The History of The Bradford Store
The Bradford Store is a registered historic landmark. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission judges that the property known as the Bradford Farm and Store possesses special significance in terms of Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
Between 1890 and 1928, William Bradford served as the head of a large farmstead situated prominently along the Davidson Concord Road. Although Bradford grew primarily cotton and corn as cash crops, he supplemented this income with several profitable side operations, providing the members of the Ramah Community with a country store, a cotton gin, a blacksmith shop, and a sawmill. Standing across the road from the house, the Bradford Store, which served as a social gathering place for members of the Ramah Community
In addition to its significance as a social center and community store, the Bradford Store (completed in 1911) is also architecturally significant as an early example of hand cast concrete block construction in Mecklenburg County. Although concrete block was used as a cheap and durable alternative to wood in small communities throughout the United States between 1900 and 1930, relatively few examples of this early form of concrete block construction survive in rural Mecklenburg County. The unusual collection of cast concrete block outbuildings in the Ramah Community can be attributed to the example set by William Bradford, who built his store and one of his farm outbuildings with the new material.
Today the Bradford Store still serves Lake Norman and north Charlotte as a place for folk to gather and share in the wonderful products and produce, most of which grown locally using natural and organic farming methods right in the fields that surround the store.