NC is an engaging mix of new and old. Founded in 1754,
it encompasses 4.3 sq miles in Orange County, just
west of the burgeoning college communities of Chapel
Hill and Durham, NC and a short half hour drive from
Raleigh's Research Triangle Park.
If you want to re-live North Carolina history by walking,
then downtown Hillsborough is the perfect place. Even
earlier than its founding date, the town traces its
history to a 1,000-year old Native American settlement.
Important trading paths (which eventually became I-85)
merged here and crossed the gentle Eno River. It served
as home for the North Carolina State Legislature and
was a center of political activity during the Revolutionary
War years. Today historic monuments and signposts
can be seen on nearly every street. More than 100
buildings and other structures from the 1700s and
1800s still remain here.
According to an article written in the Chapel Hill
News in 2006 Hillsborough was considered for reconstruction
by the Rockefeller family which eventually chose Williamsburg,
Virginia. As the article stated "what's undeniably
true, Hillsborough takes pride in its genuineness.
"Who wants to be a reconstruction? We are real",
said one long-term resident. "In vibrant contrast
to the strip malls and urban complexes that stretch
indiscriminately from state to state, there is a particularity
to Hillsborough, a human scale to its brick storefronts
and frame, 18th and 19th century houses that feels
both authentic and local. You wouldn't be surprised
to see Tom Sawyer whitewashing the Colonial Inn."
Today's delightfully genuine local residents, which
now number approximately 7,000, love to attend book
lectures, participate in local parades, hike the nearby
hills, relax and chat at sidewalk cafes, eat at local
restaurants and attend outdoor music concerts. It
is indeed a cosmopolitan village life in a unique
town that houses four museums and where the arrival
of tomato season is just as welcome as Tarheel basketball
season in neighboring Chapel Hill.