Around Town

Who is Sharon and why are so many Charlotte roads named after her?

9/25/94 18M:  BATTLEGROUND:  NEIGHBORS SAY A PROPSED SUBDIVISION ON THIS PARCEL ACROSS SHARON AMITY ROAD WILL LEAD TO FLOODING.    [UNPUBLISHED:]  This five acre tract along Sharon Amity and Emory in Charlotte has neighbors up in arms as plans to build homes here move along. photo by bob leverone
9/25/94 18M: BATTLEGROUND: NEIGHBORS SAY A PROPSED SUBDIVISION ON THIS PARCEL ACROSS SHARON AMITY ROAD WILL LEAD TO FLOODING. [UNPUBLISHED:] This five acre tract along Sharon Amity and Emory in Charlotte has neighbors up in arms as plans to build homes here move along. photo by bob leverone

Sharon Road. Sharon Lane. Sharon Amity. Sharon View. Sharon Road West (yeah, totally different road). Sharon Lakes Road.

I’m sure I missed one (or 12), but you get the point — Charlotte, especially south Charlotte, has a ton of roads named Sharon. So who is she? Must be pretty important, right?

I called up beloved Charlotte historian Tom Hanchett and asked him about it.

“There’s no truth to the rumor that it is part of a plot to grow Charlotte on the theory that people will get lost and not be able to get out,” he says.

Glad we got that cleared up. But who’s Sharon?

To start, not a she. Sharon’s not even a person. It’s a region mentioned in the Bible, a “coastal plain in W Israel, extending from Tel Aviv to Mount Carmel,” according to my handy-dandy Webster’s dictionary.

Back in the day (we’re talking like 1700s and 1800s here) the early Charlotte settlers — Scotts-Irish Presbyterians — named roads after the church they led to. Enter: Sharon Presbyterian Church, which held its first services in 1831 and is located on, yep, Sharon Road.

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Sharon Presbyterian Church will host a joint service to commemorate the Last Supper before Easter Sunday.Michelle Lloyd - Special to South Charlotte News

Following the trend, Sharon Amity Road connects Sharon Presbyterian and Amity Presbyterian (1882).

This explains other roads, too:

Providence Presbyterian Church (1767)

Sugaw (Sugar) Creek Presbyterian Church (1755)

Carmel Presbyterian Church

Sardis Presbyterian Church (1790)

Mallard Creek Presbyterian (1830)

The second part of the Sharon story starts in the 1920s, when former N.C. Governor Cameron Morrison built his estate, Morrocroft, a mile and a half north of Sharon Church, where SouthPark is now, Hanchett says.

[Related: 50 years of SouthPark history hanging in one office hallway.]

This attracted other prominent residents and the Sharon View country club. A bunch of developers started adding the prestigious “Sharon” name to developments and roads. Hanchett says more than a dozen streets have Sharon in the name.

“It became a real stylish place to live out in the country,” he says.

You still might get lost on the Sharon roads, but at least now you’ll know why there are so dadgum many.

[Related: Why is downtown Charlotte called ‘uptown.’]

Photos: Charlotte Observer file

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