Historical Society’s Newest Book Available


The Chapel Hill Historical Society’s newest book, “The Copperline Chronicles: A History of the Kings Mill-Morgan Creek Neighborhoods,” is now available.

The book provides an in-depth look at the fascinating history of one of Chapel Hill’s most iconic neighborhoods — from its early roots as farmland and a grist mill site, to its post-World War II development as a neighborhood favored by many UNC medical school faculty, to its current multigenerational community.

The book explores the neighborhood’s natural history, its collection of modernist homes, notable residents (including singer/songwriter James Taylor’s family) and cherished neighborhood stories and traditions.

Tom Jepsen, editor of the book, reports that the genesis of the project was a 2014 request of neighbors to share their favorite stories and memories. From that initial sharing, the project grew as neighborhood residents Sally Greene, Scott Madry, Carl Anderson, Vici Cook, Joann Haggerty, David Perlmutt and the NC Botanical Garden’s Johnny Randall collaborated to research facets of the neighborhood’s history.

That culminated with a 2015 presentation on the neighborhood to the Chapel Hill Historical Society. Following that presentation, the group was encouraged to write a book. Tom wryly reflects that one benefit of the COVID-19 restrictions was providing contributors lots of time to pull together their research, documents and stories into a single publication.

This book joins Jill Blackburn’s work, “Coker Hills: A Botanists’ Neighborhood in Chapel Hill,” that the society has published about Chapel Hill neighborhoods. Both are available for sale at the society’s online bookstore: https://chhs-books-online.myshopify.com.

Sarah Geer, president of the society, notes “it was so rewarding for the society to watch and be a part of the development of this book. We’d love to partner with other neighborhood groups to help document and publish their histories and stories. Northside and Glen Lennox are two that I think would be fascinating given their importance to our community.”

This is the one of an occasional series of articles from the Chapel Hill Historical Society on the history of our community, our people, places and past events, from our founding up to the present.

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