in the museum’s new Chisel and Forge exhibition.



5. Spend your Saturday morning taking a tour of Asheville‘s Riverside Cemetery focused on the characters in Thomas Wolfe’s novels and stories.



6. Discover why attracting pollinators has been key throughout history, get some gardening tips of your own and let your kids enjoy a related hands-on activity Saturday at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.



7. Sample local art, science, history and heritage at SPARKcon in Raleigh and the Cultural Free for All in Charlotte.



Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

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A streetcar that operated in Charlotte during the 1800s (above), compared to the one that began service today (below). Images from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission and Charlotte Observer, respectively.

Earlier today, Charlotte inaugurated the CityLYNX Gold Line, its first streetcar service in 77 years.

Though the service is being heralded as a new innovation for transportation and economic development, it’s not the first time the vehicles have been seen on North Carolina streets.

The Tar Heel State’s first streetcars were horse-drawn and began operating in Wilmington and Raleigh in the mid to late 1880s. The first electrified system made its debut in Asheville in 1889, and similar networks quickly cropped up in Durham, Greensboro, High Point, Raleigh, Salisbury, Wilmington and Winston-Salem.

Charlotte’s system got its start in January 1887 as a horse-drawn operation, and was electrified in 1981 after prominent businessman Edward Latta collaborated with other entrepreneurs to make the leap. At its peak the system carried 2 million passengers annually on 29 miles of track and 50 passenger cars.

The Charlotte Trolley on loan to the N.C. Transportation Museum.
Image from Trains Magazine.

A historic trolley car that was built in World War I, originally used in Athens, Greece’s system and then imported for use on Charlotte’s heritage trolley line is now on loan to the N.C. Transportation Museum where it is being repaired. You can get a peek of it just about any day in the Back Shop, but the best time to see it is when it’s brought out for view during the museum’s special events.


Streetcars on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh, crica May 1909. Image PhC.68.1.98 from Carolina Power & Light Collection of the State Archives.

Visit the N.C. Transportation Museum’s website for a more detailed history of the vehicle’s connections to the Old North State.

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Head to New Bern for a Civil War weekend at Tryon Palace

Head to New Bern for a Civil War weekend
at Tryon Palace

The fun starts Thursday with another installment of the N.C. Museum of History’s Storytime in the Galley series in Raleigh and a preschooler program on the history of Thanksgiving  at the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City. The Museum of the Albemarle will also hold a gallery talk on the history behind the art in one of its special exhibitions Thursday evening.

Friday, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial in Asheville will present a jam session on its front porch featuring local musician Carol Rifkin, while the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh will open a small exhibit on potters.

Other highlights from the weekend will include a presentation on crossing the state by mule at Duke Homestead in Durham, an opportunity to meet the author of a new book on N.C. State Capitol in Raleigh, the dedication of a new highway marker commemorating early TV in Charlotte and a lecture on how African American writers portrayed slavery before and after the Civil War at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.

Throughout the weekend, Tryon Palace in New Bern will host a Civil War weekend complete with tours, crafts and a film screening, while the N.C. Symphony will play a second round of concerts of Brahms’ piano concerto no. 1 in Southern Pines, Wilmington, Raleigh and Chapel Hill.

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Sec. Kluttz at ImaginOn with staff from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library

Sec. Kluttz at ImaginOn with staff from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library

In the tough economic times that our state has experienced during the past few years, libraries have become an increasingly important resource in education and for those looking for jobs. Sec. Kluttz saw this first-hand on her recent trips to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Caldwell County Public Libraries.

During Sec. Kluttz’s visit to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library branch on Thursday, the Secretary learned about the library’s early literacy programs and outreach after taking a short tour of the library’s revolutionary ImaginOn facility.

ImaginOn is a joint venture between the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library and the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. The facility includes state-of-the-art theatre spaces, a dedicated library space for kids 11-years-old and under, multi-use classrooms, a teen-only library, a multimedia production studio and an interactive exhibit space. Staffs from the theatre and library use it to put on unique programming designed to get young people to learn in many ways, through all five senses and “from the page to the stage.”

Friday, the Secretary visited the Caldwell County Public Library in Lenoir. The county is the latest library to join the innovative N.C. Cardinal program supported by the State Library of North Carolina. While there, Sec. Kluttz learned all about its wonderful offerings.

Sec. Kluttz’s gets caught reading at the Caldwell County Public Library in Lenoir

The program fosters a state-wide library community that gives North Carolinians greater access to collections that patrons may not have been able to access before. Basically, it allows patrons to get books in libraries across the state, at no charge, with only a few clicks on a website. Patrons can also use the card from their home library at any library in the network.

The system currently has 93 branch locations in 26 counties. That amounts to 9.7 million North Carolinians having access to 4.2 million library items statewide. The program has resulted in 6.6 million circulations since its inception in July 2010.

The program is support the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), but it’s made possible through the work of the State Library of North Carolina, a division of N. C. Department of Cultural Resources.

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Connie GuionAll this month we’re bringing you stories from North Carolina women’s history. Check back here each week day for a new tidbit on the women of our state’s past.

At her death in 1971, Dr. Connie M. Guion was the dean of the nation’s women physicians. The first female professor of clinical medicine at an American university, the first female member of the medical board of New York Hospital and the first living female doctor for whom a major hospital building was named, Guion was a true pioneer for women in the medical field.

Born in 1882 at a plantation near Lincolnton, Guion was educated at Miss Kate Shipp’s School in Lincolnton, Northfield Seminary, Wellesley College and Cornell Medical School. On completing her medical degree, she interned at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital during the flu epidemic of 1918 and gained a national reputation in medicine at a time when few women entered the field.

For almost 50 years she was associated with the Cornell medical clinic, where she became a full professor in 1946. Famous for working 12-hour days until her retirement at age 87, the New York Herald Tribune called her the “greatest lady of our time.” She visited her native state often and is buried in Charlotte.

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