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Chapel Hill in the late 1950s

by Charly Mann


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Tommy Durham      10:57 AM Tue 1/19/2010

Remember Jeff's Confectionary or the Scoreboard. I have a lot of fond memories walking downtown with my dad(we lived at 718 E. Franklin St.) and going to look at the scoreboard where they would update the football scores from all over the country in chalk. There was no better place to grow up in the world than Ol' Chapel Hill.

Liz Cherry      5:10 PM Sun 1/17/2010

I remember a small grocery store in the mid-1950s next to where Spanky's is today. The Hub later moved into that location. I recall they had baskets of fruit outside in large baskets.

sue w      7:04 PM Sat 1/16/2010

Bill Harrison I remember that too.....when the Tarheels won the championship. Half the town was downtown afterwards with a big barn fire in the middle of the street & people climbing in the trees to see all the action. I lived there from 1952 until 1962 so Chapel Hill will always be arrested in that time for me. I glad I wasn't there when all the civil rights struggles were going on. As town kids we used all of the university's facilities....the campus, swimming pools, tennis courts etc. It's funny when I think back on that, we thought of the universities facilities as being ours. I remember meeting a few of the basketball players that made up the team & they were so nice to the local kids.

Bill Harrison      2:58 PM Fri 1/15/2010

Looking back on 78 years of my life, most living in or near Chapel Hill, I think 1957 through 1960 were the most wonderful time to live in Chapel Hill. It all started about the time the Tarheels went 32-0 and won the NCAA basketball championship, and ended with the election of 1960 which started dividing people about the civil rights issues of the day.

Dianne Thompson Rolwing      6:35 PM Thu 1/14/2010

I have such wonderful memories growing up in Chapel Hill. The one memory that stands out, while walking the sidewalks downtown, was seeing the lovely "Flower Ladies". It was a sad when they were forced off the sidewalks to set up in the allies. They were just one of the many things that made Chapel Hill so unique.

sue w      5:10 PM Thu 1/14/2010

We moved to Chapel Hill in 1952 & for a few years we lived on Franklin Street & lived there when they started building Belk Leggett & Horton. My sister & II used to go over there later in the day when the construction workers had left & climb all over the new construction....dangerous but fun. We also lived there when the gas station caught on fire. I can't remember the year, but I bet Charly does! .

Sarah Geer      3:57 PM Thu 1/14/2010

I loved going downtown during Hot Diggity Days. Many of the merchants put tables of merchandise out on the sidewalk at very deep discounts.<br \><br \>I&#39;m glad you mentioned Max Snipes&#39; Barber Shop, a real community fixture for the guys. It would be fun to see memories of the different barber shops and &quot;beauty shoppes&quot; in town. As a girl, I often went to the stylists on the mezzanine of Belks Department Store. <br \><br \>I was always amused to realize that the PTA was one of the major organizations supporting the change from dry to wet (sale of alcohol) in Chapel Hill. The revenue from liquor sales supported the schools, and in my mind this is why the Alcoholic Beverage Commission sales outlet was known as the &quot;ABC store.&quot;<br \><br \>To a child, &quot;the dime store&quot; was the dominant store on Franklin Street. I loved going to Rose&#39;s and browsing all the bins of toys and other goods. During Easter week, Roses&#39;s also sold live baby chicks and ducklings, dyed in pastel colors.

Gary Edens      3:31 PM Thu 1/14/2010

Charly,<br \><br \>Love the fins on those fifty-nine Fords!<br \><br \>As always, your writing, photos,newspaper clippings, and music capture the spirit of the Southern Part of Heaven. Thanks for sharing.<br \><br \>Gary

Randy Scott      1:50 PM Thu 1/14/2010

I grew up in Chapel Hill and Carrboro during this time. My head is spinning with memories of that period, but I will mention only one now. At the far end of West Franklin Street about a block from today&#39;s Crook&#39;s Corner was a large ice-making plant which I recall we had to go to often to get ice.

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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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