Chapel Hill Historical Society

Past Programs and Events


2019 Programs

October 22, 2019
The Campus at Chapel Hill: 225 Years of Architecture
Presentation by Elinor Allcott Griffith and JJ Bauer
John V. Allcott often referred to the UNC campus as a living museum of American architecture and used the campus as his outside lecture hall for generations of UNC students. His book, The Campus at Chapel Hill: 225 Years of Architecture, provides an in-depth look at the architecture of historic campus and is and is filled with fascinating photos, rare documents and Allcott’s colorful and whimsical sketches. His daughter, Elinor Allcott Griffith, shared memories of growing up in Chapel Hill, exploring the campus with her father, and his work on the book. Art historian and UNC professor JJ Bauer discussed her addendum to the new edition of the book and how some of the modern buildings on campus incorporate architectural features of older elements of the campus. Their discussion was part of the Chapel Hill Historical Society’s launch of the newly updated and expanded edition of Professor Allcott’s book.

May 19, 2019

University Woman's Club: How it was founded, how it has changed
Presentation by Linda Haac

The University Woman's Club is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. The club's historian, Linda Haac, talked about how the club came to be founded, how it has changed with women's evolving roles in our society and how the club has been part of The University of North Carolina and now includes the wider community, along with what the future holds. We learned how an influential women's organization responded to social change since its inception in the days of hats, white gloves, and tea parties. Linda Haac holds a Master's degree from the Department of Communication Studies at UNC with teaching experience at both Duke and the University of NC at Chapel Hill. She has been a writer and correspondent for the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Newsweek.

April 28, 2019

Martin Luther King Jr. in Jim Crow Chapel Hill
Presentation by Mike Ogle

Martin Luther King Jr. came to Chapel Hill in 1960, two months after the Chapel Hill Nine took their seats in Colonial Drug Store to spark the local civil rights movement. King delivered four talks here over two days, tailoring his remarks to fit each audience's ears and his aims. Although Chapel Hill's liberal reputation had been entrenched for decades, Jim Crow was a significant part of its reality. King had to navigate that landscape -- and racism's deep roots here -- including opposition from one of Chapel Hill's most prominent residents. Mike Ogle is a journalist and former sports writer who has written for a number of national outlets, including the New York Times, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and the Washington Post.

March 24, 2019

Bayard Wootten:: Trailblazer for Women Photographers in the South
Presentation by Jerry Cotten

Bayard Wootten, perhaps North Carolina's best-known photographer in the first half of the twentieth century, was the subject of a presentation on March 24, by Jerry Cotten, author of Light and Air: The Photography of Bayard Wootten. Wootten embraced an artistic style of photography known as Pictorialism and operated studios in several NC towns, including Chapel Hill (1928-1954). Her landscape images and insightful portraits of Southerners, both black and white, resulted in numerous exhibitions, lectures, and books illustrated with her photographs. Wootten was known for her independence and determination as a woman and as a photographer. Her career was at its peak during the 1930s.

February 17, 2019

North Carolina's Oldest Roads: Geography, Physics, and Geopolitics Of Movement in Pre-Modern Times In the Old North State
Presentation by Tom Magnuson

What geographic factors determine where a path, trail or road wends its way across North Carolina? What physical factors dictated transportation and settlement patterns in Colonial times in the Old North State? This presentation touched on the geology and geography of pre-modern byways, the flora and fauna needed for travel, and the environmental and geopolitical factors determining where we live to this day. Tom Magnuson is the founder and CEO of the Trading Path Association (TPA), a non-profit organization committed to finding remnants of the Contact Era in the southeast and protecting them from accidental destruction. This presentation was made possible through funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council.


Programs from Previous Years