Because of the week-end Race traffic my cousin suggested we take Hwy #51 to Hwy #601 so we would avoid the Interstate and the traffic congestion. This route took us right through the towns of Matthews and Mint Hill. Home country for my mother's long ago family.
Tunis Hood came to Mecklenburg County in the 1760s. He settled and sired a passle of kids who married and populated the area for generations. My mother descends from Tunis Hood. The only obvious remnants of his presence are street names and a sign on a small shopping area. But I feel good riding through the area recognizing names I have seen on census records and land documents. Names like Clear Creek, Morning Star, and Rocky River.
Gated housing communities with imposing titles on the rock walls dot Hwy #51 like some big giant had planted them along the road. Shopping centers with names like Arboreteum and Sycamore Commons have sprung up taking over acres of trees and farm lands. The road reeks of progress and expansion.
Mama says she first drove a car by herself down to Mint Hill and back because there were no cars on the road and Mint Hill was a "wide place in the road" where she could turn the car around. Today its much more than than - four lanes run through downtown and I saw new shops and we passed a couple of shopping centers on either side of town. Its a large suburb of Charlotte.
Wonder what this sign means?
I remember some years ago telling a friend of mine in Charlotte that Mama's family sold their "rock poor" farm in Mint Hill in 1889 so they could move to town for better opportunities. He laughed and shook his head, " too bad - your family sold too soon, Ellouise. Now is the time to make money on that land."
Today we sell the land and buy our food overseas.