250 Years of Chatham

On June 25, a season of celebration continues for the residents of Chatham County. What are we celebrating, you may ask? Chatham County’s 250th anniversary, of course! With a history this rich, you may need to spend the night to soak it all in. Over the course of 2021, Chatham County will be celebrating its 250th anniversary with a series of five themed events: Chatham County History of Communities of Color May – June , Great Chatham County Camp Out June 26-27, Agriculture Photo Contest on August 1, Sidewalk Chalk Festival on September 11 and the Chatham 250 Parade/Caravana on October 23.   

The Beginnings:

Founded in 1771, Chatham County locals honor the history of the region 250 years later in the streets in downtown Pittsboro. Founding Day, hosted as a drive-thru event on Hanks Street, took place on April 10, educating the community on the county’s culture and history. In the true style of a birthday party, the day was complete with goody bags, party hats and a piñata raffle. Happy birthday to us!

As part of Founding Day, attendees were encouraged to bring a rock of their choosing from a place within Chatham County that they feel connected to. Solidifying the public art project, called “250 Foundations,” participants had the option to decorate their rock contributions before placing it into the art installation. The project, co-hosted by Abundance NC, is located on Central Carolina Community College – Pittsboro Campus in front of the Chatham Community Library for the entirety of 2021. Begin exploring the 250 years of Chatham’s past at “250 Foundations.”

More to See:

This year, schedules will be filled to the brim with activities celebrating 250 Chatham. How will you keep track of it all? That is where the Chatham 250 Passport comes in handy. By registering each participant in the Passport Experience, you’ll unlock a portal to track events and location details for upcoming activities. Check off passport activities as you experience them and, once you complete 10 activities, earn a Chatham 250 Swag Bag! Use #Chatham250 to share your adventures on social media. Upload your completed passport online or place it in the book drop at Chatham Community Library by October 23. 

Chatham County History of Communities of Color:

The celebration themes for Chatham 250 highlight creative arts, growth and change, agriculture, diversity and inclusion and natural environment. Focusing on the theme of growth and change, Deep River Chapter Pittsboro NSDAR will host Chatham County History of Communities of Color throughout the month of June via Zoom. Tune into a series of lectures presented by Chatham Community Library detailing the history of communities of color in Chatham County. For more information and registration on this series, see below!

  • Chatham County – Discovering Our Heritage Through Genealogy: Friday, June 11 from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
    • Learn more about genealogical and heritage resources available through Chatham County’s public libraries. This session will be hosted by the Chatham Community Library and the Chatham County Historical Association. Register now
  • From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African American in Chatham County: Saturday, June 19 from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    • In honor of Juneteenth, join associate professor and director of public history Dr. Charles Johnson of North Carolina Central University for a virtual lecture on the history of African American in Chatham County. Register here!
  • K-12: Tracing the Latino Experience in Chatham County Schools – The Personal Journey of a Latina Educator: Friday, June 25 from 6 – 7:30 p.m.
    • Dr. Virginia Cárdenas presents this virtual lecture on her journey as a Latina teacher, principal and administrator in public schools. Learn how Chatham County works to improve educational opportunities for Latino students. Register here!

 Great Chatham County Camp Out:

The Great Chatham County Camp Out is setting up camp June 26 – 27, 2021 at the B. Everett Jordan Dam located at Jordan Lake in New Hill, NC. Sponsored by Central Electric, this event invites attendees to spend the night camping at a designated campsite of their choosing, in their backyard and, for one night only, at the B. Everett Jordan Dam. Reserve your spot now for an evening of in-person and virtual camping options, complete with culture programs, nature programs and, of course, s’mores! 

Whether you will be participating in person at B. Everett Jordan Dam or at your very own campsite, you’ll feel more connected than ever to your Chatham County home!