The neighborhood originated around 1900 when Charlotte real estate developer Clayton O. Brown purchased a tract of land north of the old County Home Road (which is now Parkwood Avenue) and marketed the area as Villa Heights subdivision.
The Belmont-Villa Heights-Optimist Park area was Charlotte’s first entirely working-class suburban district. As such, it is an important reminder of this large group of people who, with their labor, helped advance Charlotte to its position as a leading textile producer and the largest city in North and South Carolina during the textile boom decades of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
For more on the history of Villa Heights and surrounding neighborhoods, see this archived page by Dr. Thomas Hanchett.