U.D.C. Memorial Hall historical marker

U.D.C. Memorial Hall (O-41)

Building housed first the Pleasant Retreat Academy, chartered 1813. Later public library, museum. 1 block east.

Location: North Aspen Street at Pine Street in Lincolnton
County: Lincoln
Original Date Cast: 1952

Pleasant Retreat Academy was one of 300 private schools chartered in North Carolina between 1800 and 1860. The male academy, chartered by the General Assembly in 1813 and opened in 1820, operated for nearly a century. Prominent politicians and government officials studied at Pleasant Retreat, including Texas governor James Pickney Henderson, North Carolina governor William A. Graham, and Confederate general Robert F. Hoke.

In 1861, Lincoln County’s first organized Confederate unit, Company K, 1st North Carolina Volunteers, organized on the academy grounds. Nicknamed the Southern Stars, the company included twenty-eight students. Every commissioned officer in the company had been a student at the school.

In 1908, Pleasant Retreat Academy became the first state-sponsored historical renovation project in North Carolina. The following year, the renovated academy building became the Confederate Memorial Hall, later known as the United Daughters of the Confederacy Hall. The institution collected memorabilia from Lincoln County veterans of the Civil War, and provided a meeting place for Confederate reunions and the United Confederate Veterans. County officials chartered a library inside the building in 1925.

Today the two-story, four-bay building continues in use as a museum and meeting place for the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

Lincolnton Times News, March 31, 1997; November 22, 1945
Southern Stars Chapter, U.D.C., Address by Alfred Nixon, Esquire, at the Dedication of the Confederate Memorial Hall, Lincolnton, North Carolina, August 27, 1908
Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (1996)
Ansley Wegner, History for All the People (2003)

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