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Street Stories 

Secrets and legends behind Charlotte's long and winding roads

Page 4 of 4

Mint Street

The Mint Street moniker comes pretty matter-of-factly. It was the street that bordered the Charlotte Mint's eastern side during the days of the Carolina Gold Rush, the first in America. In 1799, a boy named Conrad Reed found a 17-pound gold nugget (that was later used as a doorstop due to ignorance on the part of the Reed family) in Meadow Creek in Cabarrus County. The mint opened in 1836 and once minted $5 million in "Carolina gold" in one year. Its doors finally closed in 1861.

All Hail Queen Charlotte!

Charlotte should be nicknamed the Cat City, not the Queen City. After all, isn't this the home of the Carolina Panthers, the 2003 NFC Champions? What about those ferocious felines, the Charlotte Bobcats? And if a recent cover story about "Crazy Cat Ladies" by Creative Loafing isn't enough to prove this city is run amuck with kitties, then what is?

But honestly, the QC nickname ain't going anywhere -- it's been around for ages.

According to the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce Web site, the QC was named for Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III of the United Kingdom. She was the great, great, great, great grandmother of the current Queen Elizabeth II. Before she was chosen by George to be his wifey, she was German-born Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. (Ever wonder where Mecklenburg County got its name?) Many of Charlotte's early inhabitants (we're talking about the city now, not the woman) were of Scotts-Irish or German descent. And back when North Carolina was a royal colony, the name was probably chosen to gain favor with the king.

Written by Branna Calloway, Natalie Howard, Kimberly Lawson, Jared Neumark, Tara Servatius, and Karen Shugart.

For further information, visit the Carolina Room at the Main Library or check out Mecklenburg: The Life and Times of a Proud People by Howard White.

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