Ballantyne Magazine


Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.

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Page 86 of 99

L ancaster Highway in Ballantyne has a rich historical legacy that today seems lost in time. First came the Paleo Indians, followed by President George Washington in 1791 and James K. Polk in 1795. Polk, the 11th American president, was born that year in Pineville. More American Indian tribes traversed Lancaster Highway for centuries, and in 1975, began to travel it again. This time, they were making their way to the door of Garrett's Antiques & Indian Shop. "Members of 83 tribes come here every year to trade with me," says Ronald Garrett, owner of the original log cabin outpost that unexpectedly appears around a curve on the west side of the road between Providence Road West and Ballantyne Commons Parkway. That fact is astounding enough, but Garrett goes on to add, "In the past 46 years, I've traveled this country to trade and buy pieces from Native American artists in more than 50 tribes around the nation." Crammed floor to ceiling with one- of-a-kind artifacts and antiques, Garrett's colorful store is a living embodiment of his extraordinary vocation — and avocation. "I've been studying Native American culture and history since 1974," he says, and he's recognized as a walking encyclopedia on the topic. His passion for the subject isn't just a matter of book learning, though. It's literally in his blood. Garrett's grandmother, Lorranie Vestine, was full-blooded Cherokee, as was his father. According to Garrett, Cherokee children of a full-blooded mother are deemed likewise. Determined to pursue his dream of opening a general store, Garrett's father, Wade, bought land in 1965 in what is now Ballantyne and built the log cabin. Shortly thereafter, Ronald Garrett graduated from South Mecklenburg High School and served in the Vietnam War with the U.S. Navy. When he returned home, he worked for a time with the North Carolina Department of Archives and History (now the Office of Archives and History) on a variety of projects, including the James K. Polk Historic Site in Pineville. W H O K N E W ? Treasure House Shop offers handcrafted Native American artifacts By Nan Bauroth | Photos by Ray Sepesy "Turquoise comes in 156 shades." — Ronald Garrett BALLANTYNE SUMMER 2019 85 Who Knew?

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