Interested in meeting some local Charlotte residents from the past? The Mecklenburg Historical Association Docents are presenting Voices from the Past, on Saturday, April 14th, 2018, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Rain date is April 15th. Join the Facebook event for updates.
Last year was the inaugural Voices from the Past, and it drew over 700 people.
The event will be held in Settlers’ and Elmwood/Pinewood Cemeteries where many of the “residents” will come to life for the afternoon and visit with you. Portrayers will impersonate familiar characters from our local history, and a few you may never have heard of.
The event will be going on for the whole three hours and you can drop in and wander around the two cemeteries in what ever order you’d like.
Settlers’ Cemetery is at 200 West 5th Street and Elmwood/Pinewood Cemetery is at 700 West 6th Street.
The event is free and free parking is available as well. There are parking meters on several streets surrounding Settlers’; metered spaces are free all day on Saturdays, and look for a free parking sign on one of the lots.
At Elmwood/Pinewood there is a lot of free parking. Enter Elmwood from Cedar Street: The main entrance on 6th Street will be open for foot traffic only. It is a ten-minute walk from Settlers to Elmwood.
Some of the characters who participated last year:
- When Col. Thomas Polk isn’t busy reading the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence at the square on May 20th, you’ll find him at Settlers’ telling of founding our fair city and his Revolutionary War exploits.
- You will meet Mary, the wife of Joel Baldwin the hatter; his is the oldest grave in the cemetery.
- Don’t miss the northeast corner of Settlers’ that was reserved for “our servants”, a euphemism for slaves. None of those graves are marked, and most never were. There you’ll encounter Aggie and Cherry who were enslaved at Rosedale.
- At Elmwood you’ll see Dr. Annie Alexander, the South’s first licensed female physician; a former mayor named for the Swamp Fox and a circus trainer mauled to death by his elephant. You’ve probably passed by St. Mary’s Chapel many times, and may know it was once part of Thompson’s Orphanage. Now you can learn of the marvelous adventure Thompson’s founder had early in his life.
- If you’re familiar with the bold and colorful collages of Romare Bearden, you’ll want to meet his great-grandmother who inspired him.
- Some portrayers will appear as their own ancestors telling stories they learned firsthand.
- Meet the Victorian funeral director. He and his wife can help you plan your own funeral in the romanticized way of that time.
- And surely you’ll want to visit with Dr. Ephraim Brevard, the talented physician and author of the Meck Dec, and learn how his life ended sadly and much too soon.