1621 Oaklawn Avenue

 

This is a draft, now being reviewed by members of the McCrorey Heights Neighborhood Association. Please share comments with Tom@HistorySouth.org 

Built 1957 – 58.  Original owner-occupants were Perty J. Dargan, a laborer at Douglas Aircraft’s missile assembly plant on Statesville Avenue, and his wife Elizabeth Dargan, a leading educator and philanthropist.

Elizabeth Ross Dargan (8.3.1922 – 3.23.2006) earned a bachelors degree from Fayetteville State Teachers College, then a Masters from Columbia University. She started teaching in Charlotte in 1957. Ms. Dargan taught math and science at York Road High School when she moved into this house. As schools desegregated, she became a guidance counselor at highly-regarded formerly all-white Alexander Graham Junior High. She went on to become an elementary school principal, first at Billingsville Elementary, then finished her career in the 1980s as head of what is now Barringer Academic Center.

She “grew up in a rural North Carolina town and had a real commitment to giving,” remembered Valaida Fullwood, author of the book Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists. “She gave to United Way campaigns and served on boards. When she passed she bequeathed about a quarter of a million dollars to several non-profits including Charlotte’s Urban League.”  Charlotte’s United Way honored Ms. Dargan and fellow school principal Kat Crosby in 2001 with its Gordon Berg award. In 2006, poet Maya Angelou visited the Charlotte chapter of the United Negro College Fund to present a Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously to Elizabeth Ross Dargan; subsequently called the Angelou/Dargan Award, it became an annual presentation by UNCF.

Mrs. Dargan was active in the local chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, serving as chapter president in the mid 1970s.

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Architecture

Ranch. 1-story, red brick.  Main gable roof, plus projecting front gable that shelters the front door and the living room “picture window.” Integral carport at side of house. The porch that adjoined the carport was enclosed to expand the kitchen in 1965.  Rear brick wing may be an addition. With three bedrooms and 1486 square feet in 2016, this is a middle-sized house in the context of McCrorey Heights.

Building permits

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Date issued: July 11, 1957
Owner: Perty J. Dargan
Contractor: Ervin Const. Co.
Other permit info: to build residence

Oaklawn-1621-permit-a
Date issued: February 25, 1965
Owner: Mr. & Mrs. P. J. Dargan
Contractor: W. M. Belk
Estimated cost: $3,375
Other permit info: Enclose existing porch for kitchen

Building permit files, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

First appeared in city directory

1959 – Perty J. Dargan & Elizabeth M.
He: Laborer, Douglas Aircraft. She: Teacher, York Road High.
(Also at this address – James Dargan, Driver, Charlotte Observer)

City directory collection, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

Resources

“Gifts for Elderly,” Charlotte Observer, June 5, 1973.

“Who’s New in the Principal’s Office,” Charlotte Observer, June 27, 1982.