CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Mecklenburg County is on pace to host a grand reopening of a rebranded historic site.
In early 2022, the county changed the plantation site near Huntersville to Latta Place, placing extended care and focus to historical context and harsh realities that occurred there.
The antebellum property operated under a nonprofit leasing the land as a historical re-enactment location until summer 2021. That’s when a program and its marketing description created a firestorm of controversy.
This would have been on Juneteenth.
The site closed in 2021 amid the backlash.
Since then, the county, which owns the land as part of Latta Nature Preserve, decided to revamp the learning experience at the site to better put into context the harsh lives slaves lived in the south before they were freed.
During Tuesday’s county commissioners meeting, Mecklenburg County Park and Reaction Director Lee Jones explained that the county has begun the third and final phase of the project.
Along with the approach of historical context, the county has partnered with UNC Charlotte’s anthropology team to help identify previous undiscovered enslaved people’s burial sites on the property.
The idea would be to preserve them as best as possible and put their lives, and their deaths in the context of history.
County leaders also learned that the hiring process will soon begin on a site manager. Latta Place has the potential to open in phases before its planned grand reopening in 2026.