Chapel Hill history
Chapel Hill has the distinction of being the oldest state university in the country, having been chartered not long after North Carolina joined the United States of America in 1789. At the time, Hillsborough was the seat of the fledgling state government and it was desired that the location of the new state University be located nearby. The cornerstone for Old East, the first building of the new University which survives to this day, was laid in October of 1793.
The highest point of the area in which the University was located (now the home of the Carolina Inn) contained an old, abandoned Anglican chapel, which inspired the name of the town surrounding the University: Chapel Hill. Over 50 years later, the town of Chapel Hill was incorporated. (Read more about Chapel Hill’s fascinating histories here.)
Life in Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill is the quintessential college town and offers the community access to the many arts and educational opportunities of the University. But it has also become a community in its own right, growing in a slow and measured fashion throughout the years. In 1880 just over 800 people made Chapel Hill their home; by 1950 there were 9,000 residents. With the development of the Research Triangle Park (RTP), more and more relocating families made Chapel Hill their home and the population has grown about 5% per year ever since.
While a large portion of downtown Chapel Hill is geared towards the University students, there are plenty of opportunities for permanent residents as well. Chapel Hill is consistently ranked by numerous publications as one of the best places to live in the country. Carolina Performing Arts offers an unparalleled bounty of performances throughout the year, and Chapel Hill has been called America’s “Foodiest Small Town.”
The Chapel Hill/Carrboro school system is second to none, and the town places a strong emphasis on parks and recreation, especially with its flagship Aquatic Center.
Chapel Hill offers a wide variety of homes and neighborhood. There are a few pre-war neighborhoods with large older pre- and post-war homes located very near the University, peaceful tree-lined neighborhoods with brick homes and split levels from the 1970s, larger subdivisions from the 1980s and 1990s, and higher density new home communities. There are also condos and townhomes sprinkled throughout the town that offer more affordable options.
Click on the map to access detailed information about Chapel Hill’s neighborhoods and links to property listings (This feature is under construction and will be added soon).
Search the MLS for homes for sale in Chapel Hill .