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Morrocroft

2525 Richardson Drive

1927


Morrocroft, designed by New York architect Harrie Thomas Lindeberg, was completed in 1927 as the home of Governor Cameron Morrison (1869-1953). A white supremacist as a young man and lawyer with a "clear, musical voice," Morrison moved to Charlotte in 1905 and prospered. He defeated O. Max Gardner in the Democratic primary for Governor in 1920 and became North Carolina's chief executive in January, 1921. Never one to avoid hyperbole, Governor Morrison charted the course of his administration in his inaugural address.

We do not want to move and have our being as a crippled, weak and halting State, but we want to stand up like a mighty giant of progress and go forward in the upbuilding of our State and the glorification of our God.

Ballyhoo and bluster were not uncommon components of the Governor's rhetoric. Cameron Morrison is best remembered as the "Good Roads Governor." To bring North Carolina "out of the mud," Morrison secured funds to build paved highways to every county seat in the State. Morrison also poured lots of public money into education, including schools and colleges for African Americans. "Democracy rests upon the principle of exact and equal justice to all, and regardless of class or station in life," Governor Morrison said in 1924.

Cameron Morrison's personal life changed abruptly on April 2, 1924, when he journeyed to Durham, N.C. and married Sara Ecker Watts, millionaires and widow of tobacco magnate George W. Watts. Morrison's first wife, Lottie May Tomlinson, also from Durham, had died in 1919. Now a very wealthy man, Governor Morrison established Morrocroft as a 3000-acre working farm. He raised chickens, turkeys, hogs, and established one of the finest herds of Jersey cattle in the United States. The next time you go to SouthPark Mall, remember that cows and bulls once roamed this site. Watch out!