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Chapel Hill's First School

This is the first public school in Chapel Hill. It was called The Chapel Hill Grade School. This is because it had adopted the then new concept of dividing students into grades. The school was located behind where the Carolina Inn is today. It was built in 1898, and this photograph was taken about 1904 by Adam Kluttz who was Chapel Hill's primary merchant in those days.

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The Kidnapping of Ramses

by Charly Mann

Ramses has been the mascot of the UNC Tarheels since 1924, when a ram was taken to the UNC-VMI football game. In that game the UNC kicker, Jack Merritt, rubbed his head against the ram before he attempted a crucial field goal, which won the game. After the game Merritt was labeled “The Battling Ram” Merritt, and the ram became the Tarheel mascot.


Original Ramses 1925

In 1970, I was twenty and managing a record store in Durham. I shared a small cabin between Durham and Chapel Hill on Erwin road with two Duke students, one of whom worked in my store. His name is Peter Heath. In early February, a friend of Peter’s, who was also a Duke student, turned up at our place with a surprise – the Tarheel mascot Ramses. His name was Chuck "Butch" Skinner, and he had discovered the secret location where Ramses was kept (It was at Hogan's Farm). Skinner said  that the hard part of the abduction was getting the Ram into the back seat of his Chevrolet Camaro, and then taking it over to our place. As the only Tarheel in the conspiracy, I felt a bit of disloyalty in helping hide the ram, but applauded the ingenuity and boldness of the perpetrator. Ramses stayed with us at least a week in an old tractor shed behind our house. I remember him being quite friendly, and not the least bit distressed about his abduction. I would often go out to see Ramses, and bring him grass or water. At the end of that week was the classic Duke-Carolina basketball game played at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium. The day before, Skinner came back over to dye Ramses a deep rich dark Duke blue. That Saturday, February 28, Ramses was released on the floor of Cameron in his new Duke Blue colors, causing quite a commotion as the few UNC students in attendance ran out to rescue him.


This is Ramses at our place with two Duke Students, Chuck Skinner on the right, and Peter's girlfriend, Heloise, on the left 

That week was not a good one for Ramses or Carolina; Duke won the basketball game 91-83.


I have never wavered in my loyalty and love for Carolina, and just a few years later would become a member of the UNC Ram’s Club.


This is located at aproximatey 4600 Erwin Road

Addendum:
In November of 1933 bells began ringing after midnight throughout the University of North Carolina campus on the Thursday night before the UNC-Duke Football game. Awakened students were alerted that Duke students had just taken Ramses from his pen behind the Carolina Inn.

Students rushed to their automobiles throughout the campus, and more than 200 students raced toward Durham and the Duke Campus with the intent of recovering their mascot. There was a lot of yelling and honking of horns when they reached Duke, but they could not find Ramses. When they returned they were told it was all a hoax. What had actually happened was that some students had moved Ramses to a farm outside of town, and then spread the rumor of him being stolen to stimulate "college spirit". 

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UNC and Chapel Hill in 1965

by Charly Mann

Many people think of the 60s as the heyday of non-conformity and social progress. This is Chapel Hill in 1965 when I was 15. As you can see most guys, including myself, wore madras shirts.

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Hal Kemp - Chapel Hill's First Music Superstar

by Charly Mann

Before there were Arrogance, Mike Cross, the Squirrel Nut Zippers, James Taylor, George Hamilton IV, or Kay Kyser, one man put the University of North Carolina and Chapel Hill on the music map. His name was Hal Kemp, and he was as well known in the 1930's as Madonna, the Eagles, or the Dave Matthews band are today.

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How Chapel Hill Became the Southern Part of Heaven

by Charly Mann

Chapel Hill has been the Southern Part Of Heaven since a book of that name was published in 1950 by William Meade Prince (1893-1951). Prince grew up in Chapel Hill, and was an accomplished illustrator. The book is an illustrated story about his youth in Chapel Hill at the turn of the 20th century. In subsequent installments on this website I will publish some excerpts from it.

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A Brief History of Franklin Street

by Charly Mann

Central Franklin Street was lined with an assortment of poorly constructed stores that looked more like shacks until about 1920. After a fire that destroyed most of the stores on the north side of the street, buildings made of brick began sprouting up. By 1935 Franklin Street achieved the look that it maintained until 1971, when the NCNB Plaza was built and became the main eyesore of downtown.

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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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