The Steele Creek Historical and Genealogical Society
Of the Old Steele Creek Township
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
The Ranaleburg Post Office
| Ranaleburg Post Office |
RANALEBURG STORE AND POST OFFICE
Ranaleburg was a typical store and post office of the early 1800s in the outer edges of the county. Many communities had little general type stores along with a post office to service the surrounding neighborhoods. People either walked or road horse to pick up their mail which was not delivered everyday. They would go to the store to get basic staples but also to hear the latest news. Roads were nothing more than dirt lanes at that time, however, Ranaleburg was located on a main road (it was still just dirt though).
Ranalesburg was located on the then Yorkville Road leading from Charlotte to the Mason's Ferry over the Catawba River and continued to York, SC and beyond. It was between today's Hwy 160 and the river, but only about ¼ of a mile south of Hwy 160. The site of it is a little knoll on the left side of York Rd. (Hwy 49) today however in a couple of year when York Road is widened, it will be graded down and become part of Hwy 49.
The source for the name of Ranalesburg is yet to be found. It had an original spelling of Ranalesburgh. In the 1862 it was called Ranaleburg. On Oct 26, 1890, it was changed to Randalsburg. The post office was located there on October 24, 1834 and it continued until October 26, 1902 when it was closed. By that time transportation was slightly better with buggies and wagons and people could go a little further to pick up their mail. However, the roads were still dirt at that time and during seasons of a lot of rain, they turned into mud holes.
The first postmaster in 1834 is not known, however in 1851, Thomas S. Erwin moved from York County and located at the site and became the postmaster. His son's were Capt. A. A. Erwin, John R. Erwin and Frances Lee Erwin. By 1860, the son Frances Lee Erwin was the Postmaster. According to his obituary on June 6, 1899, when the Civil War broke out he was a merchant (store owner) and he closed the store and joined the Ranaleburg Rifle unit, which his brother Capt. A. A. Erwin had organized. This unit was the Co. B, of the 13th NC Regt. His brother, John R. Erwin, was also a member of the Ranaleburg Rifles.
The unit drilled in a field next to the Choate Family home about 3/4 mile away from the Ranalesburg Site. The Choate family had 4 sons who fought with the Ranaleburg Rifles along with a 5th son who was in a York County, SC troop. One was killed and two were wounded.
The members of the Ranalesburg Rifles were mostly from the lower Steele Creek area, however there were several from upper Steele Creek, from the Berryhill and Paw Creek area, a few from Gaston county, several York County men, several from the Sharon area. In a lot of these cases, the men were related to the ones in lower Steele Creek who joined the troop. For the most part, the unit was made up of Steele Creek people and their relatives.
The store and post office were still standing in the early 1900s. The lady who now lives on the property was born there and she remembered as a child that her father used the old store as a barn for grain storage.
Most of the old post and stores scattered around the county have long since disappeared. Very soon there will be a four-lane road and probably a subdivision and even the site of Ranaleburg will no longer be visible.
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