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Greenwood - Chapel Hill's Most Illustrious Neighborhood

by Bea Witten


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Ruth Hundley Vickers      10:32 AM Fri 1/15/2010

In September, 1948, Mary Kathryn (Kay) McGavran joined Chapel Hill Elementary&#39;s 6th grade class. (There was, at that time, only one 6th grade class.)<br \>Kay was the youngest child and only daughter of Dr. &amp; Mrs. McGavran. Carolyn Shotts (also a new girl to the class), Kay, and I joined close ranks early on and were a pretty tight threesome till graduation. Kay and I would leave the elementary school on Franklin Street, thread through the UNC students through campus on Cameron, turn left on Gimgoul and then literally, at some parts of the trail, SLIDE down the steep dropoff to the McGavran&#39;s back yard on Greenwood. I spent many nights in that home, inhaling the affluence my own home could not afford, inhaling Dr. McGavran&#39;s secondhand smoke as he read the newspaper (bear in mind he was the Dean of the School of Public Health!), and being made so extremely welcome by both he and Mrs. McGavran. There was a pooltable in the basement, which I considered the height of luxury, and Kay&#39;s brothers, Ted and Tad, along with neighbor Clyde Jefferson, would have rowdy games in the late afternoons. Kay, CHHS Class of &#39;54, was killed in 1962 in an auto acident. Carolyn Shotts (Lloyd) and I continue a strong friendship and treasure the memories of Kay. I have returned to that house as an adult and been given a hospitable tour by the current owners.

cre      4:43 PM Sun 8/23/2009

Mrs. Schinhan taught music at CHHS in the &#39;50s and always told us her husband had perfect pitch.

D Blyth      10:11 AM Thu 8/20/2009

This is such a wonderful window into what life was like in Chapel Hill for most University faculty families in the 1950s. I grew up in the Morgan Creek area.

P Randall      9:53 AM Wed 8/19/2009

For twelve years I was a member of the North Carolina Symphony which few people know was started by Paul Green.

Jeff Blaine      8:48 PM Tue 8/18/2009

Thanks so much for such an in depth piece. I read the article in Chapel Hill Magazine about Greenwood last month and hardly learned anything of substance about the neighborhood

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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


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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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