Historic Bain Spring Fundraiser Set for April 5

The Historic Bain Restoration Committee will hold a spring fundraiser on Saturday, April 5, in the Kerr Building, Philadelphia Presbyterian Church, 11501 Bain School Road, Mint Hill.

Visitors are invited to shop for attic treasures, books, garden plants, and food items at the Bain School Village between 9 am and 5 pm.  Featured village shops include Uncle Harley’s General Store, Miss Bertie’s Dress Shop, Bain Garden Shop, Antiques & Second-Hand Shop, and the Community Book Store. Organizers of the event are looking for new and used furniture, clothing, books, and other items to sell at the event. Continue reading

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Texas Roadhouse of Matthews to hold fundraiser for Bain restoration project

Texas Roadhouse, located at 10450 E. Independence Blvd., Matthews, NC (704-814-0285) will donate a percentage of its food sales on Sunday, November 24, to the Historic Bain Academy Restoration, as well as any donations received that day.

Patrons should present the Texas Roadhouse coupon between 11 am and 10 pm, and the Bain project will receive 10 percent of those sales.  Proceeds from the Texas Roadhouse Fundraiser will go toward restoring Historic Bain, which was established 1889 and has served thousands of students in its 124-year history. Continue reading

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Civil War comes to life at McEwen Historic Village

PHOTOS BY MICHELE DOTSON

Civil War camp life re-enactors Dave and Judy James from Concord braved chilly temperatures and rain on Friday, November 1, to pitch their tent and stay at their historically accurate camp. The James’ were on hand for Saturday’s salute to Veterans by demonstrating what life in a Civil War camp was really like.

Civil War camp life re-enactors Dave and Judy James from Concord braved chilly temperatures and rain on Friday, November 1, to pitch their tent and stay at their historically accurate camp. The James’ were on hand for Saturday’s salute to Veterans by demonstrating what life in a Civil War camp was really like.

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Ethan Todd from Kannapolis (left) and Jost Epley from Lexington, NC, both 13, work on preparing blank rounds for demonstrations. Todd has been involved with Civil War re-enactments since he was five  years old. Epley got involved last April after his uncle brought him to a re-enactment near Lexington.
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It’s Radio-Active: Charlotte amateur radio club transmits message to Iceland

By Michele Dotson: Staff Writer

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 1.33.09 PMMembers from the Charlotte Amateur Radio Club set up their equipment every other Saturday in the Assay office at the Carl J. McEwen Historic Village in Mint Hill.  Their priorities are to provide information to the public about the history of ham radio, and to help those interested learn how to begin their hobby by offering support from the club which meets once a month.

The cost of getting into the hobby is not exorbitant and are mostly incurred over time.

“It doesn’t take a whole lot of money to get into ham radio,” says club member and vice president Joe Ducar. “The antennae is the most important part of the set up, and it’s fairly inexpensive. You can get one for about $45,” he says.

Other expenses are associated with purchasing the radio, a “to go” box, if you plan to use your radio in remote locations, instructional manuals, and fees for taking the FCC tests. In the United States there are three kinds of ham radio licenses; the technician class, the general class and the extra class. Each class requires more extensive knowledge of ham radio operation and theory, and provides the user with access to more frequency options worldwide.

Gone are the days with the need for huge, unsightly towers that are restricted in many neighborhoods.  Websites offer advice on how to “stealth” your antennae so it is still effective but not unsightly on your property, like what has been done at the assay office.

“Conditions here at the assay office are not always the best,” says Ducor.  “We’re here at a fixed time, and that can be a disadvantage. But we have made contact with so many places around the world. We have even talked with people from Iceland and Greenland.”

But in this age of email, Twitter, Skype, and iPhones, it seems unlikely this hobby would survive much into the 21st Century. Surprisingly, though, the latest FCC information posted in August 2012, indicated that there are over 755,000 licensed operators in the United States alone, which was an increase of 30,000 from the year before. Some attribute the increase to the phasing out of the Morse code test as part of the licensing requirements. But for others, it is just the right time to get started.

John McDermott has been involved with ham radio for less than a year. After fostering an interest for many years, McDermott decided it was time to do something about it. He located the club through an internet search, and was extremely impressed by his first visit.

“I can’t say enough about the club,” says McDermott. “They were willing to help me get started, and answered all my questionsInside the assay office, posted on the wall, is a world map full of pushpins. Each pushpin on that map represents a successful contact like the one in Iceland. That’s a person-to-person contact with someone from another country; another culture, and a personal connection to another fellow human a world away that shared the same desire to reach out and make a new friend.It’s easy to see why this hobby is enjoying a regrowth of popularity.The Charlotte Amateur Radio Club meets Thursdays at 7:30 pm in the Salvation Army headquarters building located at 501 Archdale Drive, Charlotte. For further information, contact www.w4cq.us

 

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Mint Hill board holds budget workshop

Mint Hill commissioners and staff meet to discuss the 2013-2014 town budget. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

Mint Hill commissioners and staff meet to discuss the 2013-2014 town budget. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

The Mint Hill Board of Commissioners met with other town leaders to discuss and plan the 2013- 2014 budget at a workshop meeting Tuesday, April 23.

Budget requests were presented from Mint Hill Fire and EMS, public works and police department, and commissioners approved special requests from nonprofits in Mint Hill.

David Leath, Fire/EMS Director presented the Fire Department’s budget report to the commissioners. The budget will stay much the same as the 2012-2013 budget, requesting more money for uniforms, turnout gear and office supplies.

Leath requested $20,550 for new uniforms, a cost that breaks down to $925 per employee, as well as $12,500 for five complete sets of new turnout gear, and $2,000 for a new computer for the department.

Tim Garner, public works director, presented the budget request for the public works division, which included four items: a backhoe at $93,500, two mower decks at $12,800, lettering and decals for trucks at $2,964.00, and repair costs for the town’s street sweeper, at $58,659.

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Adventures and history in herbs

by Derek Lacey / Staff Writer

The herb garden at the Carl J. McEwen Historic Village. The doctor’s museum is in the background. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

The herb garden at the Carl J. McEwen Historic Village. The doctor’s museum is in the background. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

 

At the Carl J. McEwen Historic Village, right next to the Doctor’s Museum, which showcases historical medicinal techniques, there sits a small herb garden.

Roses, Foxglove, Thyme, sage, lavender, oregano, peppermint, and even catnip all grow in the garden, and all have medicinal properties and were once used by doctors.

In 1997, Virginia Frazier helped a Girl Scout, Blair Gutledge, with her project, an herb garden at the Mint Hill Historical Society.

After Gutledge grew out of girl scouts and moved on, Virginia and her daughter Brenda Dills would resurrect the neglected herb garden every year, to keep the plants growing and healthy. They decided it would be smarter and easier to just maintain the garden themselves, which they still do today.

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