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Mecklenburg Commissioners Will Get Update On Latta Plantation

Carol M. Highsmith Archive
Library of Congress

Mecklenburg County commissioners will get an update Tuesday night on Historic Latta Plantation, which closed in June after uproar over a controversial Juneteenth celebration.

A post on the home’s website, which has since been deleted, promoted the event called “Kingdom Coming” that included stories “from the massa himself” that would include people dressed as Confederate soldiers discussing their feelings about the South losing the Civil War.

Juneteenth is a holiday that celebrates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.

The event provoked outrage and was condemned by the county, town of Huntersville and Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles. It was then canceled, but site manager Ian Campbell posted a response on Latta’s website defending the event.

The county did not renew its contract with Historic Latta Place Inc., which managed the site. And the county’s Parks and Recreation department said at the time that the site would be closed until further notice while the county figures out what to do next.

"Over the next few months, we will evaluate the best path forward for Latta Plantation and its programming, ensuring that the site is utilized in an appropriate, forward-thinking manner," Park and Recreation Director W. Lee Jones said in a statement.

The organization had a $400,000 operating budget, and the county needs about $312,000 for improvements, according to a presentation that will be made to commissioners.

The county says between 35,000 and 40,000 visitors come to the site a year.

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation says it should have a draft plan for a community partner by the end of the year, with a final plan done by February 2022.

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Catherine Welch is Assistant News Director at WFAE. She has led newsrooms at KUNC in Greely, CO, Rhode Island Public Radio in Providence, RI and WHQR in Wilmington, NC.
Dash joined WFAE as a digital editor for news and engagement in 2019. Before that, he was a reporter for the Savannah Morning News in Georgia, where he covered public safety and the military, among other topics. He also covered county government in Gaston County, North Carolina, for its local newspaper, the Gazette.