Trade St. to 11th St. and Graham St. to Tryon St., Charlotte
It might be one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Charlotte , but it wasn’t long ago that the Historic Fourth Ward was an area to be avoided. The neighborhood got its name in the mid-1830s when Charlotte was divided into four political wards—First, Second, Third, and Fourth Wards—with Fourth Ward located in the northwest quadrant of the city.
At that time, it was an affluent neighborhood that counted merchants, ministers, and physicians among its residents. One of the neighborhood’s most famous residents was General Thompson A. Jackson (Stonewall Jackson), who lived in Fourth Ward in 1863. In the 1900s, when the streetcar line was expanded, longtime residents flocked to the “suburbs” of Dilworth and Elizabeth and Fourth Ward fell into disrepair.
As time passed, many of the grand Victorian homes were divided into small apartments while others were used as boardinghouses, brothels, and liquor houses and Fourth Ward became known as an area blighted by violence, drugs, and prostitution.
The Junior League began revitalization efforts in 1976 with the purchase of the Berryhill House (324 W. 9th St.) and other urban pioneers soon followed, determined to restore the neighborhood’s former grandeur. Over the past three decades, the Victorian homes known as the “Grand Old Ladies of Fourth Ward” have been restored and historic buildings such as the Charlotte Cotton Mills on Graham Street, which was built in 1881, have been renovated into apartments.
There is more gingerbread millwork, stained glass, and pastel-colored millwork in Fourth Ward than any other neighborhood in Charlotte. It’s also home to Fourth Ward Park and Elmwood Cemetery, which serves as the final resting place for some of Charlotte ’s most prominent residents, including members of the Myers, Belk, Tate, and Latta families.