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Bruce Strowd and the Strowds of Chapel Hill

by Charly Mann

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Comments:

Ziarre      11:23 AM Sat 8/20/2011

The purchases I make are etnirley based on these articles.
 

Maddy Brown      4:48 PM Mon 7/4/2011

Is PLum Nelly Haunted or is that just a legend?
 

BEBE JOHNS FOX      1:21 PM Wed 9/8/2010

Hello Charly,

Did you tell me that the auction of the ca 1928 Strowd farm in Baldwin Township, Chatham Co., contained some 3,000 acres. I really need to know the acreage.

Thanks so much...

Bebe Fox
Winston Salem, NC
 

Bebe Johns Fox      4:20 AM Mon 2/8/2010

Charly...I am so very impressed with both your love of Chapel Hill and your outstanding collection of both information and photographs. Thanks for all you do!!
 

G Marks      9:54 AM Thu 1/28/2010

There seem to be a lot of important families in Chapel Hill history. I hope you cover more of them including the Cobbs, Battles, Grahams, Spencers, and Kochs.

I have enjoyed your articles on the Gooch, Taylor, and Strowd families.
 

Bebe Fox      10:38 PM Wed 1/27/2010

Martha..yes, my g'father was about 15 when the photo was made on muddy Franklin St. He married Mattie Atwater in 1911, and opened his first business in 1913. Bruce got better looking as time went by!!

Speaking of Bruce being a character...many of his contemporaris, some of whom I remember, could be called characters...Bruce, a charter member of the C.H. Rotary Club, chr. of the first Welfare Board, and one of the few laymen who were invited to become a member of the UNC Faculty Club, for fun, pronounced the word as Char-AC-tor. He employed more people in C.H. then anyone except the University.
Maybe sometime we can post the super drawing that William Meade Prince, friend of Bruce's and author of the legendary, locally, anyway, of the book The Southern Part of Heaven. Prince's fine drawing featured Bruce as a young fellow driving his homemade motorized hmmm, vehicle...the Strowdmobile aka the Devilwagon..lacking a muffler, it was pretty loud, thus scared the horses and townfolk on Franklin Street.


 

Martha Cherry      8:42 AM Wed 1/27/2010

My grandmother is 96 and grew up in Chapel Hill. She now lives in a nursing home in Charlotte. Once a week I visit her there. Her mind is losing steam, but when I show her articles from Chapel Hill Memories that are about the 1930s and 40s her face lights up and her mind begins to clear.

She really enjoyed looking at the ads in this one ant the UNC yearbook photos in the one that follows. I know it must take a long time locating ads that are sometimes over a 100 years old.

There is a photo you have of Bruce Strowd which you say is from 1906. You also say he was born in 1891. If you look at the photo you can see this is not a 15 year old boy. I bet the photo is actually eight or ten years older.

 

Bebe Johns Fox      6:37 PM Tue 1/26/2010

Harriet...Gene and Bruce were cousins or hmm 1/2 cousins. Gene descended from Bryant Strowd and Anne Snipes and Bruce was from Bryant Strowd and youngest dau. of John Wilson, founder of Damascus Cong. Christian Ch. out past Carrboro. White Cross area. Her name was Martha aka Patsy Cynthia Wilson.

Bruce bought the first tv in Orange, from Gene no doubt, but took it out to his getaway near Mann's Chapel in Chatham. Great looking cabinet but hardly could see the program called THE SHADOW KNOWS...scary to my little sister and me...what we could make out through the snow due to very poor reception!!
 

Bebe Johns Fox      6:20 PM Tue 1/26/2010

Mike...did you know Percy Sparrow...he worked for Bruce, my grandfather....a very loyal friend.

Bob....did you ever hear the story about several fellows working for Bruce who ahem....borrowed a bear cub from the fair in Raleigh, pulled up at Strowd Motor with the intentsion of going upstairs and letting the cub into the sleeping area...HOWEVER....the police had pulled in right beside them and offered a good deal...take that bear back to it's owner and I won't put you in jail!!! Love it!
 

Mike Sparrow      4:04 PM Tue 1/26/2010

Great article Mr. Mann. My father bought two cars from Strowd Ford in the 1940s. He thought Strowd was quite a character and said he loved to talk about cars.
 

Bob Ward      11:58 AM Tue 1/26/2010

My father, Ira Ward, lived in a room in the the upstairs of Strowd Motor Co. and drove their tow truck during part of the time he was at UNC in the late 30's and early 40's.
 

Harriet Yates      9:38 AM Tue 1/26/2010

I loved the Johnson Strowd Ward store. The Strowd who was part owner of that store was Gene Strowd. I think that business started in the mid 1940s and closed about 1980.
 

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Bite Sized Facts Link



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

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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