Tom Hanchett

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

Sharon Road, Sharon Lane, Sharon Amity, Sharon Woods Lane, Sharon Township Lane, Sharon Avenue, Sharon Chase Drive, and ... well you get the point. With so many roads named after her, it's no wonder Charlotteans are curious to know who Sharon is.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library is getting its first-ever historian-in-residence. 

 

Tom Hanchett, a community historian in Charlotte, started the one-year residency Monday, according to the library system. Hanchett was staff historian at the Levine Museum of the New South for 16 years, and he’s written extensively on urban history and Southern culture. 

 

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

Here's a question that comes to us from WFAE listener Summer Cook. She wrote to FAQ City wondering where all of Charlotte's neighborhood names came from.

For example, who is Elizabeth? Or Cherry? What about Dilworth?

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

When Drew Thrasher purchased his modest south Charlotte home in 2003, he thought he was moving into the Fairmeadows neighborhood. 

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

Listener Jeff Moen moved to Charlotte about three years ago, and has never really figured out this one quirk of his new hometown. While nearly every city in the nation calls its central business district "downtown," in Charlotte, it's "uptown."

Brenda Tindal

The museum known for documenting Charlotte’s story and its place in the New South is experiencing big changes.

The Levine Museum’s president Emily Zimmern is scheduled to retire in November, and its staff historian of over 15 years, Tom Hanchett, is phasing into retirement.

Now, 34-year-old Brenda Tindal is charged with documenting Charlotte’s past and present—the good and the bad. And as WFAE’s Sarah Delia found, she already has strong ties to the museum and Charlotte. 


Belk

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.

Tom Hanchett is thought of as Charlotte’s historian, but his actual title is staff historian for the Levine Museum of the New South in uptown Charlotte. Since 1999, he’s witnessed, documented and told Charlotte’s story for the museum. Hanchett recently announced that he’ll be giving up his full-time post.  That doesn’t mean he’ll stop working though.