Orange County

Display on Hillsborough’s historic cemeteries now open at Visitors Center

David McCullough (pictured) and Lisa Williams chose materials for the new historic cemeteries display at the Hillsborough Visitors Center.
David McCullough (pictured) and Lisa Williams chose materials for the new historic cemeteries display at the Hillsborough Visitors Center.

HILLSBOROUGH Those who stop by the Hillsborough Visitors Center through June will have an opportunity to enjoy photographs and materials relating to the three town-owned historic cemeteries.

The display includes raw gravestone materials gathered by the Hillsborough Cemetery Committee for visitors to handle, including marble, slate, granite and quartzite.

“People can touch the stones and feel the differences,” said David McCullough, a Cemetery Committee member who helped assemble the display with fellow member Lisa Williams.

Rather than setting up separate displays for the Margaret Lane Cemetery, Old Town Cemetery and Town Cemetery, the committee chose to pull together one display of photographs highlighting the variety of gravestones in all three cemeteries and depicting how the choices of materials have changed over the years.

The display also includes a 10-minute video created by Cedar Ridge High School videography student Benjamin Gwaltney that features Committee Chairman Ken Ostrand giving an abbreviated Old Town Cemetery tour.

Also on display are photographs showing the recent cleaning of gravestones at the Old Town Cemetery and copies of two documents from the Margaret Lane Cemetery archive: a Durham Morning Herald news article from Nov. 3, 1987, about the cemetery’s rededication and one page of local historian Mary Claire Engstrom’s 1986-87 survey notes of the cemetery.

The Cemetery Committee encourages people to visit the display and then to pick up a map to explore the cemeteries.

“We’re hoping to encourage people to go to the cemeteries and take a look,” McCullough said. “They’re all within walking distance of the Visitors Center.”

The Visitors Center is located at 150 E. King St. It is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.

The Cemetery Committee is a volunteer board of the Town of Hillsborough that works to preserve and maintain the town’s three cemeteries.

For more information, contact Public Works Director Ken Hines, staff support to the committee, at 919-732-1270, ext. 78.

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