19 Facts About Charlotte That Even Locals Don’t Know


Most Charlotte natives know that the city was originally founded on two Indian Trading paths – later becoming Trade Street and Tryon Streets. Most also know to never refer to Center City as ‘Downtown’ (Charlotte only has an Uptown).

But if you really want to impress all your Charlotte history buff friends, you’ll want to memorize these;

#1 The Dairy Queen on Wilkinson Boulevard, a designated historic site, displays the only Dairy Queen Eskimo still in use in the country.

#2 The tallest rotating metal fountain in America is located just off highway 485 in Charlotte’s Steele Creek area.

#3 Charlotte is also home to the top ranked children’s museum in America – Imaginon ()

ImaginOn Charlotte

#4 Approximately 75% of all the NASCAR teams in the world are headquartered within two hours of uptown Charlotte.

#5 Movie star Randolph Scott spent his childhood in Charlotte’s Fourth Ward and lived on Dilworth Road in the 20s – after he moved to Hollywood, he starred in over 150 movies.

#6 There are currently over 3,000 international refugees from over 40 different countries living in Charlotte.

refugees in charlotte

#7 CMS currently teaches over 12,000 students who speak over 160 different languages.

#8 Hugh McColl built the Charlotte Transit Center so buses wouldn’t line up outside of his headquarters (Bank of America).

#9 The Charlotte Hornets used to be a baseball team, then a football team before they became our favorite basketball team.

charlotte hornets baseball

#10 The Spectrum Center was almost never built after a public referendum failed to pass in 2001 – the city decided to ignore the public and built it anyway.

#11 The 1994 NCAA Final Four was held in Charlotte at the Charlotte Coliseum (where the original Hornets played). Arkansas beat Duke.

Charlotte Coliseum

#12 The city of Charlotte now has over 199 neighborhoods which span in all directions from Uptown.

#13 For over 50 years, Charlotte led the nation in gold production until the California Gold Rush of 1848. The gold rush here began in 1799.

#14 The disc sculpture at Trade and Tryon used to spin around in all directions.

charlotte uptown disc

#15 The Light Rail’s proper name is the Lynx Blue Line, and it is designated as a “light rail” transit system, as opposed to “heavy rail” that carries freight or passengers.

#16 There used to be a baseball stadium where the Lowe’s is on South Boulevard.

#17 Those giant paintings in the Bank of America lobby (tallest building in Charlotte) are behind a number of creepy conspiracy theories.

Charlotte NC - Founders Hall lobby with frescos by world famous artist Ben Long

#18 Billy Graham (world-wide evangelist and unofficial pastor to every US president since WW2) was born and raised in South Charlotte, and now his library and ministry headquarters are located on his highway.

#19 In 1917, the population of Charlotte doubled in size overnight, going from about 45,000 residents to well over 80,000 after the US Army chose Charlotte to establish the Camp Green Training Facility (now an up-and-coming neighborhood just west of Center City).

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