By Rosie Moore
In 2013 Durham had a population of 245,475 of which my son and his family are a part of. It is a colorful, creative and entrepreneurial community that continuously earns accolades as one of the best places in the world to live, work, and do business. With nationally acclaimed restaurants, shopping, historical sites, and a myriad of other things to do, Durham is the place where great things happen. Various Indian tribes settled and farmed in this area and in 1702 John Lawson, an English explorer called the area, “the flower of the Carolinas.”
Prior to the railroad, Durham was almost entirely agricultural with a few businesses catering to the travelers (particularly the livestock drivers) along the Hillsborough Road. This road eventually followed by U.S Route 70, was the major east-west route in North Carolina from colonial times until the construction of interstate highways. Washington Duke’s W. Duke & Sons tobacco company resulted in the rapid growth of Durham. He and his sons were brilliant businessmen. Durham’s location was the result of the needs of the 19th century railroad industry.
The wood-burning steam locomotives of the time had to stop frequently for wood and water. The residents of what is now downtown Durham thought their businesses catering to livestock drivers had a better future than a new-fangled nonsense like a railroad and refused to sell or lease land for a depot. Eventually a railway was established on land donated by Bartlett S. Durham.
The area of Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill is called the “Triangle”. The region has the greatest number of PhD’s per capita in the United States, because of all the research companies in what is called Research Triangle Park.
Just a little dab of history, of course, there’s a lot more. Now, a little history of my trip there: Watched two tennis tournaments while there sponsored by the North Carolina University, a private membership facility for faculty members only and their families. I went to an Improv show which my son participated in and it was hilariously funny. I didn’t know he could be that funny. We ate in fabulous restaurants: two of them especially memorable: Noodles & Company and California Pizza. We went shopping in large malls. A most agreeable vacation—except I gained five pounds!
If you ever have the chance, this is a fun and informative place to visit.
Thought for the day: A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Proverbs 17:22.
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