States along the East Coast are full of history, life, and stories of people that persevered to create a beautiful life for their families.

As a local Chapel Hill roofer, we’re excited to share some of Chapel Hill history with you.

1783-1800: Humble Beginnings

Almost every city starts in a humble way and Chapel Hill is no different. The town located in Orange County, central North Carolina is roughly 25 miles northwest of Raleigh.

Founded in the year 1783, the city was named for the Church of England New Hope Chapel that once stood at a crossroads on the hill’s settlement center.

The adjoining town of Carrboro to the west created a university community when the University of North Carolina was built in 1789 and opened in 1795.

Prior to that, in the year 1793, some of the first town lots were sold.

The Chapel Hill history seal on the University of North Carolina on brick walkway

1800-1859: Growth and Population

Like many of the cities in this time period, the population quickly grew, and the city became a popular place to raise a family.

As soon as 1819, the NC General Assembly authorized a government to be formed, including a board of commissioners, to govern the city.

By the year 1859, the town covered nearly 820 acres.

1859-1900: The First Mayor and the Old Well

It wasn’t until the year 1869 that Chapel Hill had its first mayor. H.B. Gutherie served for four years and was later replaced by John H. Watson, who would serve off and on for years to come.

During the years 1871-1875, the University of North Carolina was closed due to a lack of funding for the first time since it opened.

In 1886, Mayor Watson petitioned the city to establish the first fire department.

Mayor McDade passed a misdemeanor law punishable by a $20 fine to cut a tree down within the town.

1895 brought the city’s first mayoral election, and John H. Watson was elected by the city. Prior to this, the Board of Assembly would choose the mayor.

The Old Well that we know today as the symbol for the University of North Carolina was completed in the year 1897.

The Old Well, a part of Chapel Hill history, the symbol of UNC

The 1900s: Continued Growth and the First Schools, Hospitals, and Modern Amenities

During the 20th century, the city was rapidly growing and making many modern advancements.

In 1902 Chapel Hill Public Schools opened for the very first time, and in 1909, Pickwick Theater, the first movie theater, opened.

The very first pavement was laid along Franklin Street in 1921, and in 1924 the Carolina Inn opened to serve guests that were passing through the area.

The city’s Bell Tower was dedicated in 1931, and the post office, courthouse, and town hall were all built between 1937 and 1938.

UNC won their first NCAA Title on March 23rd of 1957.

1960: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visited the Hargraves center to meet African-American community leaders throughout Chapel Hill and the surrounding cities.

The first bus service began serving the city in 1974. This allowed residents to travel throughout the city and much further for work and errands without needing a car or spending as much time walking.

first bus service in Chapel Hill history in 1974

2000-Present Day

It might not seem like many amazing or historical events have happened since the bus service began, or Martin Luther King visited. But even today, the city is still taking steps to continue growing and becoming a beautiful place to raise a family.

In 2002, the transit system became fare-free making it even easier to access and enjoy.

Airport Road was changed to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in 2005, and in 2008 the Homestead Aquatic Center was built.

Martin Luther King Jr. blvd street sign

A celebration of 200 years with the local government was commemorated in 2019.

As you can see, there’s a lot of Chapel Hill history to remember, and it goes far beyond just UNC-Chapel Hill. At K&D Roofing, we’re proud to be a part of this community and to serve it with our business.

If you’re from the area and you need roofing services. We’d be happy to help. Reach out to our team today to receive a free inspection.