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Chapel Hill Turkeys and a Saint

by Charly Mann

When I was a young boy in the 1950s I often spent delightful afternoons at the farm of the Reverend Clarence Parker located off Mt. Carmel Church Road not far from where it intersects with 15-501. Father Parker, as most people called him, was a retired Episcopal priest who was in his early 80s. He was the kindest and most gentle human being I have ever known. Surrounding his rustic house was a field that contained a number of large hickory and maple trees. Running free through this expanse was a large number of farm animals including chickens, goats, ducks, cows, and turkeys.

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Comments:

ba      12:03 PM Tue 11/29/2011

Charles M Jones, 1st minister of the Chapel Hill Community Church, was also actively involved in civil rights back then.
 

Charly Mann      2:31 PM Mon 11/28/2011

Hello Ruth,

Thanks for the comment about Father Parker and his farm. When I was young that was a magical place. I doubt if I could find my way out there anymore even though I used to ride out at least once a week when I was a child. It sounds like your neck-of-the-woods is still a charming area that has not been spoiled by Chapel Hill’s growth.

I have a lot more memories of that part of town – Merrit’s , Dogwood Acres, The Watts Grille and Motel, etc …….., but at present just can’t recall enough to make a good story on any of these subjects.

Charly
 

Ruth Vickers      3:12 PM Wed 11/23/2011

Dear Charly Mann, I haven't checked your website in a while, but am delighted to find your tribute to Father Parker and see, once again, the image of Mother Parker. As I live only yards from the entry to "Parker Road" and have been here forever, we viewed them nearly as next-door neighbors, though it was at least a mile down the dirt road to the old Pendergrass place, where they lived. The log house burned to the ground but I am not sure of the date.

Incedently, my husband, Ken, and I walked the yard and grown-up fields surrounding the house site just a few months ago. I am sure that wild turkeys still roam the property regularly.

To the best of my knowledge, Father and Mother Parker's son, Bill & wife Athena, left that beautiful property to UNC-CH. In the winter, the view is breathtaking.
 

Keith Jones      10:02 AM Tue 11/22/2011

I recall seeing pictures of Father Parker in the front of civil rights marches along the sidewalks and streets of downtown Chapel Hill, but never knew anything about him. By the way I'm a vegetarian so no turkeys will die because of me this Thanksgiving.
 

Joan Shaw      9:12 AM Mon 11/21/2011

Do you have any plans to put your Chapel Hill Memories columns into a book? I would love to buy several for myself and friends.
 

Gail Hunter      6:37 PM Sun 11/20/2011

You memory is extraordinary and you certainly lived in a Chapel Hill that was more child friendly than it is today. As always thanks for the memories.
 

david mcgowan      2:10 PM Sun 11/20/2011

glad you're back.
 

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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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