The first Belk store opened in Monroe in 1888. The Belk family and the company played a large role in the development of Charlotte. Tom Hanchett, staff historian at the Levine Museum of the New South, spoke to WFAE All Things Considered host Mark Rumsey about some of that history.
Among Hanchett's comments:
- The Belk family helped build a non-profit infrastructure in the South, similar to what wealthy industrialists such as the Carnegies did in the Northeast.
"It's ironic that as Charlotte becomes a bigger player on the world stage, we are also a city where outside folks are coming to have larger stakes in what goes on here," Hanchett says. "That's the flip side of the growth that we're seeing," Hanchett says.