Schedule of Tours

Parallel Lives is offered via Google Meet. The experience is presented in two parts, on two different days, with group discussion after each segment. This is designed to be a “tour” for our times addressing Chapel Hill history from a Black and a White perspective. Your tour guides, Missy Julian-Fox and Chris Faison, differ in age, race, gender and experience…and are alike in their shared passion for education, access and opportunity, and our town of Chapel Hill. We are limiting availability for each Parallel Lives program to allow for input, discussion and learning together. If interested, please email Missy for dates and details:

ALL other Heart of the Hill Tours are CANCELLED in our collective best interest during this Covid-19 pandemic. When tours are fully underway again, we will happily reach out to you via email. Here is a list to ponder of some of our other tours we have done. We hope and plan to be underway again in 2021. STAY WELL! All best regards!

  1. March Madness: Sports on the Hill with John Brunner. The University of North Carolina has a storied history of athletic success with local, regional, national, and international success.  Join John Brunner, Associate Director of Athletics and Assistant Teaching Professor, as he tours you through the courts and fields where Tar Heel Legends performed their heroic acts and enthralled Tar Heel Fans.  With more than $100 million in recent investments to these new and upgraded facilities, this “behind the scenes”  tour will create memories for Tar Heel fans young and old alike.
  1. Chapel Hill, Six Feet Under: A Walking Tour of the Historic Cemetery. Tim Kuhn will lead you through our historic town cemetery for facts, fun and hard truths of Chapel Hill’s former citizens. 
  1. Midway with Danita Mason-Hogans, who can trace her family in Chapel Hill for seven generations on both sides. Explore the historically Black Business District called Midway, connecting Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and the African-American experience of Chapel Hill. A Civil Rights Activist, Historian and native Chapel Hillian herself, Danita was appointed by Mayor Pam Hemminger to serve on the Chapel Hill Historic Rights Commemorations Task Force. She works as Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies Program Manager for their critical oral histories component. Danita Mason-Hogans is the daughter of Dave Mason, who began the famous first sit-in of Chapel Hill’s civil rights movement.
  1. Beneath Our Feet:  An Archeological Look at Chapel Hill’s Earliest Days. Over the past 70 years, virtually all of the major discoveries in the understanding of North Carolina’s ancient past can be attributed to the Research Labs of Archeology (RLA) or to researchers trained there. Steve Davis, associate director of RLA and professor of archeology, will lead us to several former archaeological sites nearby and share artifacts and found objects of the people here in the early days of Chapel Hill – and before.
  2. WALK THIS WAY! In ninety minutes you will walk up one side of Franklin Street and down the other in Chapel Hill’s first historic district. Learn about the history of the old village and America’s first public university through the stories, impact and influence of the people that lived along the street. Stephen and Sandra Rich are seasoned tour guides for Preservation Chapel Hill and active volunteers around town and campus since their return in 2003. 
  3. Campus Architecture. Guided by JJ Bauer, UNC Professor of Art and Art History.  Our UNC campus is a virtual, illustrated history book of architecture with its various styles, features and flourishes – all working in concert to bring character, substance and beauty to our built environment. In celebration of a revised edition of John Allcott’s “The Campus at Chapel Hill,” published Fall 2019 by the Chapel Hill Historical Society. 
  1. Heart❤of the Hill KIDS EDITION! Share our town with your younger generation. A great activity for grandchildren and grandparents – or for youth groups. Susan Worley moved to Chapel Hill when she was six – and been a devoted fan ever since! With both undergrad and graduate degrees from Carolina, Susan has been the Executive Director of Volunteers for Youth since 1988 – and a tour guide for Estes Hills third graders. Susan will lead you all on a tour of downtown & campus to learn more about this town we call Home.
  1. The Noble Grove : A Walking Tour of Trees. Chapel Hill has always had a love affair with trees! “As I saw Franklin Street in 1912, it was a dusty red avenue cut through a forest of magnificent trees… My first impression of Chapel Hill was trees; my last impression is trees… It is no wonder that Chapel Hillians are ardent tree worshippers and the symbol of the place is Davie Poplar,” said Robert B. House, Chancellor of the University of North Carolina from 1945-1957, in 1964. (Source: Robert B. House. The Light that Shines, Chapel Hill, 1912-1916. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1964.) Explore the history, care-taking and future of our iconic and heritage trees, in town and on campus, with UNC Arborist Tom Bythell.
  1. A Walking Tour of Carrboro with Richard Ellington. Carrboro has changed from its blue-collar, working-class background to a hip little town, where the business district is now filled with trendy bistros and purveyors of craft beer and foodie fusion menus. Walk around the block with one of Carrboro’s Own, exploring its roots and history, the people and influential players that have given the town its unique culture and flavor.
  1.   “Ballet of the City” with Matt Gladdek: TBA. Stroll Franklin Street with the director of the Downtown Partnership. Learn the vision, what’s coming, what to look for, what YOU can do to celebrate, preserve and determine the destiny of our true heart of the hill. Savor the “ballet of the city” experienced every day on our sidewalks and byways. Given in honor of Jane Jacobs, urban activist and author of “The Death and Life of Great American Cities.”

And, we enthusiastically encourage you to explore the Chapel Hill Community History Project! Check out their website RE/COLLECTING CHAPEL HILL at “Join Chapel Hill Public Library staff and community members as we uncover the untold histories of Chapel Hill. We seek to reckon with our past to figure out where we came from and why it matters for our shared future.