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Growing Up in Chapel Hill in the 1950s and 60s

by Charly Mann


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sue w      4:55 PM Mon 8/10/2009

In the summer when it was just too hot to ride our bicycles & go swiimming in the UNC pool we would go to the Varsity Theatre & then turn around & see another movie at the Carolina Theatre. I think the price was 15 cents. In the back of the Carolina Theatre there was one double seat & we always tried to get it. What great times & memories. I can't believe your collection!!

Shine50      1:06 PM Tue 7/21/2009

Hey I knew Johnny Barrett and Sandy Little. Do you know where they are and what they are doing today?

Roustabout      10:10 AM Tue 7/14/2009

Thanks for creating a website for keeping Chapel History alive and personal. I grew up in Chapel Hill in the 1970s and things were not quite as idyllic, but it still was a great community for a kid.

Charly Mann      4:10 PM Mon 7/13/2009

As I recall it two me about 3 hours to do this route. I had to first roll the papers and put a rubber band around each. Then I would load my two back bike baskets with papers. I also loaded a lot of papers into a large bag that had straps and fit over my neck and arms. Almost everyone along the route got a paper. The hill up Greenwood Road, where there was one very nasty dog, and then the steep hill up Raleigh Road to Country Club Road were the worst part of it.

Nancy Shepherd      10:16 AM Mon 7/13/2009

Your paper route makes me tired just looking at it. Did you do this on your bike, and how long did it take?

WattsP      6:28 PM Sun 7/12/2009

You've capture in words everything that was marvelous about Chapel Hill in the 50s and 60s.

UNC73      1:34 PM Sun 7/12/2009

I can't believe it, but I think I was in fifth and sixth grade at Glenwood with your sister Carol. Does she still live in Chapel Hill?

Peter Green      11:10 AM Sun 7/12/2009

I was not lucky enought to grow up in Chapel Hill, but I did grow up in the 50s, and there really was no better time. <br \>I enjoyed the story about your trading skills. You may not remember me but I use to be one of your customers when you managed the Record and Tape Center on West Franklin. I was at Carolina from 1971 to 1974.

Keely Wilson      9:36 PM Sat 7/11/2009

Wow. Okay I am 29 years old, and I grew up in Chapel Hill. I simply cannot imagine being able to walk or bicycle on 15-501, running into people I knew all the time when I went out, dogs running free, or parents allowing their kids to go off and play in woods by themselves. My days were scheduled with soccer games and practice, and other than that I spent little time outside. This is such an amazing piece because it transports me to a time and place that seems like something out of another world entirely. So strange.

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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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