The Federal-style residence known as Rosedale, built in 1815 by Charlotte postmaster and tax collector Archibald Frew on 900 acres of timber and farmland 5 miles outside of Charlotte, previously stood on 900 acres of timber and farmland. Her neighbours dubbed the 4,000+ square foot house “Frew’s Folly,” believing that such a lavish home in a relatively rural location would bankrupt Mr. Frew. Despite the fact that Frew and his family were saved from foreclosure and eviction thanks to a loan from his brother-in-law, North Carolina state senator William Davidson, the house remained in Senator Davidson’s hands after Frew’s death in 1823. On the occasion of his daughter Harriet’s marriage in 1833, the senator bequeathed the property to her husband, Dr. David Caldwell, and the Frew/Caldwell/Davidson families continued to call Rosedale home for nearly 150 years.
Mary Louise Davidson and her sister Alice Davidson Abel, the last remaining members of the family to dwell in the house, sold the house and the remaining 9 acres of grounds to the Historic Preservation Foundation of North Carolina in 1986. The house was restored to its early-1800s appearance that same year, and Historic Rosedale, Charlotte’s oldest Federal frame home, opened its doors to the public as a living museum in 1993.
Historic Rosedale Current Events
Historic Rosedale is still serving the community today with home museum and garden tours, special events, preservation, and outreach activities. Our objective is to continue to investigate, preserve, and convey the experiences of individuals who lived and worked at Rosedale, including the Frew, Caldwell, and Davidson families, as well as enslaved and free African-Americans.
Things to do at the Historic Rosedale Charlotte
In the centre of Charlotte, there are 200 years of history. Archibald Frew could never have imagined that his showpiece mansion on North Tryon Street would be rebuilt to his exacting standards over 200 years later. His great idea is still visible on the exterior, from the “Paris” yellow trim to the faux painted panelling, from the hand carved fireplaces to the original French hand-blocked wallpaper. The site spanned 911 acres at its most expansive. It was run as a “subsistence” farm, cultivating only what was needed to feed the people who lived there, rather than a dominant crop like cotton or rice. The generations of White and African Americans who lived and worked in Rosedale left behind a legacy of stories to testify to their lives.
Historic Rosedale is a hidden gem in Charlotte, North Carolina’s densely populated urban area. On the remaining nine acres of the original nine hundred acres, a lovely two-hundred-year-old house sits. Rosedale is an urban greenspace that serves as a sustainable aspect of a bustling neighbourhood, bringing together locals and visitors.
Come take refuge and learn about Rosedale’s history while communing with nature and wildlife. Take a stroll through the Big Tree Museum or the Shrub Garden, which was planted by Dr. Larry Mellichamp, a retired biologist from UNC Charlotte. Take a look at the many different butterflies fluttering across the perennial borders, or sit under the pergola in the formal gardens and watch the local birds and fauna.
We at Historic Rosedale believe in using native plants that are appropriate to the local environment. These plants use less water once established and do not require pesticides or fertilisers, allowing for a healthy ecosystem. The indigenous flora and fauna rely on native plants for habitat and sustenance. The National Wildlife Federation has certified us as an Advanced Certified Wildlife Habitat, and we are a member of the Butterfly Highway, which is a “roadmap for pollinators and wildlife conservation.”
On the property, three enormous honey bee colonies aid in the pollination of our trees, shrubs, and plants. Our first batch of honey was entered in a regional competition and placed second out of seventy samples of local honey. Our local honey is available for purchase throughout the spring. So come see our crown treasure in the Queen’s City. Contribute to our ongoing efforts to preserve history through our interpretations of the gardens and grounds. It’s a lovely spot to visit at any time of year!
Historic Rosedale’s blacksmith shop is a replica of the original, and it’s in the same location. Blacksmithing was crucial to the site’s success. It offered iron work for their needs and earned money by taking commissions from people all throughout the area who needed iron work.
Historic Rosedale Charlotte Map
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