Local News

Orange museum no longer 'Confederate Memorial'

Posted January 13, 2016 9:19 a.m. EST

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.

— 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.