Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Latta Plantation

Between the period of time James Latta and William A. Sample owned the home is when my Aunt lived in the house which we referred to as the"Sample" house.

In the early 60's my family lived at the now, Latta Plantation, which has been restored to it's original state in historical history. When my family lived there it had a wrap around porch and a large kitchen that has now been removed for the restoration . It was the years of Buddy Holly , Chubby Checker and Doris Day movies, we wore poodle skirts and had wiener roast with bonfires on the lawn. And, yes, I can say we picked cotton in the local fields , which was for fun, yet in it's time it was a productive cotton farming plantation. Now this part of history displays it's natural historical heritage and is a Nature Preserve. There is equestrian center and trails for riding throughout the preserve. The Catawba river surrounds the preserve on three sides where you can walk or rest at your leisure. It is located in Charlotte NC, for more information visit their home page below.

Latta Plantation Nature Center serves as the gateway to the 1,343 acres of Latta Plantation Nature Preserve and is the source for educational programs and information on the preserves natural communities, flora, and fauna. The preserve, Mecklenburg County's largest, forms a green peninsula extending into Mountain Island Lake and protects a natural heritage site and several endangered plants.

History of Latta Plantation
From the Late 18th Century to the Present Day
1797 - 1799Hayes
Moses Hayes purchased and homesteaded 100 acres of land in Mecklenburg County. The property had changed hands several times previously.
Note: This time period and the lifestyle of the yeoman farmer during the early 19th century is represented in the current living history museum by a replica cabin.
1799 - 1841Latta
The Lattas owned the property and expanded it into a plantation.
In 1799, James Latta purchased Moses Hayes' 100 acres containing a log cabin. In 1800, he built the Federal style home that is now known as Latta Plantation. Latta made additional purchases of adjoining lands in 1800, 1813, 1816, and 1817, eventually owning more than 700 acres, much of which was planted in cotton.
Latta was a slave owner. He owned two slaves in 1800 and, at the height of his plantation's prosperity, owned 23 adults and 11 children. These Latta slaves contributed greatly to the success of the plantation.
In addition to raising cotton, the crops and livestock required to support the plantation community was actually produced on the property. Latta also had a mill, quarry, and part interest in a fishery called Penney's.
After Latta's death in 1837 at 82 years of age, his widow Jane (Jane's gingerbread recipe) remained at the plantation until 1839 when she moved to a small house across from one of her son-in-laws and his children.
1841 - 1853Harry
David Harry purchased the house of James Latta and 420 acres from Rufus Reid, Latta's son-in-law and executor, on March 6, 1841.
1853 - 1922Sample
William A. Sample purchased the house and land from the heirs of David Harry on July 26, 1853. He renamed the plantation "Riverside." In 1877, the property was willed to his son, Hugh Sample.
1922 - 1973 Duke Power (originally Catawba Manufacturing)
In 1922, the Samples deeded the tract of land to the Catawba Manufacturing Company, a subsidiary of Southern Power. In 1927, Duke Power merged with Southern Power, thus obtaining the property.
1973 - 1975 Latta Place, Inc.
Crescent Land and Timber Company, a subsidiary of Duke Power, donated the house and three acres of land to Latta Place, Inc., a non-profit organization.
The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
1975 - today Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation
In 1975, Latta Place, Inc., deeded the house and land to Mecklenburg County. The county also purchased the additional acreage that makes up Latta Plantation Park. Latta Place does still run the living history museum.
Restoration work continued. The Latta Plantation big house was restored by 1976 and again in 2004.

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