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Old Chapel Hill Cemetery
Chapel Hill, Orange County, North Carolina
Old Chapel Hill Cemetery, Chapel Hill, NC
GPS: 35.911053, -79.044376
351 South Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Published: March 30, 2020
Total records: 123
Old Chapel Hill Cemetery is currently owned by the Town of Chapel Hill.
The Old Chapel Hill Cemetery lies in the heart of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The site was part of a land grant given by the State of North Carolina in 1796 to develop the University of North Carolina, and the cemetery originally served as a final resting place for University faculty and students.
The University’s Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies were the first to establish burial plots. The earliest recorded burial, in 1798, was that of 19 year old George Clarke, although the stone marking his grave dates from the mid-19th century.
Dr. Joseph Caldwell, the first person officially titled President of the University of North Carolina, was interred here in 1835, but in 1846 was removed to a monument erected on McCorkle Place on the main campus. At that time, University trustees proposed creating a new cemetery on McCorkle Place, but this did not come to fruition. Instead, the trustees officially changed the name of the old cemetery to the “College Graveyard”, but it continued to be called the “Village Cemetery” by most residents.