The President James K. Polk State Historic Site, located in Pineville, NC near Charlotte, could close for at least two years due to funding cuts in both Governor Pat McCrory's and the NC Senate's recommended budgets. It is the state's only presidential historic site. This action will deny thousands of public, private and home school children the opportunity to experience hands-on history that can never, ever be taught in a classroom. Cost savings involved in mothballing the site would be negligible, and the educational, historical and economic value of the site cannot be quantified. It is up to members of the North Carolina General Assembly and the Governor to restore state funding for this precious cultural and educational resource.
The site tells the story of James K. Polk, our nation's 11th president, who is widely considered the greatest president never to seek a second term. This "One-Term Wonder" nearly doubled the size of our nation by annexing the Oregon Territory and adding California and New Mexico to our borders. He re-established an independent treasury, reduced tariffs and created the Department of the Interior. All in just four years.
Colonial-era buildings, artifacts, a working garden, as well as a museum, tell the story of Polk's life in the early 1800s in Mecklenburg County. More than 15,000 visitors come to the site each year to attend living history demonstrations, community events, camps for kids, 18th century cooking demonstrations and educational programming. It's a required field trip for Charlotte-Mecklenburg (CMS) third-graders, and the site welcomed more than 3,100 of them last year. That's 20 percent of all CMS third-graders.