The Charlotte Museum of History is a nonprofit organization that interprets and preserves the history of North Carolina, in particular, historic sites across 8 acres of museum campus and a 36,000 square foot museum.
The Charlotte Museum of History first began as the Hezekiah Alexander Foundation in 1969. This nonprofit organization was started by the Daughter of the American Revolution after they had been maintaining and restoring the Hezekiah Alexander Rock House since 1949. This house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is the oldest home in Mecklenburg County having been built around 1774.
The Foundation raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars in restoration funding for the house and in 1975, the Mint Museum and the City of Charlotte completed the site and opened the Mint Museum of History in the summer of 1976.
A Hezekiah Alexander Women’s Auxiliary was established and provided furnishing to the Alexander House. In 1987 ownership of the Museum was transferred to the Parks department and the Mint Museum became the Charlotte Museum of History, being supported by the Hezekiah Alexander Foundation. The city separated from the museum in 1990 and the foundation raised over $3 million dollars for additional operating and upkeep costs.
The new 36,000 square foot museum was built in 1996 and features intensive exhibits related to the history of Charlotte from the 18th through 20th centuries. On New Year’s Eve of 1999, The Freedom Bell was added to the grounds and rung for the first time.
The Museum is open year-round, Tuesday through Saturday from 11am-5pm. There is exhibit space on the second-floor gallery that is curated for temporary and traveling exhibitions. Details on these shows can be found on the museum website.
Solving the Rock House Mysteries- Explore how historic preservation happens and the modern history of the Alexander House.
Charlotte Neighborhoods- The history of Charlotte from settlement through industrialization and the early 20th century is featured in this exhibit that highlights the historical value of Charlotte, North Carolina’s neighborhoods.
One the Way to Here: Adventures in Photography, Music, and Life- This collection focuses on Daniel Coston photographs of local Charlotteans over the past two decades. The snapshots are photos from Daniel’s life and mostly centered around musical acts in the region.
Keeping Watch on Water” Looking Back at Our City of Creeks- This exhibit educates visitors on the 3,000 miles of creeks in Mecklenburg County and features art inspired by the creeks in many mediums.
A Focus on Sports- More than 50 photographs taken from the Charlotte Observers archives demonstrate the history of sports in Charlotte.
Backcountry Gallery-Children can explore interactive replicas of Colonial homes, furniture, and garden. The houses represent the cultures of African-American, Catawba Nation, and European settlers.
The Charlotte Museum of History provides many educational programs that seek to enhance class room curriculum. Programs can be tailored to grade level and conducted on site at the Museum, at the Alexander House, or at the school. Some of the programs include:
· When Charlotte was Young Like Me
· Colonial Charlotte
· The southern Campaign of the American Revolution
· Passport to World Culture
· Liberty: The Founding of a Nation
· Backcountry Programs
The programs are also available for homeschool groups. The museum website has detailed information on these programs as well as specialized homeschool programs and private tours.
Summer Camps- Two summer camps are offered at the museum which require advance registration and sell out quickly. Camps explore either World Cultures, or the Hornet’s Nest of Rebellion and General Cornwallis. Each camp runs for 4 days with age limitations.
Charlotte 240- An online digital program, Charlotte 240 is a compilation of short essays exploring local history. The database is frequently updates and added to making it a great source for research and projects. The program is available for free online.
The Charlotte Museum of History frequently hosts special events to bring attention to Charlotte’s history and Colonial times as well as modern history events. Many of the events require advance tickets and registration.
History Teas- These events are 1.5 hours long and include lecture and discussion of historical events from the establishment of London to Revolutionary War.
Home Tours- The Mad About Modern Home Tours is a fall event that includes a tour of historic and significant homes in Charlotte. The Alexander House is a stop on the tour. Multiple tours are available each highlighting different architectural elements of the city.
3500 Shamrock Drive, Charlotte, North Carolina, 28215, Phone: 704-568-1774