This Day in CLT250 History: The Establishment of Charlotte Is Official

Jordan-Ashley Walker

Editor's Note: The City of Charlotte turns 250 this year, and the year-long, city-wide celebration CLT250 encourages all Charlotteans and friends of the city to come together to recognize the past, understand the present and envision a future with more opportunities for everyone. 

To mark the celebration, a series of "past meets present" milestones will be highlighted to shine a spotlight on how they have shaped Charlotte's identity. 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Dec. 3, 2018) – To mark the CLT250 Anniversary, a celebration today from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Trade and Tryon invites all Charlotteans and friends of the city to enjoy music, food trucks and free cake created and supplied by Johnson & Wales University. 

"This anniversary not only marks where we have been, it also sets the course for where we are going," said Eugene A. Woods, honorary chair of CLT250 Executive Advisory Council and Atrium Heath President & CEO. "As we look ahead to the next 250 years, I know we can create a city where each individual has the opportunity to succeed and as a result, we as a community succeed." 

On this day in CLT250 history, Dec. 3, 1768, Colonial Governor William Tryon signed the bill officially authorizing the establishment of Charlotte. Two years earlier, settler and local leader Thomas Polk and others had purchased hilltop land along the Native American trading route called the Nation's Path. This route was used by the local Catawba Tribe along with other Native Americans to travel between Georgia and Virginia. Polk and company began laying out streets and building a courthouse.

From this Native American trading route, now known as Trade and Tryon streets, was born Charlotte, named for Queen Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of King George III, a city with a rich history that has been shaped by countless examples of independence, ingenuity, determination, collaboration, compassion and resiliency.

"CLT250 is an invitation for our community to engage – collaborate, commemorate, communicate," said City of Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles. "I am proud to be a Charlottean and honored to work together with the people of our city to design and build a future where everyone thrives."

In addition to today's celebration, there will be ongoing legacy projects and initiatives launched during the year that will add to Charlotte's commitment to become an even more friendly, healthy, equitable and accessible city and to create more opportunity for all.


Local organizations are offering up their own CLT250 celebrations as well. Explore these CLT250 themed events and activities over the next month. 

  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS): CMS students are joining in on the CLT250 celebration as well. During December and in the months to come, CMS will feature a CLT250 dedicated podcast with the theme "Future of Education in CLT," host social media CLT250 trivia contests, students will describe what they can do to build our community's future, schools will create dedicated CLT250 ambassadors to promote the milestone, messaging at schools will be displayed on marquees and posters and key educational programs will build CLT250 tie-ins into their platforms.
  • Levine Museum of the New South: StoryMining 250 seeks to document and share the lives of Charlotteans at this moment in time, through oral histories, exhibits, and special programs, 250 years since the city was founded. Submit your story or nominate a storyteller to share your piece of Charlotte history.
  • Trees Charlotte: In honor of the Queen City celebrating its 250th anniversary, TreesCharlotte is looking to create a green legacy for its future that will scrub the air, clean the water and beautify the city. The organization has a fundraising goal of $25,000 to purchase, install, water and mulch 250 trees this 2018-2019 planting season, which lasts through the winter.


Throughout the year, you can get involved in CLT250 by volunteering, sponsoring or creating an event. Visit to explore how you can mark the 250th anniversary of the city's founding in your own unique ways. Together, these events will add to Charlotte's commitment to become a friendlier, healthier, more equitable and more accessible city.

CLT250 is a community-led engagement, presented by Atrium Health, in partnership with the City of Charlotte, the Arts & Science Council, Charlotte Center City Partners, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, CMS Foundation, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, Foundation for the Carolinas and other corporate partners including Albemarle, Ally Bank, Bank of America, Barings, Compass Group, Duke Energy-Piedmont Natural Gas, Lowe's, Moore & Van Allen, Novant Health, Townsquare Interactive, Wells Fargo and Wray Ward.

For more information about the yearlong celebration of Charlotte's 250th anniversary, visit