Mystery Photo - 07.09.09

35.942866, -79.00835

Chapel Hill
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"Hill Villa - Midway Between Durham and Chapel Hill, NC"
(Courtesy Dave Piatt)


Patterson's Store on Farrington?

Hmm. Patterson's does have the same strange little window on the right above the porch:
But the porch directly abuts the front of the house--there's no front room as in the mystery photo.
Also, CityGuide has it that Patterson's was actually built in 1973 from recovered building materials:…

I'm virtually certain that this is the cool building that is now at the T of Cooper St. and Legion Rd. extension in Chapel Hill.

It used to be at the corner of Cooper and Old Chapel Hill Durham Rd. (now a staff parking lot for Performance Auto). But sometime around ~1991, it got moved a block south.

Here's a Google Streetview link that I hope will work:…

Plus, Patterson's was/is closer to the [old] road between Raleigh and Chapel Thrill. But they do look similar!


Yup! I'd say that's the building! (good eye)

Impressive, Phil. I do think you are correct; nicely done!


Good to know, I had no idea. Thanks for posting it Gary.

I forgot to mention that I drove by this building every day on my way to work between 1989 and 1994. It was one of the first buildings I ever saw moved. Not that I actually saw it move, but I saw it go through all the prep stages, from stripping out/off the unnecessaries, and mounting on the I-beams. Then one day -- whoosh! it was down the block.

The building has been moved not once but twice, each time from property of that dealership now called Performance, which was Harris-Conner Chevrolet in the late 1960s. We lived on Cooper Street (though it was not named at the time, nor paved) in what was euphemistically called University Heights. Mrs. Taylor lived in the house you picture, and it faced south, just about directly opposite of the intersection of old NC 75 (old Durham and Chapel Hill road). She had beautiful flower and vegetable gardens, and she gave us some tomatoes---a most gracious lady. Her house was moved diagonally across the old highway to the NW corner of Cooper about 1969. And, as your informant has noted, it was moved again to a vacant lot on Cooper Street about three doors north of where our house stood (a massive willow oak and a well remain on the site). My son spent his first two years in that place, which was constructed from Camp Butner lumber. University Heights had been a Hooverville or tent city during the Depression, and it was on land that had been in the McFarland (or McFarling, or McFarlane) family. They had an two-storey wooden grocery (razed in the mid-1970s) on the corner of old NC 75 (Dobbins Drive) and Erwin Road, and they owned the land that Eastgate Shopping Center and the surrounding sprawl now occupies---Rams Plaza, the Omni hotel, Holiday Inn, the American Legion lodge, Hardees, Lowes, Wendy's. The old McFarland homeplace was razed within the past five years.

Wow... three cheers for web2.0 and for Mr. Marsosudiro and David Southern!

This was fascinating! I live close by on Forsyth Drive and have walked past that building, and its older locations, hundreds of times. I found this page by searching on "McFarland" after exploring the Legion Road cemetery. I would love to know more about this area's history. Where was the old McFarland homeplace that was razed recently? Do we know much of their history? I would love to know of any resources for more information about this neighborhood.

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