Why do neighborhoods change so quickly in Durham? Wasn’t Duke Chapel built in Walltown Park? Who was born on a kitchen table behind Monuts and wrote the song, Tobacco Road? Where did Madonna take early dance lessons? Why is Walltown called Walltown? Where was the West Durham airport? Where was Kevin Costner spotted in his boxer shorts, near East Campus?
Hear about 150 years of Durham history — and then some… 2.5-mile loop starts in a mill village where we’ll see an old liquor house, Buck Dean’s bungalow, a Sears house and a quiet urban garden in Old West Durham. Then continue into Watts-Hillandale and walk past Oval Park and the old Watts Hospital. Go down a hidden alley and see where a songwriter for Norah Jones, Lou Rawls and Jefferson Airplane was born. You’ll also hear about the ridge, between the Neuse and Cape Fear basins, that forms the backbone of our town. The talk might even get into current events in the Bull City and all this development around Ninth St. and downtown.
Head over to Walltown and hear about George Wall and Duke’s original plans to build here. Then see Richard Nixon’s house in Trinity Heights and hear about the homes of Duke’s famous faculty and coaches on Buchanan — including John Spencer Bassett, Wallace Wade and Cap Card (father of duke basketball). After hearing about Trinity Park, you’ll cross East Campus, over to Ninth Street, past Erwin Cotton Mills and back to where you started.
Local street historian John Schelp will narrate along the way. No need to register. Parking is available on streets near Ninth & Green (bike racks are also nearby). Post-hike beverages, further conversation at Dain’s Place (754 9th Street).
Co-sponsored by Museum of Durham History, Sierra Club and the Old West Durham Neighborhood Association. 2.5-mile loop. Rain or shine.