Supporters of Durham 150: May Issue

Welcome to the Supporters of Durham 150 newsletter, designed to keep those interested in Durham’s sesquicentennial updated on all the planning activities surrounding the yearlong commemoration.


Atwater-Ellis Dinner Series

With the lessons of the unlikely Atwater-Ellis friendship in the spotlight with “The Best of Enemies” still in theaters nationwide, it’s a wonderful time to announce the Durham 150 Atwater-Ellis Dinner Series.

As part of Durham 150’s focus on Social Equity & Robust Democracy, we aim to have 150 dinner tables of civic conversation happening throughout the city during 2019. Using prepared discussion and event hosting materials, these dinners will provide an opportunity for people from a variety of backgrounds to gather for thoughtful, facilitated civic conversations around topics like ‘equity,’ which could touch on gender, social, political and/or racial equality. The dinners might happen in private homes, public restaurants, churches and other places, and will likely focus on one or two additional conversations beyond ‘equity.’ Emily Egge, a community volunteer with a passion for this topic, will manage this project. If you are interested in participating or hosting a dinner, please contact her for more details.

Grant Deadline: May 15

The first two rounds of grant applications have funded 47 projects totaling more than $70,000. To ensure projects are funded throughout the sesquicentennial year, the next application deadlines will be May 15 and July 15. The grants committee will emphasize events and projects under the Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Social Equity & Robust Democracy themes to ensure equity of funding across all themes. To learn more about the grants program, click here.

New Pop Up at the Museum of Durham history

May 10 from 6-8 p.m. marks the start of the second installment of the community-curated exhibit series, “Lost to the Loop: Reshaping Downtown Durham,” which tells the story of Durham’s Downtown Loop – from the historical street grid to the Julian Tarrant plan and the implementation of significant changes to the streetscape. This exhibit will feature historic and contemporary pictures to show how the downtown landscape has changed. A self-guided walking tour to see some of these locations will also be offered throughout the exhibit’s run.

Taking a Moment to Thank our Sponsors

In the last email, we thanked all the Durham 150 Opening Celebration sponsors as well as those who donated to the #15forDurham150 crowdfunding campaign.

As we announce the Atwater-Ellis Dinner Series, we’d like to thank Duke Energy for already agreeing to sponsor it. If you or your organization are interested in joining Duke Energy and sponsoring the series, please let us know.

You can find a list of Durham 150 sponsors on our website.

Upcoming Durham 150 Events

There are a host of significant events coming up for people of all ages and walks of life. Many are free and designed to help us all learn more about Durham’s past, present and future. Find a listing of all events here.

Durham Historic Trolley Tour

Thursday, May 9, 2019
6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Tickets are $15.00/person
Tour attendees 12 years old and up only
St. Philips Episcopal Church, Parking Lot
403 E. Main Street, Durham, NC 27701

Tapestry Tours By Brown Hat Tours

Friday, May 10, 2019
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Major The Bull
237 Corcoran Street, Durham, NC 27701

Lost to the Loop: Reshaping Downtown Durham

Friday, May 10, 2019
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Museum of Durham History
500 W. Main St, Durham, NC 27701

Remembering the Legacy of Gov. William B. Umstead

Monday, May 13, 2019
7:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Mangum Elementary School
9008 Quail Roost Rd, Bahama, NC 27503

50th Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival

Saturday, May 18, 2019
12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Rock Quarry Park
701 Stadium Dr, Durham, NC 27704

Wense Grabarek 100th Birthday Celebration

Monday, May 20, 2019
7:00 p.m.
Durham City Hall
101 City Hall Plaza, Durham, NC 27701

Tapestry Tours By Brown Hat Tours

Friday, May 24, 2019
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Major The Bull
237 Corcoran Street, Durham, NC 27701


Historical Note

Did you know Durham was first put on the map in 1849 when Dr. Bartlett Durham donated land for a railroad depot? “Durhamville” was conveniently located between stations in Raleigh and Hillsborough (as well as two well-known watering holes — the Pinhook and Prattsburg). The railroad was critical for Durham to become a place, and later, a booming tobacco and textile epicenter.

In addition to the City of Durham’s sesquicentennial, this year also marks the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike being driven, joining the Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad and completing the world’s first transcontinental railroad. The historic meeting took place on May 10, 1869.

The NCDOT-Rail Division and are offering $1.00 tickets on May 10 and 11 to celebrate the occasion and invite those who have not taken the train to try it for less than $1.50 for the 150th anniversary. Reserve your seat by visiting and entering the promotional code V335.


Do you have a friend, family member or colleague who would be interested in receiving these Durham 150 newsletters? Let them know they can subscribe to updates on Durham 150 here.



Shelly Green & Patrick Mucklow
Co-Chairs, Durham 150

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