Once upon a time, two trails were blazed through the wilderness by Native American traders from decades of trading goods in what was to become Mecklenburg County. These trails, which traversed east-west and north-south, became the center of a settlement called Charlotte.
Early settlers built houses, taverns and mills around this intersection and the trails became streets. The streets were named Trade Street (the east-west trade route) and Tryon Street (the north-south trade route). This junction, known as the Square, formed four distinct quadrants also known as the Four Wards. Working clockwise from the Northeast quadrant, the Wards are the
While these boundaries were originally political districts that have been rendered obsolete, the terminology has stuck around to represent the names of the neighborhoods.
Today, these four wards comprise Uptown Charlotte, or Center City Charlotte, which is completely surrounded by the I-277 Belt Loop and I-77. While the primary residential section of Uptown is the 4th Ward, all four Wards have significant residential and commercial development. Uptown is an exciting area of Charlotte with pro sports, nightlife, fine dining, arts and entertainment, parks and so much more.
For a rich full history of Uptown Charlotte, see By Dr. Thomas W. Hanchett informative and comprehensive article http://cmhpf.org/educationneighhistcentercity.htm