CLG workshop-History of Durham

Author name
Tierney Marey

Japan, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, China, England, Korea or Spain…we may come from all over, but we are coming to call Durham home. But with many of us never venturing beyond the ‘Duke Bubble’ what really do we know about our new home? Well, after CLG’s last workshop…lots!

We were lucky enough to have Michael Verville, weekend manager at the Museum of Durham History and marketing coordinator at the Visitors Center in Hillsborough, share his knowledge with us about Durham. We learnt all about the history of Durham from colonists, Washington Duke and tobacco and slavery and Civil Rights. It turns out that Durham has a really rich history with all sorts of interesting people and events.
Some of the questions from the audience brought out fun facts about Durham. For example: Is Durham related to the city of Durham in the UK? The answer is no, Durham is named after the Durham family who lived on the land where Durham railway station was built. Another: Why is Durham called “Bull City”? Durham was very famous for its world-class tobacco industry, and one of the tobacco companies used a bull for its trademark, launching the famous brand “Bull Durham Tobacco”.

If you want to know more about the history of Durham’s tobacco industry, visit the Tobacco Museum inside Duke Homestead where the Washington Duke family lived and farmed. Other interesting places to visit: Stagville, North Carolina’s largest pre-Civil War plantation and Bennett Place, where the Southern armies surrendered to the Union, ending the American Civil War.

And that is only the tip of the iceberg! Go for a walk around Durham, check out its amazing restaurants (dinner at ‘Toast” and then ice-cream at “The Parlour” is my personal favorite!) and embrace its quirky atmosphere.

Durham is our home. Start making an effort to get to know it!

Tierney Marey
Class of 2017 at Trinity School of Arts and Social Sciences
Sydney, Australia