TOWN PUMP (CHAPEL HILL)

TOWN PUMP (CHAPEL HILL)

street: ,
Chapel Hill
NC
Built in
1792-1861
/ Modified in
1922
/ Demolished in
1956
Construction type: 
,

 

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Last updated

  • Sun, 02/25/2024 - 1:54pm by SteveR

Comments

street: ,
Chapel Hill
NC
Built in
1792-1861
/ Modified in
1922
/ Demolished in
1956
Object Type: 
Object Subtype: 
Construction type: 
,

 

Chapel Hill's historic town pump was likely constructed once the street grid was finalized for the town, circa 1800. It may have started as a well with a bucket system or an improved spring that had a hand pump and a wooden trough for horses and livestock to drink from. A circa 1817 map of Chapel Hill shows a spring at or near this location (although an earlier map shows the spring north of Franklin Street).

In 1869, William Huskey, a detective investigating the Ku Klux Klan for North Carolina Governor William Holden, checked into Chapel Hill's Union Hotel. A few nights later, Huskey was "escorted" by the klan to the town pump, where they tied him to it and "applied 60 lashes to his bare back." Huskey left town immediately.

Foister's used the water from the pump to rinse their negatives and photograohic prints at night, as there was insufficient electricity and decent running water going to their business.

In April 1922, a fountain memorializing Susan Williams Graham was commissioned to be installed at the site of the town pump. The site was prepared by T. C. Atwood (of Durham), and the fountain was installed by Bain & Kimball (of Durham). On November 5, 1956, the fountain was moved by University employees from this location to the northwest corner of the Coker Arboretum on the UNC campus. At some point in time the pipes running to the fountain were capped off below ground level and are perhaps still there.

Frm the September 21, 1921 Tar Heel

Circa 1930 postcard (the 1922 monument and former town pump site can be seen in lower left)

The 1922 fountain and monument about to be dismantled, November 5, 1956 (photo via UNC)

 

SOURCES:
The Tar Heel, September 21, 1921
The Tar Heel, April 25, 1922
The Tar Heel, January 23, 1923

 

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