Neighborhoods Hike: West Durham, East Campus & Beyond (free)

Location image of event venue


Three-mile loop starts at Ninth & Green, across from White Star Laundry.

• Where did Madonna take early dance lessons?

• Why was Duke Hospital built on top of Durham's old bone yard?

• Who wrote the song, Tobacco Road, and was "born on a kitchen table" -- behind Monuts?

• Why is Ninth Street called Ninth Street? * Who wrote "The Gambler" for Kenny Rogers and lived in a mill house on Ninth Street?

• Where does Coach K get his haircut?

• Where did Elvis sleep incognito, in a caboose?

• Where was Kevin Costner spotted in his boxer shorts, near East Campus?

• Why do neighborhoods change so quickly in Durham?

Come along and find out...

We'll start with the South Ellerbe Creek Nature Area and continue through an old mill village. We'll see an old liquor house, Buck Dean's bungalow, a Sears House and a quiet urban garden in Old West Durham. We'll then continue into the Watts-Hillandale neighborhood and walk past Oval Park and the old Watts Hospital.

We'll go down a hidden alley and see where a songwriter for Norah Jones, Lou Rawls and Jefferson Airplane was born. We'll head over to Walltown and hear about Duke's original plans to build here. Then we'll go by Richard Nixon's house in Trinity Heights and continue past the homes of Duke's famous faculty and coaches on Buchanan -- including Cap Card, the father of Duke basketball -- and Wallace Wade, whose bowl games paid for Cameron Indoor Stadium. We'll go down Watts Street, past Trinity Park park, and see where Mr. Costner was filmed in his boxers. Then we'll head across East Campus to Ninth Street, past Erwin Cotton Mills and back to where we started.

You'll see a little nature and learn some Durham history on the route. We'll also talk about urban creeks -- and the ridge, between the Neuse and Cape Fear basins, that's played such an important role in our town. We might even get into current events in the Bull City.

Local history lover John Schelp will narrate along the way. No need to register. Parking is available on streets near Ninth & Green. (Bike racks are also nearby.)

Hike takes about three hours (but folks can peel off anytime.) Optional post-tour gathering at Dain's Place at 754 Ninth Street -- for a cold drink and further conversation.

Co-sponsored by Museum of Durham History, Sierra Club and the Old West Durham Neighborhood Association. Rain or shine.