Historical Locations For Chapel Hill Vacationers

Founded in 1793, Chapel Hill in North Carolina is a town steeped in history and a delight for those visitors who want to explore the history of a place.

The city hosts country’s first public university – University of North Carolina – is just one of the many distinctions this town has. Walking around the place, you are bound to come across buildings from another era reminding of Chapel Hill’s great pedigree.

So, if this is the place you are heading to for your vacations, then listed below are the places, rich with historical significance that you must visit.


Franklin Street

Franklin Street is the core around which the city of Chapel Hill grew from its earliest days. Named after Benjamin Franklin, who was one of the men behind the setting up of the University of North Carolina, today, this place bustles with commercial activity and is the most popular watering hole in the town.

Here you can find every type of shop, be it restaurants, bars, music shops, bookstores and anything else. Along with that, the street is also ground zero for many of the festivities and events that take place in the city.

ShoplyfterWhat is interesting about the place and people here is actually the self-named idea of Shoplyfter punishment experience. You see, there is quite a few shoplifters in the area and retail shop owners decided to do things their way. Catching females, taking them to the backroom and prosecuting them in an old-fashion way…

The Chapel Of The Cross

The Chapel of the Cross was established at Chapel Hill in 1848 to provide a place for worship to the Anglican community who lived nearby. The sacred place has also witnessed moments of great historical significance. Rev. David Yates, who presided over the institution from 1945 to 1959, made sure that African-Americans were allowed to pray in the chapel well before desegregation took effect elsewhere.

This is also the place where the first black woman to be ordained as a priest of the Episcopal order, Rev. Dr. Paul Murray celebrated her first Eucharist in 1977.

Apart from the historical significance of the chapel, its architecture is also worth taking note of. The building is designed in the Gothic Revival style and the architect behind it was Thomas Walter.

Gimghoul Castle

Considered as the headquarters of a secretive brotherhood called the Order of Gimghoul, the Gimghoul (sometimes called the Hippol) Castle was built in the year 1924 at the cost of around $50,000. The building is constructed from rough stone, 1300 tons of which had to be brought over so that the edifice appears like a castle.

The Order of Gimghoul is a closed society and membership is limited to students of the University who receive an invitation to join. There are no secret agendas that the order has according to general information.

University Of North Carolina (UNC) Campus

The UNC campus in Chapel Hill is spread over an area of 729 acres. Unofficially, the campus is divided into the three parts – North Campus, South Campus and Middle Campus.

It’s in the Middle Campus that one finds many interesting places to visit. There are playing fields for many sports as well as a gymnasium. One of the main landmarks located near Middle Campus is the Kenan Memorial Stadium that was opened in 1927.

The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black History is another place in the vicinity of the Middle Campus with great significance. Opened in 1988, this center is named after Dr. Sonja Haynes who was a professor of Afro-American studies in UNC. The center tries to showcase the artistic achievements of African-American artists and tries to promote it.

Horace Williams House

Built in 1854, the house was originally owned by Benjamin Hedrick who was a professor in UNC. John Berry, a builder was given the charge of constructing the house in an octagonal design. After passing through the hands of many people, it finally came to be owned by Horace Williams, also a professor in the UNC in 1897 and he bequeathed it to the university.

The building is now under the care of Preservation of Chapel Hill who are trying to keep it in good shape.