Local News

Orange museum no longer 'Confederate Memorial'

Posted January 13

The Orange County Historical Museum in Hillsborough wants the words "Confederate Memorial" removed from its facade. The words date to the building's previous use as a Confederate library during the segregation era.
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— The words "Confederate Memorial" are no longer on the front of the building that houses the Orange County Historical Museum.

Museum officials asked last May for the words to be taken off the building's facade, saying it was confusing to patrons and might be dissuading some from entering, thinking the museum is dedicated to history of the Confederacy instead of the history of Orange County.

The town-owned building, at 201 N. Churton St., dates to 1934 and was originally a whites-only Confederate memorial library. The county museum moved into the building in 1982, and the words "Public Library" were subsequently taken off the building facade.

After a lengthy debate, the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners voted in July to remove the lettering, and the town's Historic District Commission gave its approval for the plan last fall.

Now that a contractor has pulled the lettering down, town officials said it would be stored until the museum or another entity requests to use them for an interpretive display regarding the building.

Hillsborough is developing interpretive signage to install outside the museum building that will include information about the building and historic events that occurred on the property, such as the North Carolina Constitutional Convention of 1788. Officials said the signage would be in place in six to 12 months.

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  • Dale Xavier Jan 13, 2016
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    I like the weather! And I love living in Chapel Hill, the most liberal town in the South!

  • Fanny Chmelar Jan 13, 2016
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    "The town-owned building, at 201 N. Churton St., dates to 1934 and was originally a whites-only Confederate memorial library. The county museum moved into the building in 1982, and the words 'Public Library' were subsequently taken off the building facade."

    "...it was confusing to patrons and might be dissuading some from entering, thinking the museum is dedicated to history of the Confederacy instead of the history of Orange County."

    "...the town's Historic District Commission gave its approval for the plan last fall."

    So, name it for what it is, since it's changed names in the past. It's currently the Orange County Historical Museum. Being that, have a plaque inside describing its history and its name changes.

    This isn't about rewriting history. It's about keeping it accurate, folks.

  • John McCray Jan 13, 2016
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    There is a difference in memorializing the past and remembering and learning from it. Leave the information in the museum, stop celebrating the sentiment of the period.

  • Ben Hill Jan 13, 2016
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    I am sorry to hear that you cannot find a single positive about your heritage. I guess that would explain your desire to denigrate southern heritage and history in general. Good luck trying to erase any reminders of negative history. You have a lot of work ahead of you.

  • Dale Xavier Jan 13, 2016
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    I am Southern. My family arrived in Virginia in 1630. The South was wrong about slavery and wrong about racism and is still racist to the core. The Southern Baptists only apologized about their racism in the mid 1990's! As far as my being active, I am already active in trying to force my home county to take down the confederate monument. They can jam it in some old cemetery somewhere out of sight.

  • Ben Hill Jan 13, 2016
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    Why don't you work on proposing that monument instead of crying about what currently exists? Southern pride can have many meanings as I am sure there are many positives, not just your narrow views. Why don't you ask a Southerner instead of inferring what your preconceived stereotype is. Case in point, I am of Polish ancestry. I choose to focus on the positive traditions of my heritage rather than dwell on the negatives such as my ancestors dying while fighting Germans in 1939 or the slew of Polish jokes that exist. You might consider focusing on bettering society by introducing more positives rather than fighting what YOU deem to be negative.

  • Dale Xavier Jan 13, 2016
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    Get back to me when NC builds ONE monument to former slaves or those lynched due to race. As far as the Coliseum, it stands in a city totally ruled by the formerly oppressed and THEY chose to hang onto the ancient ruins of the pagans and often as not turn them into churches. But this whole "southern pride" thing? Pride in what? Losing the war? Being racist? Where is this purported pride?

  • Ben Hill Jan 13, 2016
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    They didn't build monuments to slaves in North Carolina 1934. They are proposing building several across the US at the present time. It has to do with the era you live in. Christians were slaughtered for entertainment in the Coliseum in Rome 2000 years ago. By your definitions, the Coliseum would be an anti-Christian monument, Instead of trying to erase and rename historical markers that might be deemed offensive to some overly-sensitive people, why not focus on creating NEW memorials/tributes to honor whatever is the subject matter is?

  • Dale Xavier Jan 13, 2016
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    Of course the holocaust memorials should stay. In that same vein, where are all of the memorials to the dead slaves that built the South? It would be like if Germany only erected monuments to Hitler and the fallen Nazi's. They DON'T, they erect monuments to those that THEY HARMED.

  • Ben Hill Jan 13, 2016
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    These symbols of oppression you refer to are also known by another name... History. For better or for worse, they are a part of American history which can't be changed by renaming or removing a monument, It is important to preserve and remember all the history, not just the happy moments. Do you also propose to rename the Holocaust Memorial Museum since that is also a reminder of oppression and bad history? At what point will this PC garbage stop?

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