Fulton Heights was known as “garden spot of the home seeker”

For the four years that it was open, from June 1906 until September of 1910*, Fulton Heights Park provided delightful entertainment to the people of Salisbury and the surrounding community. Some of the fin- est dances, shows and amusements, “with not a single indecent or crooked feature,” were presented during that time.

In general, the Park included all of the blocks from Jordan Street past Boyden Street (formerly known as Bean Street) and from Heilig Avenue over to the alleyway south of Elm Street. The baseball park was laid out occupying the lots on either side of Wiley Avenue in between Jordan Street and Fries Street, with home plate near the street intersection.

The trolley originally ran down the 100 block of Mitchell Avenue to Crosby Street, but was extended to Jordan Street when the Park was opened. The Southern Development Company in 1902 filed the original plan for the Fulton Heights subdivision, with all the blocks and lots laid out. This plan included the Park area, which was “the prettiest property on the market,” boasted a December 1905 advertisement.

“Fulton Heights will be to Salisbury what Dilworth is to Charlotte,” read an ad. In April 1906, Mr. J.M. Maupin, the primary land developer, offered a prize of $10 in gold to the person writing the best ad as to why someone should live in Fulton Heights. For $200 you could buy a lot, but had to commit to a home costing no less than $1,500!

Some of those advertisements for Fulton Heights read, “A place for pleasure and comfort.” “Situated between the busy, bustling city on the east and the beauties of nature to the west.” “Every modern convenience. Its elevation and sanitary improvements will add greatly to the health of those who are seeking purity and a delicious breeze.” “Locations choice; prices right; inducements many. No dust, no smoke, no crowding.” “The garden spot of the home seeker. The Rock of Gibraltar in Real Estate Investments!” And my personal favorite, “Property increases in value while you sleep!”

Obviously, there was a lot of marketing going on for this new subdivision. Fulton Heights Park was part of that marketing strategy, designed to entice the public into the area and interest them in living there. It worked.

Prior to the opening of the Park and the big marketing campaign, only about 6 percent of all blocks showed sales activity, primarily those on Fulton Street. By 1909, there was a building boom in Fulton Heights, and by 1910 the Park and its buildings were being offered for sale first as a whole and then in part to the highest bidder. During the time the Park was open, 41 percent of the blocks had sales activity and during the five years after the Park closed, 25 percent of the blocks showed sales. The marketing campaign was a success. “The interest in Salisbury dirt was very marked and on the increase!

(*Note: This is a correction from a previous Heights History article. Further research has clarified that the park did not stay in operation until 1918.) Leslie and Doug Black of 629 Mitchell Ave. write Heights’ History and used 30 Salisbury Post articles from 1905-1912 and records from the Register of Deeds Office to research this installment.)

Fulton Heights History

This report was compiled from information found in more than 100 newspaper articles written from 1905-09 about Fulton Heights Park. It is written by Leslie Black.

June 18, 1906 – Responding to the cordial invitation of Col. Geo. H. Hamilton to inspect his grounds and buildings and witness his housewarming, I boarded one of the many electric cars running continuously to and from the Grand Opening of the new Park.

Little did I know what wondrous entertainment I would encounter! I descended from the car just at the entrance, where lay a grand flowerbed conspicuously displaying the name “Fulton Heights Park.” After stopping for refreshment at the Clubhouse, I observed children frolicking happily in the shady playground while hundreds of visitors, both families and church groups, enjoyed fellowship in the six-acre picnic grounds.

As I had arrived early, I was privileged to observe the official Opening Ceremonies by the Daughters of the Confederacy, with Col. Hamilton himself “christening” his new park with a bottle of Apollinaris water, to the delight of all assembled. “Step right up!” the barker on the 300 – yard midway called to me, challenging me to test my skill at box ball, the bowling alley or cane rack games.

The next enjoyment I encountered was the Electric Theatre, featuring high-class moving pictures like The Great Train Robbery along with only the Latest and Best Illustrated Song Exhibition – and for only 10 cents! Further on, the Ferris wheel rose dizzily above the Theatre with riders enjoying the view from the top. I wandered the Promenade, enjoying the beautiful gardens and delighting in the entertainment and the lively music of the concert at the Bandstand. Near the Promenade, there is a Dance Hall accommodating fully 200 people that can also be used as a skating rink, with a fine maple floor and free lessons.

From the main Promenade, I descended into the Wildwood Park where nature in all its glory presides in the shade of mammoth pine, cedar, oak, hickory and ash trees. As I passed the main drive and bicycle path, I entered one of the coziest and prettiest spots on earth. Here on the side of a hill is the “Lovers Retreat” with a 30-foot flowerbed and an abundance of rustic benches and swings.

Finally, I arrived at the grand Casino Theatre, which will feature only polite vaudeville and fresh, clean musical comedies all summer long. Being backed by a New York syndicate, only a high class of attractions is assured. Here, the first social “hop” of the season took place at 9:30 in the evening, and no better entertainment has ever been enjoyed.

As guaranteed by the management, there was nothing but perfect order all day long, with officers on the grounds and no rowdyism or misconduct tolerated. As I strolled from the park late that evening, I too felt the wonderment expressed by all at the day’s festivities. I am looking forward with great anticipation to the Most Glorious Fourth of July Celebration at the Park, with a grand parade, prestigious orators, a balloon ascension and Col. Hamilton’s famous pyrotechnic display, the “Burning of Frisco,” at the baseball grounds next to this auspicious site – the prettiest park in the State!