Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Charlotte 500, Lap 79 - 81: Tryon Street History

Tryon Street is the main drag of Uptown Charlotte. Actually, Tryon runs through the entire city from southwest to northeast, and might be the only road of such length that doesn't change names four times on its way through town.

Anyway, in Uptown, there are three points of historical interest memorialized on Tryon Street that make up the next three laps on my list.

Lap 79: Every now and then, an event so momentous occurs that everyone knows exactly where they were when they heard the news. I imagine that every American, North or South, alive in April 1865 forever remembered when they heard about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Thanks to this marker in the sidewalk outside McCormick and Schmick's, you can stand where Jefferson David stood when he learned the news.

Lap 80: The Final Surrender. Just down the street, there is another marker identifying the location of the final meeting place of the Confederate cabinet, where Joe Johnston's surrender of the last major rebel army was authorized.

Lap 81: Charlotte was Country when Country wasn't..., well, when Country just wasn't: Some histories say the modern Country music and Bluegrass movements began in Charlotte. Of course, most major cities south of the Mason-Dixon line probably make the same claim. There is no denying, though, that the father of Blugrass, Bill Monroe, began his recording career in the Southern Radio Corporation offices on Tryon Street in 1936. We've got this marker to prove it!

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