Blanche W. Tyson, one of the city’s longest-serving elementary school teachers, took out the permit to build this house in 1965. The permit listed her as “Miss,” and the 1966 and 1967 city directories showed no spouse for her when she lived here. It was unusual for a single woman to build a house in this era in America, but several did in McCrorey Heights, which was known for its well-educated, successful women.
On-line public records show a “Blanche Tyson” as a Charlottean born June 13, 1885, died March 1, 1968 — almost certainly this homeowner. Tyson had begun teaching in the early years of the 1900s at Myers Street School, the city’s first black elementary school, located in the Second Ward/Brooklyn neighborhood. She later operated her own private Tyson Kindergarten in her home at 407 N. Myers Street in Charlotte’s First Ward — in an era when kindergarten classes were unheard of in public schools in the South. Margaret Alexander, community historian and member of the Alexander Funeral Home family, recalled her son Alfred Louis Alexander attending Miss Tyson’s kindergarten in the late 1950s.
Miss Tyson served as a Girl Scout leader and also founded one of the city’s oldest African American social organizations. She was active, as well in First United Presbyterian Church, the faith home of so many McCrorey Heights neighbors,
The “Society World” column in Jet magazine, May 31, 1993, paid tribute to her club work. “The yearlong celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Bluebird Club of Charlotte, N.C., culminated at a recent church service as the members worshiped together at the First United Presbyterian Church, the home church of the founder, the late Blanche Tyson. The club of 13 retired public school teachers play bridge as well as engage in community projects.” The Bluebird Club grew out the Friday Evening Social Club, started by school teachers at the Myers Street School, said to be Charlotte’s first black female social club.
Tyson only lived at her new house on Patton Avenue about two years. When the city directory surveyor visited in 1968, he listed this address as “vacant.” In 1969 it was occupied by Mrs. Nora V. Hogans, cashier at Johnson C. Smith University, widow of Sterling F. Hogans.
1-story Ranch house in red brick with a gable roof. There is a large three-part front “picture” window, a Ranch style characteristic.
Date issued: May 21, 1965
Owner: Blanche Tyson (Miss)
Contractor: John Harvey Davidson
Estimated cost: $10,950
Other permit info: residence
Building permit files, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.
First appeared in city directory
1966 & 67 – B.W. Tyson, no oc & no spouse.
1968- listed as vacant.
1969 – Mrs. Nora V. Hogans. Widow, Sterling F. She: Cashier, JCSU.
City directory collection, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.
Margaret G.A. Alexander, Reflections (Charlotte: privately published, 2014). On-line at: https://books.google.com/books?id=cfVuBAAAQBAJ&pg=PT81&lpg=PT81&dq=%22Blanche+Tyson%22+Charlotte&source=bl&ots=t3VTunGXiT&sig=Aiknkh_lkN2GaZy-CiBTZ7UFzkM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj57Lfc5_bSAhUO24MKHT47B4oQ6AEILzAF#v=onepage&q=%22Blanche%20Tyson%22%20Charlotte&f=false
Fannie Flono, Thriving in the Shadows: The Black Experience in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County (Charlotte: Novello Press, 2006), p. 126.
“Friday Evening Social Club,” Charlotte Mecklenburg Story website created by the Carolina Room of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. On-line at http://cmstory.org/content/friday-evening-social-club
“School Days are at Hand: List of Teachers,” Charlotte News, August 29, 1911. On-line at: https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/63090858/
“Society World,” Jet, May 31, 1993. On-line at: https://books.google.com/books?id=-7oDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA30&lpg=PA30&dq=%22Blanche+Tyson%22+Charlotte&source=bl&ots=VVqSE-l3vp&sig=9ptoo2KfHwg9XrfV1WkHGLJ-C90&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj57Lfc5_bSAhUO24MKHT47B4oQ6AEIPTAI#v=onepage&q=%22Blanche%20Tyson%22%20Charlotte&f=false
“Tyson born in 1885 — People Search.” LocateAncestors.com website. On-line at: http://www.locateancestors.com/tyson-born-in-1885/
“Three to Get Service Pins,” Charlotte Observer, January 12, 1949.