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Time Travel with HEARTS to May 1775

May of 1775 was a month to remember in Mecklenburg County. Revolution was in the air and big changes were around the corner for our country. The residents of our region played a huge role in America’s independence. Join us to learn more about who these people were and life in the days leading up to the Meck Dec. Learn why May 20th,1775 is prominently displayed on the NC flag and how this history all happened right here in our own backyards. This HEARTS Happening on Saturday, May 11, 2024, from 2:00-5:00 PM brings it all together for a very special free community event in Huntersville’s historic Cedar Grove. Tickets are available here or at

Featured speakers David Fleming (left) and Scott Syfert (right), each dove deep into history and traveled the globe for their intense research for their Meck Dec books. They’ll share the latest news on this important local history as well as insights into prominent personalities of 1775. Come hear their stories along with 18th-century fashions, fiddling, flowers, and Maypole dancing for all. 

David Fleming is a senior writer at ESPN, and for the last three decades has written major features and cover stories for Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and ESPN The Magazine. In his new book, “Who’s Your Founding Father: One Man’s Epic Quest to Uncover the First, True Declaration of Independence,” Fleming tackles the Meck Dec story in the entertaining and often-irreverent style that has become his signature. Fleming shares new evidence discovered in his pursuit of the truth, and his fresh approach to this age-old debate resonates with Meck Dec boosters, Meck Dec doubters, and the Meck Dec curious.  

Scott Syfert is an attorney at Moore & Van Allen and a native of Charlotte. In 2003 he and a group of like-minded young professionals founded the May 20th Society. Syfert’s book “The First Declaration of Independence? The Disputed History of the Mecklenburg Declaration of May 20, 1775,” is the product of ten years of research and thought about the story, the controversy, and its impact on Charlotte’s history.  According to Ken Burns, “Scott Syfert rescues and then brings vividly to life a little-known story of our Revolutionary past and the urgent need by our ancestors for freedom.”  British military historian Andrew Roberts writes, “This book is one of the finest pieces of historical detective work I’ve ever read. Scott Syfert is the Sherlock Holmes of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.”  

18th-century women’s fashion is spotlighted by Kendall Kendrick, (pictured left) Executive Director of the Charlotte Trail of History and Chair of the America 250 Mecklenburg County Commission. Her collection of historic garments will be on display in the Center Hall gallery, including styles worn by women of all classes in 18th-century Mecklenburg County. Kendall enjoys researching and making reproductions of 18th-century women's clothing for living history portrayals and is the creator and curator of the interactive exhibit, “What Women Wore: Backcountry Fashion from 1750 to 1800.”

Musical guest, “The Fiddler and the Flutist,” with Glen Alexander on fiddle and Sharon Fogarty on flute will share their interpretation of traditional music in Cedar Grove’s parlor. This Irishgrass/pop duo brings their classical and folk backgrounds to bear in their creative interpretations of traditional music. 

Nature, music, and dance are woven throughout the program's finale, an authentic Maypole dance, with traditional music by the "Fiddler and the Flutist." All are welcome to dance or enjoy the experience as cheering spectators. This marks the beginning of a new HEARTS' maypole tradition, and we look forward to sharing this ancient and fascinating history of this Springtime celebration. In the upcoming weeks, the Maypole will be created from fallen timber in the woods, and on event day decorated with fresh flowers. Fresh local flowers will also be available for purchase on May HEARTS days from Blackberry Ridge Farm.

Next door, the Hugh Torance House and Store will be open from 2:00-5:00 offering new artisan goods and fresh local honey, snacks, beer, wine, sundries, and more.  Plan to come early and/or stay late to enjoy the historic grounds and tour the oldest standing store in NC. The Hugh Torance House and Store is one of Mecklenburg County’s few surviving 18th-century structures and is adjacent to Cedar Grove, the 1831 Greek Revival home of James Torrance, son of Hugh and Isabella Torance. 

MAY 1775 PART 2

Living History at the Hugh Torance House and Store

May 25, 2024

11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Be sure to mark your calendars for Part 2 of our May 1775 celebration featuring living history on the grounds of the historic Hugh Torance House and Store on May 25th from 11:00 - 4:00.  Featuring our history tours and reenactors sharing 18th-century cooking, medicine, and plant wisdom. Free to the community, tickets are available here.

HEARTS (history, ecology, arts, reunion, trails, store) happenings are free, place-based gatherings featuring music, visual arts, and lectures exploring local history, nature, and our shared sense of place. These events are made possible by dedicated volunteers, HEARTS Circle members, community partner Lake Norman Realty, and donations. All proceeds benefit HTHS’s efforts to further the HEARTS mission of historic preservation, ecological conservation, and forging community connections in our region.

​The Hugh Torance House and Store (HTHS), a private 501c3 nonprofit, operates the store and HEARTS events. The historic Store is open to the public each Sunday from 1:00-4:00 and during HEARTS events and is located at 8231 Gilead Road, Huntersville, NC 28078. Group tours and volunteer opportunities for stewardship, preservation, and conservation are available. Cedar Grove is a private residence open in partnership for select HEARTS Happenings and is located at 8229 Gilead Road, Huntersville, NC 28078. For more information, visit, email, or call (704) 920-9931.

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