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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Ironically, American Indian trade was never part of the original plan for the store. In 1975, Garrett says some "hippies" showed up in a 1952 pickup toting two Piggly Wiggly shopping bags and pulled out a Navajo squash blossom necklace, trying to sell it for $2,000. "My father refused, but after they left, he gave me $1,000 and told me to go out West to the reservations and see what I could buy," Garrett recalls. The rest is history. Today Garrett's Antiques & Indian Shop has a big following via word of mouth, Instagram and Facebook, with people around the world coming here to shop. Garrett's wife, Miranda, and their daughter, Elizabeth, help run the store. "We have customers with Indian artifact or jewelry collections who fly into Charlotte, take an Uber here to purchase something and then fly out again," Elizabeth says. Garrett only buys individually crafted pieces and insists on handpicking everything he sells. His crafts run the gamut from Cherokee pottery and Hopi Kachina dolls to beadwork by Apaches and Blackfeet, as well as a ceremonial drum created by the Tarahumara Indians of Old Mexico. He also carries items from other remote tribes such as the Tesuque Pueblo and Potawatomi. The store is best known for its incredible selection of turquoise and silver jewelry. "Turquoise comes in 156 shades," Garrett explains, noting the stone is graded and weighed in carats like diamonds. One turquoise pendant on display features the spiritual figure of Kokopelli, an image found in ancient rock art in the Southwest. According to Elizabeth, "Navajo and Zuni needlepoint cluster bracelets and rings are fashionable right now." Garrett also has a daughter, Hanna, and son, Joshua. "When each of them turned 13, I took them with me on a trading trip to the reservations," he says, determined to pass on his heritage and knowledge of a way of life that is rapidly disappearing. Although his shop is a decided curiosity in the middle of this upscale community, Garrett has nothing but gratitude for the change around him. "Ballantyne has been great for my business," he says. "God has been good to me." BIG ROCK Ballantyne's American Indian Site Hidden off Elmstone Drive, Big Rock Nature Preserve is named for the enormous granite extrusions in this 22-acre forest glen in Ballantyne. It's also been designated a National Historic Landmark because archeological evidence shows Native American habitation dating back 7,000 years. Big Rock — the massive boulder thrust from the earth's core that is the centerpiece of the preserve — served as a campsite and observation post for Paleo Indians, the first human beings to inhabit Mecklenburg County. Over time these nomads gave way to other wandering tribes. "Around 4 A.D. Woodland Indians came through here in search of woodland buffalo, which are much larger than bison," Ronald Garrett says, and eventually other tribes settled here. "The Sugaree Indians inhabited Pineville, and a little-known tribe called the Shuterees occupied the land along what is now Ballantyne Commons Parkway," he notes. Today Big Rock is open to the public daily. If you visit, please note that parking is restricted to the street in front of the preserve. Garrett's Antiques & Indian Shop 14805 Lancaster Highway Charlotte 28277 704-542-2652 BALLANTYNE SUMMER 2019 86 Who Knew?

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