CHARLOTTE – Dan Morrill, one of Mecklenburg County’s most notable historians, will retire after 46 years of service as the consulting director for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission.
Morrill will be succeeded by Jack Thomson as the commission’s new director. Thomson, who serves as the executive director of the Preservation Society of Asheville & Buncombe County, begins his tenure effective Dec. 9.
During his career, Morrill worked with the commission to process more than 330 properties in Mecklenburg County for historic landmark designation, more than any other county in North Carolina.
Morrill told Matthews commissioners during the Oct. 28 meeting that he was retiring. He told commissioners that Hazen Blodget was an outstanding town manager and Planning Director Jay Camp has a “real passion for preservation.”
“It’s been a pleasure all the way from Mayor (Clay) Lefler to today,” Morrill told Matthews leaders Oct. 28. “I remember the first major issue I faced here was the threat to the old livery stable which was on Trade Street.”
Matthews Mayor Paul Bailey thanked Morrill for everything he has done for the county, as well as keeping historic properties alive for future generations.
Morrill was also directly involved in establishing a public historic preservation revolving fund, which has helped preserve more than 50 endangered properties, including Grace A.M.E. Zion Church, Fireman’s Hall and Rural Hill Plantation.
For his service, Morrill was inducted into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest award given by the state for public service.
Morrill also served as a history professor at UNC Charlotte from 1963 to 2014, longer than any other faculty member at the college. Morrill received the North Carolina National Bank Teacher of Excellence Award as well as the Outstanding Teaching Award presented by UNC Charlotte Alumni.