by Charly Mann
Fowler's Food Store was the first supermarket in Chapel Hill, and was started in the 1920’s by the Fowler Family. It was located on West Franklin Street. Fowler's had the best selection of frozen foods and produce in Chapel Hill, until the early 1970s, when large grocery chains began opening larger supermarkets. It was particularly famous for its high quality fresh meats and outstanding butchers. From time to time the store carried a small selections of other items, including popular 45-rpm records. The town’s only record store throughout the 1950s and 60s, Kemps, never carried 45s, or much selection in rock and roll LPs. I bought my first Elvis Presley record there in August of 1956, Hound Dog backed by Don’t Be Cruel.
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What is it that binds us to this place as to no other? It is not the well or the bell or the stone walls. or the crisp October nights. No, our love for this place is based upon the fact that it is as it was meant to be, The University of the People.