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Street Names in the Area

Andy and the Ghost

Thomas Wolfe

Gimghoul Castle

Birds of a Feather

What's a Tar Heel?


UNC's First Computer

Manning Drive

Horace Williams House

HW House Residents

Area Street Names   >

Mount Mitchell


Swim Test

Need a Ride?


If it ain't Broke...

Joy in the Morning

Hinton James

A Noble Tradition?

Painting the Town Blue

Di and Phi Societies

Franklin Street Wrong-Way Directional Sign Henderson Street

Stroll down the streets of Chapel Hill to find clues about the Town's history. The main downtown thoroughfare Franklin Street takes its name from statesman and patriot Benjamin Franklin, but some of the lesser-known bits of street-sign trivia also tell a story about the early days of Chapel Hill. For instance, Rosemary Street, another major east-west avenue, is actually a contraction of the names of two young girls who once lived on the street, Rose and Mary. Raleigh Road follows the original course that travelers would take to the state Capitol, and the same principle holds true in the naming of Hillsborough Street. Many streets in town are named for early residents, including UNC's first president, Joseph Caldwell (Caldwell Street), UNC's first steward, Major Pleasant Henderson (Henderson Street), and University president Edward Kidder Graham (Graham Street).

There have also been some other interesting street signs in the area over the years. One that is easily overlooked can be found on the Highway 54 bypass, just west of Carrboro. If one is heading out of town, the road narrows from four lanes to two, and a sign is posted that informs drivers that opposing traffic is coming up. The problem is, the sign has the arrows reversed, making it more appropriate for a street in England. Luckily, few people notice the error [14].

The Graduate School at UNC-Chapel Hill

All Text and Photos © 2004.