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  • Charlotte Museum of HistoryCharlotte Museum of History Charlotte, North Carolina and the Freedom Bell
    The Charlotte Museum of History and the Hezekiah Alexander Homesite are just a couple of the many sights that you can visit at this 8 acre wooded park, located in east Charlotte, North Carolina. The oldest structure, and most probably the main reason for locating the museum here is the Hezekiah Alexander house, which is 5000 square feet and made of rock. It is now the oldest surviving home in the county of Mecklenburg and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house was built in 1774, and is located on the original foundation, with replicated outbuildings that include a barn, kitchen and two story springhouse. In the 1940s, it became the property of the Methodist Home, and in 1949, the Daughters of the American Revolution leased the house and adjoining land in hopes of refurbishing the old stone house that was in desperate need of it. A committee of the DAR chapter managed the place and opened the house for occasional visits. They formally started the Hezekiah Alexander Foundation in 1969, as a non-profit, and were able to raise over $200,000 to restore the home. The foundation had problems when they tried building a reception center, and in 1975, the city finished the restoration and construction in cooperation with the Mint Museum. In July of 1976, the Mint Museum of History opened and ran until 1987. In the interim period, a Hezekiah Alexander Women's Auxiliary was started and this wonderful group was able to raise enough funds to fill the house with period antiques. The administrative job of the museum was transferred to the Parks and Recreation department and renamed the Charlotte Museum of History. In July of 1990, the foundation was able to get full administration and support of the museum and homesite. The city insisted on the foundation having a $2 million endowment fund for the operation and management of the estate, and they raised more than $3 million. In 1996, the foundation considered a bigger and better building to house the museum, and after three years was able to raise $7 million to build a new 36,000 square foot museum to contain all the marvelous exhibits and antiquities that told the story of Charlotte and the Mecklenburg County from the 18th century to the 20th. The grand opening was in 1999, and the changing exhibits space was put on the second floor. In the fall, the American Freedom Bell was brought here and rang for the first time on December 31, 1999. This bell is located between the homesite and the museum in a beautiful setting, and was given to the people of the Carolinas as a gift of the Belk Foundation. This bell symbolizes the patriotic heritage of the people and their vigilant dedication to the freedoms and independence of the American way. It weighs 7 tons, and is 7 feet by 7 feet; with a wonderful resonating sound that is rung during the tours that welcome visitors to this marvelous museum and homestead.  The spectacular bell would become the symbol of freedom and independence that had started in the city and county a full year before the founders of the Declaration of Independence had even met to sign that noThe American Freedom Bell Charlotte, North Carolinateworthy paper. This city and county is well deserving of the honor and dignity that should be bestowed on the first region to undertake the overthrowing of an oppressing country, the freedoms that are guaranteed all Americans forever. Here, in the fantastic museum, set on a small plot of land, on the border of the Carolinas, the real story of the American Revolution begins and by coming here to listen to the magnificent tone of the Freedom Bell will lift up your spirits more than any other place on the earth.

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  • Charlotte NC ToursCharlotte, North Carolina
    There is no better way to learn about a city than to take one of the many magnificent tours that are offered, showing you the best sights, telling you about the best stories, and helping you to learn more about the city you are visiting. The Charlotte NC tours and rentals will do just that for you and more when you come to this beautiful city that was the beginning of the American Revolution, before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, before the firing of the first shot at Lexington, before the Boston Tea Party. This company offers tours by bike, segway, walking and van; taking you to the most important areas of this historical city and telling you about their forefathers that started it all. The company has various other tours that will interest you and give you different historical sights and stories. They have been spoken of on television and the newspapers, and can offer you any kind of excitement that you could want in this wonderful historical city. You can rent any of the equipment they have, or you can have them guide you while you walk, segway, bike or van your way through the city's neighborhoods and historical venues. You can always find your way around the city, using one of their rentals, but you might lose out on some of the more interesting stories or legends that are not public knowledge. They also have active tours like the 5 day Blue Ridge Parkway Cycling tour or the two week cycling trip from Amsterdam to Belgium, that travels through the beautiful countryside traveling about 20 miles a day. The wine tours are fabulous and very exciting, with a romantic Valentine's Day weekend getaway, or the Raffaldini Vineyard Four Seasons wine tasting tour. Their many opportunities will surprise you and add that extra bit of excitement and mystery that will fill you with memories to last a lifetime.

January 11, 2011