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History Timeline

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The Town of Chapel Hill is a community where a diversity of ideas, people, and opportunities converge. It is a place where its people feel a vitality and pride that stem from Chapel Hill's history, traditions, and unique characteristics.

Nicknamed the "Southern Part of Heaven," Chapel Hill was named after New Hope Chapel that stood upon a hill at the crossing of two roads (where The Carolina Inn currently stands). Town lots were auctioned in 1793 when work began on the first University building, although it was 1795 before any residents occupied permanent homes. 

The history of the Town is inextricably linked to the University. The Town was, in fact, created to serve the University. When the UNC Board of Trustees chose the area around New Hope Chapel as the site for the first state university in 1793, they also named a committee to lay out a town adjacent to the site. 

Present day reminders of Chapel Hill's history are cherished by residents and admired by visitors.

Listed below are key dates and events of a town otherwise known as the Southern Part of Heaven.

Brochure: History of Chapel Hill Town Government

Prior to 1800
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