Digital North Carolina Blog

Digital North Carolina Blog

This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from institutions across North Carolina.

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New Blueprints, Maps, and Artifacts from the Chapel Hill Historical Society Tell the Story of Chapel Hill

Almost a hundred new maps and blueprints have been digitized and added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Chapel Hill Historical Society. Dated from 1875 to June 2007, these maps illustrate how much the city of Chapel Hill and Orange County has changed in the last century and a half.

A map of how Chapel Hill would have appeared in 1818. Franklin St and Columbia St are featured.

This new batch contains many different types of maps and blueprints, including maps of Chapel Hill neighborhoods, site plans for individual properties, blueprints of the Chapel Hill Public Library and its additions, maps of the city’s outer limits, and township tax maps.

A color-coded map of the Glen Lennox properties circa 2008

Beyond recent maps of Chapel Hill, this batch also includes several other interesting items. One map sketches Orange County, as well as the neighboring counties that ceded land between the years of 1752 and 1849. Another sketches the state of North Carolina as it appeared in 1753, when Anson and Rowan Counties stretched to the west. Another map, from 1976, sketched Chapel Hill as it would have appeared in 1818.

Other items in the collection tell their own Chapel Hill stories. In 1925, R.L. Strowd, a local landowner, sold a number of lots throughout Orange County, and those deeds of land sales are also included in this collection. Another record of land sale is included, when Samuel Morgan sold land to Jesse Hargraves in 1845 for the cost of $4,300. This batch of items also includes a book that contains detailed maps of the Chapel Hill and Carrboro area from the 1960s through the 1980s, as well as an informational pamphlet from 1953 advertising the Lake Forest neighborhood of Chapel Hill.

By adding yet more maps, blueprints and artifacts to our collection, we can learn and understand more about the city that DigitalNC calls home. To see more materials from the Chapel Hill Historical Society, visit their contributor page or check out their website.


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