|Some Towns in Orange County, NC
The town of Hillsborough, North Carolina is the county seat of Orange County. It was originally established
in 1759 as Childsburg; it was renamed Hillsborough in 1766. As of the 2000 census, the town had a
population of 5,466.
| Chapel Hill
The town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina is the home of the University of North Carolina, the oldest state
university in the United States. As of the 2000 census, it had a population of 48,715. It is located in the
southeast corner of Orange County. Chapel Hill is coterminous to the west with the town of Carrboro and
to the east with the city of Durham. Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh make up the three corners of the
Research Triangle, so named in 1959, with the creation of the Research Triangle Park, a research park
between Durham and Raleigh.
Chapel Hill, or the town center, sits atop a hill, originally called New Hope Chapel Hill after the chapel
once located there. The Carolina Inn now occupies the site of the original chapel. The town was founded
to serve the University of North Carolina and grew up around it.
The Morehead Planetarium was, when it opened in 1949, one of only a handful of planetariums in the
nation, and it has remained an important town landmark. During the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo
programs, astronauts were trained there.
The town of Carrboro is located adjacent to Chapel Hill. It began in 1882 as a train stop, just west of
Chapel Hill on the Durham-Greensboro Southern Railway. The stop was located about a mile from the
University of North Carolina campus, in order not to disturb the population and to make it more difficult
for students to leave the university by train. As of the census of 2000, the population of Carrboro was
Originally known as West End, Carrboro was later renamed Venable, after Francis P. Venable, UNC
president. Settlement began slowly but began to grow after Tom Lloyd built a cotton mill nearby in 1898.
The train station also served the local lumber industry and Carrboro became a major hub in the hardwood
The family of Julian Carr purchased Lloyd's cotton mill in 1909 and in 1914, the town's name was changed
to Carrboro. The original mill changed hands a number of times and the Carrboro Board of Aldermen was
to have it demolished in 1975, until a community petition and fundraising provided for its restoration as
Carr Mill Mall.
Excerpted from "Orange County, 1752-1952"
The village of Mebane is partly in Orange County and partly in Alamance. Most of its industry is on the
Alamance side of town, but it draws its employees in considerable numbers from Orange County and thus
is a factor in the economy of the county.
Mebane came into existence as a cluster of houses along the new North Carolina Railroad in 1854. It was
named for the Mebane family, whose members have played prominent roles in public affairs since before
the Revolution. With the coming of the railroad, families from the surrounding region began to seek
home sites near the tracks, and formed a little settlement called Mebaneville. A large number of these
came from the Hawfields section to settle in the new village. Stephen A. White was the first settler, and
he was soon followed by Frank Mebane and Thomas B. Thompson. The town grew rapidly and in 1881 was
incorporated, and in 1883 the name was shortened to Mebane.
Mebane is a thriving town with a half dozen important industries, including both furniture and textile
plants. The White Furniture Company, which makes high quality bedroom and living room furniture, is
one of the oldest manufacturers of fine furniture in the South. The company was founded in 1818 by two
brothers, Will and Dave White. The Whites were descendants of one of the oldest families of the region,
their forebears having settled there in 1775. The brothers were related through their mother to the
Mebanes. Starting with a few hundred dollars, the two men purchased a carload of lumber and a
second-hand planer and set up a plant to manufacture wood products. Within a short time they began to
make bedroom furniture, and it was not long before dining room furniture was added. From the very
beginning the two brothers endeavored to make good products, and throughout its history the company
has adhered steadfastly to this policy. After operating 15 years, Will White became president, Dave
White was made general manager and a younger brother, J. Sam White, was brought into the business as
secretary and treasurer. After the death of Will White in 1935, J. Sam White became president. Though
still active at 74, executive responsibility is now shared with his son, Stephen A. White. It is pertinent to
close this sketch with the statement which appears at the beginning of one of the company's recent
brochures: "Good furniture was a tradition in the famous little town of Mebane, North Carolina, long
before the year 1881, when the first piece of White furniture was made. The White boys, Will and Dave,
had watched journeymen craftsmen fashion pieces of rich and lasting beauty. In the homes of the Pages,
the Mebanes, and other old Haw River Valley families dating back to Colonial days.....they had lived
familiarly with furniture that had enriched, and been enriched by the good life of many generations. On
the exact site of the first White Furniture shop......descendants of the founders and the early craftsmen
are still building furniture of enduring usefulness and beauty.....until the town that Gen. Alexander
Mebane founded.....and became famous as a stronghold of patriotism in Revolutionary days.....has
become, in our times, synonymous with the finest in furniture."