Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

CharlotteDave

Huge Celebration Planned for Captain Jack Unveiling

15 posts in this topic

I've learned there are big plans in the works for the unveiling of the Captain Jack Statue next May. They're calling it the biggest thing in the history community since the historic obelisk was rededicated on East Trade Street in the 1920s. The word is that something unique is in the planning stages, a once in a lifetime celebration, and there is already talk of closing down streets for the event. Meanwhile a 13 and a half foot bronze of Captain Jack is under construction in Seagrove N.C. As reported in the past, the monument will feature Captain Jack riding across a stream with splashing water from the passing hoofs!

Perhaps this will provide the spark needed to help make Mec Dec Day a big annual event like it once was. I think it's possible, especially if they would make it more a celebration of Charlotte's overall dramatic role during that time period instead of all the focus being on the controversial Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Of course, it should be understood that there is no controversy surrounding the Captain Jack part of the story; it's just a question of which document he took with him on his trip to Philadelphia: Meck Dec or the Mecklenburg Resolves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I think its a cool and unique thing for Charlotte. It's probably true since most of the South was of a similar mind set. South Carolina declared independence in 1774 or 1775 or something like that, so I see no reason why other places in this region wouldn't have the same attitude.

Anyway, the statue sounds cool. Charlotte doesn't have enough statues of actual things/people (as opposed to abstract art). Since we're going for world class, why not a 30' statue of this guy?

Why not re-redidicate an obelisk on E. Trade St while we're at it? Since Charlotte has so very few historic things left I'm no opposed to recreating things where feasible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think its a cool and unique thing for Charlotte. It's probably true since most of the South was of a similar mind set. South Carolina declared independence in 1774 or 1775 or something like that, so I see no reason why other places in this region wouldn't have the same attitude.

Anyway, the statue sounds cool. Charlotte doesn't have enough statues of actual things/people (as opposed to abstract art). Since we're going for world class, why not a 30' statue of this guy?

Why not re-redidicate an obelisk on E. Trade St while we're at it? Since Charlotte has so very few historic things left I'm no opposed to recreating things where feasible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've learned there are big plans in the works for the unveiling of the Captain Jack Statue next May. They're calling it the biggest thing in the history community since the historic obelisk was rededicated on East Trade Street in the 1920s. The word is that something unique is in the planning stages, a once in a lifetime celebration, and there is already talk of closing down streets for the event. Meanwhile a 13 and a half foot bronze of Captain Jack is under construction in Seagrove N.C. As reported in the past, the monument will feature Captain Jack riding across a stream with splashing water from the passing hoofs!

Perhaps this will provide the spark needed to help make Mec Dec Day a big annual event like it once was. I think it's possible, especially if they would make it more a celebration of Charlotte's overall dramatic role during that time period instead of all the focus being on the controversial Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Of course, it should be understood that there is no controversy surrounding the Captain Jack part of the story; it's just a question of which document he took with him on his trip to Philadelphia: Meck Dec or the Mecklenburg Resolves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is great news. I hope they make as much out of it as possible! I'm with Spartan though...I'd be ok with it being bigger too. I want it to be an icon of our community. I also hope the group that is commisioning this statue will follow through on their plans to create more statues celebrating Charlotte's history. I believe the plan was for some sort of statue walk along the greenway along Sugar Creek?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was briefly referred to in the greenway thread, but for those who don't know, the Captain Jack statue will be unveiled a week from tomorrow. They say the event will feature local VIP's and elected officials, descendents of our founding families, including Captain Jack descendants, Chas hagan (the artist), music, reenactors and a few surprises. The Trail of History program on the CPCC channel has about a 20 minute video on Captain Jack and some of the related history that can be seen online at this site It was interesting to hear they were able to raise 500 thousand dollars in contributions for the Captain Jack statue, which is about twice what they needed. That should mean they've already got the money to fund the next couple of statues which will supposedly cost about 75 thousand dollars each. Reportedly, the statue will be pointing north towards Philadelphia. Captain Jack probably wouldn't be too thrilled to know that his statue is located on a street named, Kings Drive, but, otherwise, I'm sure he's glad to be back in the swing of things. It should be a fun event.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Captain Jack faces towards the North then that means his horse's ass will be facing the Kings/4th intersection. Last time I rode by there it looks like Jack is facing towards the East. I do hope they raise the statue up higher than it is now. I think it is too low to the ground and not very noticeable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm looking forward to seeing the statue in person and I think it is a great idea.

My only question though is what happened to the big celebration? Going by the first post in the thread I would think that we would have had a little more publicity about this event. I know there was an Observer article recently but it seems to be very quiet as far as marketing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I agree that the statue looks like it needs to be a little higher. We just have to hope the designers knew what they were doing and wouldn't have went through with it if they thought it was a bad location or bad concept. I drove by the statue today, as I did last Thursday, and noticed they hadn't done any work at all on the surrounding site in the past week. That makes it clear now that the overall Captain Jack Plaza won't be ready for the unveiling, which is unfortunate. That could possibly hurt the initial impression. Also, I agree about the size of the celebration: It doesn't look like it's gonna be as big as they seemed to suggest a while back. Maybe they'll at least have a couple thousand spectators instead of the usual 200 or so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Observer has a pretty nice in-depth article on the unveiling of the statue as well as a side bar on the controversy over what Captain Jack was carrying.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/05/16/1438610/statue-salutes-meck-dec-its-mystery.html#

I read the article and sidebar and really think that I'm in the camp of I'm going to say he was carrying the Meck Declaration (vs. resolves) until proven otherwise. I say this because there is no proof that he wasn't and frankly I savor the image of the citizines of this area at the time being so gung ho and independent about declaring their own future - something that I think exists today. That zeal is what sets Charlotte apart from many other cities.

So here's to Captain Jack and all he stands for - May Charlotte embrace it's past as a guide to not be afraid of declaring it's future and ambitions!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to the unveiling Thursday and it was a pretty nice event. I was very impressed with the statue and the reflecting pool compliments it well. The statue should look even better in its proper setting once they complete the surrounding site or Captain Jack Plaza. Jennifer Roberts gave one of the speeches and mentioned that the stretch of greenway near the statue will begin construction in July or August and take a year or so to complete. I took a lot of photos, some if which I've included here, but the view was messed up a little bit by the scaffolding that had been holding up the covering. At this point, they don't have anything telling who Captain Jack was and what he did, but I'm sure that will change.

IMG_3893.jpg

IMG_3918.jpg

Captain Jack prepares to stampede his creator, Chas hagan, second from right

IMG_3913.jpg

the view from the other side of the street

IMG_3921.jpg

IMG_3907.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the pics! I haven't had the opportunity to go by yet, but it looks great.

The ceremony (from what I saw in news reports) turned out larger than I expected and seemed to be a great success.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was a good crowd(estimated at 1300), but it was never really set up to be the type of huge event we would all like for it to be again. One thing I'm still wondering about with the Captain Jack statue is whether it will eventually have some sort of lighting. The statue would really look dramatic at night. I'm also curious to see what type of historical information they end up displaying at the site. Finally, Jennifer Roberts mentioned during her speech that the next statue on the Trail of History will be of Thomas Spratt and Catawba Indian chief, King Haigler. Apparently, Thomas Spratt was one of the first white settlers in these parts and King Haigler was a long time chief of the Catawbas. It turns out they're doing the Trail of History in chronilogical order, so I guess it makes sense to have the first white settler and the Chief. I didn't know much about Thomas Spratt, but as it turns out, he was traveling with Thomas Polk, founder of Charlotte, when Polk decided to stop there and build a home at the corner of Trade and Tryon. I also found this excerpt about Spratt from something called the Crescent Heights Neighborhood Guide:

The land that is now Crescent Heights is believed to be one of Charlotte's earliest areas of white settlement. Among the first white settlers in Mecklenburg County was Thomas Spratt, who erected his home close to what is now the intersection of Randolph Road and Caswell Road. 2 A monument placed in 1926 by the Colonial Dames of North Carolina on the eastern edge of Randolph Road reads:

Site of the first court held in Mecklenburg County, February 26, 1763. Home of Thomas W. Spratt, first person to cross the Yadkin River with wheels. Here was born his daughter Anne Spratt, first white child born between the Catawba and the Yadkin.

The intersection of Caswell and Randolph is certainly very old. Gravestones dating from the 1770s were excavated nearby when Mercy Hospital constructed its nursing school in the early 1950's. 3 Nineteenth century maps indicate that what is now Fourth Street was originally the major easterly route out of Charlotte. It forked at what is now Caswell Road, with one branch heading south along Caswell and Providence roads toward Providence Presbyterian Church and South Carolina, and the other branch following present-day Caswell Road and Seventh Street toward the village of Monroe, North Carolina.

Apparently, Captain Jack's father, Patrick Jack, was buried in that same old cemetery mentioned above.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went by the site today for the first time since last Thursday and found that they've set up a pretty decent parking area. I don't know if they're planning to always have that much parking, but it makes the site very accessible. It's good that people don't have to cross a real busy street in order to see it. I would just add that my second impression of the statue was even better than the first.

IMG_3934.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finally got a chance to go look at the Spirit of Mecklenburg and have mixed feelings. I really like the statue itself but the effect is just lost in the current lot.

I know, I know - there is plenty of landscaping work to be done, but they really need to do something ASAP as it feels like the statue was left in a lot by accident.

On a related note, I love the idea that this is going to be part of a history trail of multiple statues. Is there any specific plan available for viewing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites



  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.