Historic Latta Revisited
Historic Latta Revisited
Historic Latta Plantation (Historic Latta) is a circa 1800 historic farm located in Latta Nature Preserve in Huntersville, North Carolina. The plantation house, along with a carriage barn, cabins and outbuildings, gives visitors a glimpse into 19th century life in the Carolina backcountry.
Managed by Mecklenburg County's Park and Recreation Department, Latta Nature Preserve is a 1,460-acre site that protects signficant natural resources and provides water quality protection for Mountain Island Lake. The Historic Latta site occupies about 16 acres within the preserve. There are 19 structures on the property, two of which remain from the original James Latta plantation. The property, historic house and several other historic structures are owned by Mecklenburg County.
In June 2021, the County opted not to renew its Annual Performance Agreement with Historic Latta Place, Inc. (HLP), private, non-profit organization. HLP had managed the Historic Latta site since its public opening in 1976.
With goals of equity, inclusion and compassionate programming in mind, Park and Recreation staff are currently assessing potential partnerships and best practices for the activation of the former plantation site for intentional educational experiences for all ages.
To date, the Department has initiated conversations with community partners including museum professionals, local historians and experts in the interpretation of African American experiences during the antebellum period. The project team is also consulting with scholars from around the country in order to ensure that next steps are informed by current research.
We need your input!
As part of the process of Revisiting Historic Latta, Mecklenburg County staff and community partners are working to establish a set of organizational values. A strong and clearly stated set of values will drive the site's future mission and vision. Based on a review of current best practices in historic site management, the following list of values has been identified for consideration. Please review and provide your own feedback by ranking these values by their level of importance.
Truth: The whole truth. Avoiding lies of omission.
Empathy: For enslaved persons in particular.
Multivocality (Inclusion): Allowing multiple voices to speak with special consideration for historically marginalized groups and people of color.
Collaboration: Building community around a common goal.
Transparency: Accountability both to the public and to the descendants of enslaved people.
Accessibility: For all groups - to the physical site, as well as to research materials and resources, including primary sources.
Courageousness: To unpack and interrogate white privilege and systemic racism.
Activism: Making connections between the institution of slavery, the foundation of the United States and slavery's impact on present-day race relations.