October 20, 2016

Brent Glass Reading from 50 Great American Places:
Essential Historic Sites Across the U.S.

Dr. Brent D. Glass, Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, talked about his recently published book, 50 Great American Places: Essential Historic Sites Across the U.S., at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill. While a graduate student at the University of North Carolina in the 1970s, Dr. Glass was Chair of the Oral History Committee of the Chapel Hill Historical Society, and was responsible for the publication of many oral histories of local residents. After receiving his PhD from UNC in 1980, Dr. Glass served as Executive Director of the North Carolina Humanities Council from 1983 to 1987, and Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museums Commission from 1987 to 2002. In 2002, he was named Director of the National Museum of American History, and served in that position until 2011.

October 16, 2016

Historic Coker Hills

A Talk by Jill Blackburn

The Coker Hills neighborhood holds wonderful secrets. In this quiet and spacious landscape lies the story of some of Chapel Hill's rich cultural and natural history. When University of North Carolina botany professor William chambers Coker purchased the hilly area now known as Coker Hills, he bought it with a keen eye for the flora and the dramatic rises. Upon Coker's death in 1953, ownership of the land transferred, according to his will, to Coker College, a college started by his father to educate women. You can view this presentation here.

September 18, 2016

Jones Ferry: A Road to the Past

A Talk by Richard Ellington

We've all been on Jones Ferry Road, but we probably know nothing about Jones Ferry. Why were the road and the ferry there? Join us as we explore why and how the road came about. Maps of the area show how many roads have changed. Jones Ferry Road has changed in location and importance over the years. Mr. Ellington will show the suspected location of the ferry, the natural beauty of the area through photographs, and the response of residents to what nature has given them. You can view this presentation here.

May 22, 2016

Mapping Orange County: Land Grants, Early Travel Routes, and the Native Trading Path

A Talk by Mark Chilton

Mark Chilton's work on mapping the original land grants of Orange County showed where important early figures in county history lived, how people traveled by road, ferry, ford, and bridge, and where the great Native Trading Path was. Starting with the work of Allen Markham of some fifty years ago, Chilton has broadened Markham's perspective on the Orange County historical record. Chilton began in public service as a UNC undergrad on the Chapel Hill Town Council. He went on to serving as a Carrboro alderman and Carrboro mayor. He is now the Orange County Registrar of Deeds.

April 24, 2016

Mayberry Modernism: North Carolina's Modernist Legacy

A Talk by George Smart

George Smart recounted the beginnings of the North Carolina Modernist movement, showed the key differences between Modernist and contemporary architecture, and described architects and influences. North Carolina Modernist Houses documents the state's gems in a digital archive and helps to preserve those which are endangered. Smart is the son of a Raleigh architect and a radio personality on WPTF. He worked as a management consultant and executive coach before 2007. At that time, his interest in architecture grew from a Google search to a list, a website, tours, trips, dinners, movies, and design community networking. He is the founder and executive director for North Carolina Modernist Houses.

March 20, 2016

Digging in Our Heels: Angels on Campus
The History of Women on Campus at UNC

In the earliest days, women were a rarity on the UNC campus. Today women students are the majority of the undergraduate population, and women hold many positions of leadership. Taylor Livingston uses recordings from the Southern Oral History program to share stories and memories of people who experienced this great change, and to explore the triumphs and challenges of female staff, faculty and students on campus.

February 21, 2016

The Murals of Chapel Hill:
Artist Michael Brown Shares his Thoughts and Visions.

Michael Brown is considered one of North Carolina's foremost muralists. He is a native of Chapel Hill and a graduate of Chapel Hill Schools and the University of North Carolina, with a degree in Fine Arts. He has painted over twenty murals in Chapel Hill, and his murals can also be seen across the state and up and down the East Coast. His presentation showed examples of his work, and he discussed the symbolism and motivation behind those works.

January 17, 2016

The Power of Place: NORTHSIDE, A Neighborhood in Rapid Transition

A talk by Della Pollock, Director of the Jackson Center & Professor of Communications at UNC, Hudson Vaughan, Deputy Director of the Jackson Center, and Brentton Harrison, Asst. Director of Education at the Jackson Center

The Jackson Center's motto is "without the past, you have no future" This presentation will cover a brief history of Northside, one of the historically Black neighborhoods of Chapel Hill, in its formation & foundation, and its ongoing struggle for civil rights through the last several decades of rapid transition. They will touch on the coalition efforts led by neighbors to address the rapidly rising student housing market, ending with an interactive discussion about current collaborative efforts to preserve the future of one of Chapel Hill's most diverse and historic neighborhoods. This presentation was co-sponsored by Mama Dip's Restaurant at 408 West Rosemary Street and the Mediterranean Deli, 410 W. Franklin St., both in Chapel Hill, NC