Historians consider Morehead
Hill to be North Carolina's first suburb. The neighborhood took
shape in the early 1900s when Durham's new electric trolley system
connected it with downtown.
Most of the area had
been the farm of William Gaston Vickers. In the late 1870s and 1880s,
he sold hillside parcels overlooking tobacco factories south of
downtown to several well-to-do businessmen who built imposing residences
along South Duke Street and Morehead Avenue. Eugene Morehead's house,
built on the highest of these lots, gave the area its name. Morehead
Hill was the most prestigious neighborhood in the city.
Today, housing in Morehead
Hill contains single-family homes and multi-family rental properties.
Some of the large historic homes have been converted to businesses,
apartments and clinics.
For more information, refer to the Morehead Hill Historic District Preservation Plan of March 2001. An update is expected in 2015. Visit the Durham City-County Planning Department Historic Preservation web page for details.
are several detailed posts about various Morehead Hill sites in
the Open Durham blog. Also search the blog using street names for some
very interesting reading.
The map below shows the current boundaries of the Morehead Hill Local
and National Historic Districts. The Morehead Hill 'neighborhood'
incorporates the entirety of both
Historic Districts and a number of additional properties, as its
boundaries extend somewhat further to the north, west, and south.