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The Oldest House In Chapel Hill

by Charly Mann

The Hopper-Kyser House at 504 East Franklin Street is the oldest house in Chapel Hill. The house has grown from a 1400 square feet structure with no indoor plumbing or kitchen in 1814 to a magnificent home of over 4500 square feet with five bedrooms and bathrooms and a French kitchen. The original cost for the house is thought to be under $300. It recently sold for almost 1.5 million dollars. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Building and Looking for a House in Chapel Hill

I have gone house hunting many times in Chapel Hill over the last 55 years with my parents, on my own, as part of a married couple, and numerous times as a friend. Recently I spent a day looking at houses in Chapel Hill in the range of $550,000 to $875,000. None of the houses were especially large, prestigious, nor had incredible "curb appeal" and most of them were in neighborhoods where I had lived as a child or adult. What most astounded me was that the average yearly property tax bill the dozen nice upper middle class home I saw was now just under $13,000 a year. This contrasts with my childhood in the 50s and 60s when people making that much per year were living in far nicer homes than these.

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Chapel Hill's Laurel Hill Neighborhood History and Houses

article by Bea Witten (with photos provided by Charly Mann)

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1950s Chapel Hill Values, Lessons, and Observations

by Charly Mann

There was no better to place to learn the John Dunne lesson that “no man is an island” than Chapel Hill in the 1950s. No one in town felt isolated because there was so much family and community interaction, and everyone growing up at that time had the opportunity to learn and be influenced by a wide array of unique and highly intelligent individuals. In the 1950s, Chapel Hill had a myriad of great role models for young people. The majority of adults were in their mid to late thirties and had endured the hardships of the Great Depression, and most of the men had experienced the hell of World War II. Almost all of the men, whether they were professors or merchants, had come from small southern farming communities and were the first members of their families to have had a college education. I was fortunate to know many of these people, and they were collectively a great influence on me. From them I learned courage and discipline, and that anything was possible if one was determined and worked hard. One common denominator of these people was that each had experienced huge hardships in their lives, but rather than becoming cynical or hopeless, they grew stronger and more optimistic. Each of them also taught me to think creatively to solve my problems.

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When Chapel Hill Housing Was Affordable

by Charly Mann

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Chapel Hill's Whitehead Circle Neighborhood

by Charly Mann

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Greenwood - Chapel Hill's Most Illustrious Neighborhood

by Bea Witten

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Chapel Hill's Gimghoul Neighborhood and Battle Park

by Bea Witten

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Chapel Hill's Glen Lennox Apartments and Shopping Center

by Charly Mann

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Bite Sized Facts Link for Useful facts, financial success, universal truths, and great health info



Chapel Hill is located on a hill whose only distinguishing feature in the 18th century was a small chapel on top called New Hope Chapel. This church was built in 1752 and is currently the location of The Carolina Inn. The town was founded in 1819, and chartered in 1851.

 

 

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.

-- Charles Kuralt

 

 

Dark Side of the Hill -- Pink Floyd, the creators of the most popular album in history, Dark Side of the Moon, took the second half of their name from Floyd Council, a Chapel Hill native, and great blues singer and guitarist. He once belonged to a group called "The Chapel Hillbillies".

 

 

Check out Charly Mann's other website:
Oklahoma Birds and Butterflies
oklahomabirdsandbutterflies.com
http://oklahomabirdsandbutterflies.com

 



We need your help. Send your submissions, ideas, photos, and questions to CHMemories@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

There would probably be no Chapel Hill if the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees in 1793 had not chosen land across from New Hope Chapel for the location of the university. By 1800 there were about 100 people living in thirty houses surrounding the campus.

 

 

The University North Carolina's first student was Hinton James, who enrolled in February, 1795. There is now a dormitory on the campus named in his honor.

 

 

 

 

The University of North Carolina was closed from 1870 to 1875 because of lack of state funding.

 

 

 

 

William Ackland left his art collection and $1.25 million to Duke University in 1940 on the condition that he would be buried in the art museum that the University was to build with his bequest. Duke rejected this condition even though members of the Duke Family are buried in Duke Chapel. What followed was a long and acrimonious legal battle between Ackland relatives who now wanted the inheritance, Rollins College, and the University of North Carolina, each attempting to receive the funds. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and in 1949 UNC was awarded the money for the museum. Ackland is buried near the museum's entrance. When the museum first opened, in the early sixties, there were rumors that his remains were leaking out of the mausoleum.

 

 

The official name of the Arboretum on the University of North Carolina campus is the Coker Arboretum. It is named after Dr. William Cocker, the University's first botany professor. It occupies a little more than five acres. It was founded in 1903.

 

 

Chapel Hill's main street has always been called Franklin Street. It was named after Benjamin Franklin in the early 1790s.

 

 



We need your help. Send your submissions, ideas, photos, and questions to CHMemories@gmail.com.

 

 

Chapel Hill High School and Chapel Hill Junior High were on Franklin Street in the same location as University Square until the mid 1960s.

 

 

The Colonial Drug Store at 450 West Franklin Street was owned and operated by John Carswell. It was famous for a fresh-squeezed carbonated orange beverage called a "Big O". In the early 1970s, I managed the Record and Tape Center next door, and must have had over 100 of those drinks. The Colonial Drug Store closed in 1996.

 

 

Sutton's Drugstore, which opened in 1923, has one of the last soda fountains in the South. It is one of the few businesses remaining on Franklin Street that was in operation when I was growing up in the 1950s.

 

 

Future President Gerald Ford lived in Chapel Hill twice. First when he was 24, in 1938, he took a law couse in summer school at UNC. He lived in the Carr Building, which was a law school dormitory. At the same time, Richard Nixon, the man he served under as Vice President, was attending law school at Duke. In 1942, Ford returned to Chapel Hill to attend the U.S. Navy's Pre-Flight School training program. He lived in a rental house on Hidden Hills Drive.

 

 

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