Streetcars of Charlotte
Read an essay about Charlotte's streetcars...
First Ward Streetcar
This shiny First Ward streetcar was no doubt spruced up for this
picture. The motorman and conductor look spruced up too.
Passing the Club
1911 postcard showing a trolley on the streets of Charlotte. The Manufacturer's Club was established by D. A. Tompkins . Rich Yankees would get off the train at the Southern Railway station and ride the streetcar to the club building where Tompkins would wine and dine them.
Trolleys in the Twenties
Streetcar heading down 100 block of East Trade St. in the mid 1920s. Notice the man on the bicycle.
It was customary for the motorman and the conductor to have their picture taken at the end of the line. This is a North Charlotte convertible car, meaning that it could be opened up in hot weather.
Tryon St. Traffic
Don't think that Charlotte's traffic problem is new. This early
twentieth century photograph shows the 100 block of North Tryon St. That is
the Independence Building in the background. North Carolina's first
steel-framed skyscraper, the building was imploded in 1981.
Charlotte's streetcars once were powered by mules and horses!
This picture appeared in the 1938 City Directory. It shows a Charlotte
Streetcar moving up Dilworth Road from E. Morehead St. That's the Addison
Apartments in the background and the skyscrapers of Uptown Charlotte beyond.
Trolley service ended just a few months later.
In 1927, the Southern Public Utilities Company, now Duke Power,
announced that shiny, new Streetcar No. 85 was ready to
go into service. For the next ten years, No. 85, built in the
trolley barn on South Blvd., rumbled up and down the streets of
Myers Park and Dilworth.
The 47-year history of electric streetcars in Charlotte started
to end on November 15, 1937. That's when Duke Power and the City
applied to the North Carolina Utilities Commission to replace
the trolleys with motor buses. City Council member J. S. Nance
argued that this would be "one of the most progressive moves
that Charlotte has made in quite a long time."
Streetcar No. 85 was the last streetcar to operate on the streets
of Charlotte. On March 14, 1938, it made a "goodbye"
trip from Presbyterian Hospital to the Square, where it stopped
for a brief ceremony, and then headed for the Dilworth trolley
barn and retirement. The trolley has been recently restored and is now once again shuttling passengers around uptown Charlotte.
Trolley Number One as it appeared in 1989 when it arrived in Charlotte. That's Dan Morrill waving out the window.
This site was created using a Macintosh Performa 6290 by Bruce Schulman. This site is maintained for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission by Bruce R. Schulman.