NoDa 'Ghost and Legends Tour' has dual purpose

NoDa 'Ghost and Legends Tour' has dual purpose

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by BOBBY SISK / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Bobby: BSisk@WCNC.com

WCNC.com

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 14 at 6:55 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It is a neighborhood known for art galleries, restaurants and live music.  But neighbors say there is so much more to NoDa and that includes some scary stories from the area's interesting past.

Friday night, groups will gather on the Northeast corner of 36th and Davidson streets for the first ever Ghosts and Legends Walking Tour.

"I don't know what I don't love about this neighborhood.  I adore NoDa," said Hollis Nixon, the neighborhood association president. "I think that people forget that it is a mill community."

And that mill community, she says, has a hard working and sometimes deadly past.

"The deeper we went into research, the more things kept coming up," said Erik Schalburg, who along with other neighbors, spent six months asking questions and digging up stories.

One involves a railroad worker who dropped his keys and ended up getting hit by the very train that shined the light on where they were. At that same railroad trestle on Herrin Avenue, Schalburg says there were also decapitations. He'll give the disturbing details during the tour. 

And just down the road where a lake used to power Mecklenburg Mills, legend has it three people drowned.

"Even after they drained it they found all kinds of trash and stuff like that," he said.

But the bodies, the story goes, were never discovered.

Schalburg's tour has a dual purpose. Yes, it is intended to scare folks but also get them back in the neighborhood, to show there is a lot more to Charlotte's self-proclaimed arts district than what you see at 36th and Davidson. 

"I want them to realize that there is a lot more to NoDa than just the business district. We live here. I know all of my neighbors. My neighbors know me. We look out for each other and I would just like people to see the other side of NoDa where we actually live and play," said Schalburg. 

Nixon added, "We obviously always want people in the neighborhood because it is not a scary neighborhood. I mean, we're going to make it scary for Halloween. But it is a safe neighborhood and we want people walking around and know that we walk around every single day and understand that it is a community and a great place to be."

Both Nixon and Schalburg hope this adventure through the streets will spread to other parts of town.

"I would like for other neighborhoods to get the same idea from us. So yes, I'm certainly hoping that other little pockets of Charlotte would start doing the same thing," Schalburg said. 

The Ghosts and Legends Walking Tours start at 7 p.m. Friday and will likely run until about midnight. The group will meet near Boudreaux's Louisiana Kitchen on 36th Street. 

For more information on events in NoDa, visit http://www.noda.org/.

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