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History of Chapel Hill's Lincoln High School (1950 - 1966)

by Charly Mann


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Linda Carver      1:38 PM Fri 9/10/2010

Our class of 1966 was the last graduating class of Lincoln High School. I did not realize that sixth graders attended Lincoln the next year. The sad thing to me was how much of the memorabilia of our school was thrown away. Now that I am almost 62 going back to Lincoln and seeing some of those memories mean a great deal to me. Thank God for Mr. Smith, Mr. McDougald and others that saved what is there. I am glad that the building is still there as well as Northside where I went to Elementary school. My children attended Chapel Hill High School and my grandchildren are now attending the school systems and East Chapel Hill High. I wonder if there will ever be that feeling with the class reunions where the black students attend with their white classmates and feel that pride in sharing the history as we do with the Lincoln High School - Orange Training School Reunions?

Sarah Geer      6:19 PM Wed 12/30/2009

My best memory of wonderful RD Smith was his patience in teaching me Drivers's Education. Mr. Smith believed that we should not listen to the radio when driving, so that we would not become distracted. I hate to think what he would have to say about cell phones and texting in a car!

Sarah Geer      6:15 PM Wed 12/30/2009

When Lincoln High School closed, all the elementary schools were de-segregated as well. My recollection is that the school boundaries were all adjusted and there were difficulties in fitting all the elementary children into the closest schools. As a temporary fix, every sixth grader in town attended school at Lincoln for that school year. It was an unusual experience: a big school building with only one grade level. My brother was in that group. Although the sixth graders had to be bussed in from all over town, I heard that they enjoyed the experience, especially taking advantage of &quot;big kid&quot; amenities they didn&#39;t have in elementary school such as lockers, a band room with instruments and uniforms, and a gym.<br \><br \>

Russell D      7:17 PM Wed 12/9/2009

RD Smith, teacher in the Class of 1962 photo is now 92, lives in the same house off Church Street and frequents the Farmers Market in Carrboro with his wife. Both look as young as ever!

Patricia Fields Neubert      3:51 PM Fri 9/11/2009

The marching band from Lincoln High just made The Christmas Parade down Franklin Street fabulous.

Sue W      7:47 AM Wed 8/5/2009

I lived in Chapel Hill from the mid 50&#39;s until 1961 &amp; did not even know of Lincoln High School&#39;s existence, which I guess speaks volumes in itself.

Elizabeth P      1:53 PM Tue 8/4/2009

It is hard for me to imagine that there were ever segregated schools in Chapel Hill. I was born in 1973 and went from first grade through high school with blacks in all my classes.

Reed Walker      7:59 AM Tue 8/4/2009

Thanks for detailing some of more positive aspects of being part of a segregated school. I did not grow up in Chapel Hill, but in Huntsville, Alabama, and found the strong sense of community that I got from my all black schools was one of the few good things about that era.

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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


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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