Old Chapel Hill Cemetery, Chapel Hill

2.9
Cemetery · Hidden Gem · Historic Site
Old Chapel Hill Cemetery is a graveyard and national historic district located on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
The land was a land grant to the University of North Carolina by the State of North Carolina. The land encompassed, and was sold for five shillings on October 21, 1776. The cemetery currently covers. The first recorded burial was George Clarke, a Burke County student at the university, who died September 28, 1798. His headstone was not placed until several years later. By January 28, 1994, 1,621 burials had been performed. The cemetery is now almost full, and all of the plots have already been bought. In 1922, the town took over responsibility for maintaining the cemetery, and in 1988, the ownership changed over to the University.
A low rock wall was built around the cemetery in 1835 at the cost of $64.41. The school officially named the cemetery "College Graveyard," as opposed to "Village Cemetery," like the Chapel Hill residents called it. Five sidewalks divide the cemetery into six sections. Two of the sections were reserved for African-American burials because there were no black church cemeteries in town. A low rock wall divides the two segregated sections (Sections A and B) from the rest. The Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies were the first to establish plots. In the other sections, there are administrators and professors, as well as prominent public officials, business leaders, and artists from the area. During the Civil War, Confederate soldiers were buried there.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
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  • Old Chapel Hill Cemetery is on the UNC Campus, just off South Road. Park in the deck next to Playmaker's Theater and walk thru. I think this address is that of the office of the Town of Chapel Hill.....  more »
  • Very well maintained, very wildlife friendly. Chimpmunks and a wide variety of birds. Blooming wildflowers and grasses. Stunning historic headstones, as well as African American 1798 burial ground...  more »

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