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Help Save the Chapel Hill Museum

by Charly Mann

I recently completed a cross country trip along Route 66 visiting more than three dozen small and medium sized towns along the way. Towns ranging in size from 500 to 30,000 all had one or more local museums celebrating their history that were largely funded by the local government. A city as vibrant, large, and with as much important history as Chapel Hill needs a public museum to celebrate its glorious past.


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Stephen Rich      7:27 PM Tue 10/19/2010

Unfortunately the Chapel Hill Museum closed in July, 2010. The museum aksed the town to give some financial support but they only came up with a little more than half of the request. Most exhibits in the museum were returned to the owners and other items were sold to the public. Many are sad that our town did not value its own history more. You don't know where you are going if you don't know where you have been.

Susan A. Fisher      1:31 AM Sun 7/25/2010

I saw the museum display photo commemorating the Intimate Book Shop and it reminded me of a funny story from my youth in Chapel Hill. I was maybe 6 years old (1956) and I told my mother there was a book I wanted at that &quot;Illegitimate Book Shop.&quot; She laughed her head off and I had no idea why.<br \><br \>

Barbara J.      9:46 AM Fri 6/25/2010

Thank you for this information. I will try to send the mayor an e-mail soon.

Christine Adams      8:36 PM Wed 6/23/2010

So far less than the salary of one teacher, fireman, or police officer Chapel Hill could keep open the Chapel Hill Museum, an institution that serves and preserves the history of the town. What was the City Council thinking?

Mike Sparrow      1:23 PM Wed 6/23/2010

Can you please provide the names and e-mail addresses of the Town Council members I should write to?<br \><br \>Do you know how much the town is spending on fireworks for the 4th of July?<br \><br \>

Bob Jurgensen      1:15 PM Wed 6/23/2010

EMAIL SENT TO THE MAYOR &amp; COUNCIL ON JUNE 23, 2010<br \><br \>TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:<br \><br \>I have recently learned of plans to potentially close the Chapel Hill Museum due to budget constraints. This institution is a critical link to our history of Chapel Hill and a place where we can all go to enjoy the unique and special history of the town and it&#39;s citizens, both famous and infamous. While budget concerns are certainly a reality of our economy, an equal reality is that the Chapel Hill Museum is a vital and important piece of the fabric of Chapel Hill and should be preserved. Perhaps it&#39;s a matter of priorities; as a born and raised Chapel Hillian, while I no longer live in Chapel Hill, I frequently return for a dose of simplicity and love of the Town; I believe that the loss of the museum would be a loss of our connections with the past. <br \><br \>Please reconsider your vote in order to save this facility - it does not deserve to be underfunded, which will ultimately lead to it&#39;s demise. Please restore the budget funding for the Chapel Hill Museum.<br \><br \>Sincerely,<br \>Bob Jurgensen<br \>(1949-1972)

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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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