[Durham INC] --> Mark the date: Annual Neighborhoods Hike is Saturday, April 10th
bwatu at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 7 15:12:03 EST 2010
Neighborhoods Hike: East Campus, West Durham & beyond
Saturday, April 10 at 9:00 AM
Meet at Markham & Buchanan
Was Duke Chapel really going to be built in Walltown? What Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist went to EK Powe school? What song writer for Nora Jones and Lou Rawls was "born on a kitchen table" behind Magnolia Grill? Why is Ninth Street called Ninth Street? Where did Madonna take early dance lessons?
Come along and find out...
4-mile loop starts at Markham & Buchanan (at the old City limits).
We'll start by walking past the homes of Duke's famous faculty and coaches on Buchanan, including the father of Duke basketball. We'll go down Watts Street, past Trinity Park park, and then walk across East Campus to Ninth Street.
We'll stroll up Ninth, past EK Powe, and see the South Ellerbe Creek Nature Area. We'll walk through an old mill village, see some old liquor houses and a parsonage that was ordered from the Sears catalogue. We'll continue up Oakland, past Oval Park, and Indian Trail Park in the Watts-Hillandale neighborhood.
We'll head east along the West Ellerbe Trail in the 17-acre wood, then walk past the old Watts Hospital and cross Club Blvd (near 9th Street). We'll go down a hidden alley, head over to Walltown and hear about Duke's original plans to build here. Then through Trinity Heights and back to where we began.
You'll see a little nature and learn some Durham history along the way. We might even get into current events in the Bull City.
Local history lover John Schelp will narrate along the way. You don't have to register. Parking is available on streets near Markham and Buchanan.
Co-sponsored by the Sierra Club and Get Up & Go Durham.
More info & old streetmap... http://www.owdna.org/selfguidedtourOWD.htm
Hike unveils Duke, Durham lore
Duke Chronicle, 2 April 2007
Rumor has it, Coach K gets his hair cut at an old Wesleyan church just off East Campus. "He goes there after hours," said John Schelp, who pointed out historical markers and facts Saturday morning on the third annual four-mile Urban Hike he leads around Durham. "I don't know if that's true or not, but it's the local lore."
Schelp, president of the Old West Durham Neighborhood Association, showed Durham residents, Duke employees and members of other neighborhood associations little known locales around the city, including former President Richard Nixon's old house on Clarendon Street and the house where Elvis Presley is said to have undergone drug rehabilitation.
"Each time he adds a little new twist to something," said Janet Hitti, a member of the Sierra Club in Durham. "He's Durham's national treasure."
When the tour reached East Campus, Schelp led the group past the Ark, Duke's dance studio and the site of the first Trinity College basketball game. The Ark is made out of wood salvaged from the grandstand of a horse race track that once encircled East Campus, Schelp said.
"Only two can walk in at a time going up the gangplank into the Ark, like Noah's Ark," he said, adding that Madonna-an American Dance Festival student in the '70s-lived in Gilbert-Addoms Residence Hall for a summer and took early dance lessons at the Ark.
Schelp said Duke and Durham were very different in the past, when the neighborhood smelled like a laundromat because of soapy water from the dye ponds and smoke puffing from the cotton mills and when the main drive into East Campus once led to the Ann Roney Fountain behind what is now the East Duke Building.
Among other things, Schelp added that Whole Foods on Broad Street used to be part of the field where mill workers played baseball and that the gap in the East Campus wall-now planted with cypress trees-was once a ticket counter that kept people from watching football games without paying.
"They built Duke Hospital on top of Durham's boneyard," he said, adding that this change is an example of how different the University used to be.
On Ninth Street, Schelp spoke about former local businesses like Durham's first Kentucky Fried Chicken, now an art studio.
"Colonel Sanders liked to go stand next to [his life-size fiberglass statue] and take the same pose," he said. "Customers would come into the shop and he would move, and the customers would jump."
Schelp also took the hikers past a house from the days of Prohibition -- which he said still smells like liquor when it rains -- and the house on Knox Street where an assistant professor at Duke once kept 65 exotic snakes. [The house that burned down, releasing snakes into the neighborhood.]
Other historical places discussed on the tour included a cemetery where poor black and white Durham residents were buried side by side, the stone wall that surrounds East Campus and a corner close to campus where Schelp said drug deals were being made daily seven years ago.
Schelp added that the rich history of west Durham was a result of the open relationship between the city and the University.
"Everything has connections," he said. "The more Duke students learn about these connections, the more they appreciate Durham."
Even though some of the hikers have spent their whole lives in Durham, many said they have still not gotten to learn about all of the area's history.
"I learned more today than I have in the last sixty-four years," said Freddie Cable, who grew up in Durham and currently lives in the city.
Susan Wilkins, whose grandparents opened Bullocks Bar-B-Que in Durham, and Peggy Schaeffer, who has lived in Durham 27 years, said they enjoyed the informative nature of the hike.
"These little details make everyday life more interesting," Schaeffer said. "It opens your eyes."
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