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The History of UNC's Old Well

by Charly Mann


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liz Silliman      9:17 AM Wed 12/14/2011

I know sometimes black and white photos use to be hand tinted to make them look like color, but the detail in your pictures make me think your's are all genuine

ghaole      5:04 PM Tue 2/1/2011

this was very helpful when i had to do a project on the old well<br \>

deborah      3:00 PM Mon 1/24/2011

this site was very helpful for my researchpaper on it. both of my parents went to the college too!

Dorothy Moore Jackson      3:41 PM Mon 11/29/2010

I too grew up in Chapel Hill in the 1940s and &#39;50s. I enjoyed your history of the Old Well. Just FYI, the old &quot;Chapel Hill Junior High School&quot; at the location of what is now University Square was our Elementary School before it was used as a junior high. I don&#39;t know when the building was constructed. In 1943 I was a first grader and learned what it meant when the flag in front of our school was flown at half mast in spring of 1945 (FDR had died). <br \><br \>After the old high school on South Columbia Street / Pittsboro Road (across from what is now the UNC Medical School and hospital complex) burned to the ground, some of the high school classes were held in the basement of our school. The restrooms were also in the basement, and it was with fear and trembling that a small child had to &quot;go&quot; during unscheduled bathroom breaks, when that incredibly loud bell might ring and the halls fill with enormous people rushing about to change classes! I feared being trampled to death!<br \><br \>Thanks for the memories.

suasn dal      8:56 PM Wed 2/3/2010

Excuse Don from previous comment. I&#39;m a grade behind Becky Riggsbee, she only knew Hugh at Guy B. Phillips, he moved prior to CHHS on Homestead Rd. A once told memory can sometime become confused to someone at arms length.

Rollie Tillman      3:09 PM Fri 1/22/2010

Wonderful history of The Well. You are great at unearthing old illustrations, menus, newspaper stories etc. I keep your page on the deskstop so I can see what new surprises you have for us Carolina lovers.

Kevin Gibson      12:25 PM Fri 1/22/2010

Your site is amazing. Chapel Hill Memories is really useful. I have visited it many times and I think it is wonder.

Eric Andrews      10:24 AM Thu 1/21/2010

I know sometimes black and white photos use to be hand tinted to make them look like color, but the detail in your pictures make me think your&#39;s are all genuine.

Ken Knight      6:49 PM Wed 1/20/2010

How in the world did you get these photographs? Every picture I have seen of Chapel Hill before 1940 has been black and white.

Debra Jenner      12:44 PM Wed 1/20/2010

Your vintage color photographs of the Old Well are incredible. Will you sell larger images of some of them?

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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


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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