With a history that begins as a popular home for two tribes of Native Americans and leads to a city praised for its work in technology, education, and healthcare, it is of little surprise that Durham's past is both eventful and noteworthy.
With early development as a rural area with farms and plantations, Durham's antebellum past can be explored at sites like Historic Stagville. Durham would later host the negotiations that brought about an effective end to the Civil War, at Bennett Place, a historic site that can still be visited today. With the war's end came the beginning of the South's industrial revolution, starting with the tobacco and textile industries, which can be explored at Duke Homestead and repurposed mills and warehouses.
Durham is also where the civil rights movement gained significant traction, and is where one of the nation's premier universities made its home. Framed by the structural skeletons of its bygone days, Durham is blazing a path forward making new history, every day.
All of these events contain fascinating characters and stories that can be explored at Durham's historic places, including these state historic sites and the Durham History Hub. Browse the listings below to find the stories that interest you most, and see how today's Durham came to be.
Explore Durham's African-American heritage with the resources and features contained in this portal. Read More
Dig in to Durham’s tobacco past with this Preservation Durham tour of historic sites located in Downtown Durham. Read More
Discover Durham's role before, during, and after the Civil War at three state historic sites. Read More
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Once a textile mill that made pouches for Bull Durham tobacco, the Golden Belt has been transformed into a LEED-certified complex of apartments, galleries, studios, event spaces, and more. The …
Originally named El Toro Park when it was first built in 1926, the Historic Durham Athletic Park served as the home of the Durham Bulls for almost 70 years, and was a film location for the movie Bull …
Once one of the largest plantations in the South, with 900 slaves and almost 30,000 acres of land, Stagville is a preserved piece of history. Featuring an 18th-century house, a 19th-century house, …
First cemetery for African-Americans in Durham, including the founders of White Rock Baptist Church and St. Joseph’s AME Church and organizer of the Hayti neighborhood. Includes some funereal art.
Runs through Durham along present-day Snow Hill, St. Mary's, and Mason Rds. Famous Piedmont fur and deerskin trading route through what is now Durham. After 1670, used by European explorers, hunters, …
This abandoned cemetery has eight marked graves. Canvassed by Kenneth McFarland (1985). This cemetery was used by slaves of the Bennehan and Cameron plantations and later by their descendants. This …
1927 Neoclassical building, former site of Baldwin's Department Store.
Renovated 1916 Neo-Classical-Revival building made of Indiana limestone. Facade of fluted stone pilasters with Corinthian capitals, solid bronze doors, and stone balconies.
Hillside Park High School was built in 1922. Of all the historically black high schools in North Carolina, it is the oldest that is still standing today.