Neighborhood History

The historic Williams farm next to 400 Davie along Poplar was owned by a white family for generations. The vast majority of the people buried along Davie since 1933 have been white;  for most of this graveyard’s lifespan many of Carrboro’s leading white families were buried here. The African-American Glosson & Alabama neighborhood is past the graveyard along Davie in the other direction from Poplar. Black people began to be buried in the Davie graveyard in 1968. The foremost proponent of selling the Fidelity meadow to the post office in 1989 was Alderman Hilliard Caldwell, who was probably related to the Caldwell that the largest street in Chapel Hill’s Northside historic African-American neighborhood is named after.

But the fact that many Black folks had been buried along Davie from 1968 to 1988 did not deter Caldwell, a local A-A patriarch, from forcefully advocating the sale of the meadow back then. In the December 6, 1988 Carrboro Town Council (nee Board of Aldermen) meeting he seconded the motion to launch the Town’s effort to sell most of the Fidelity meadow for a new post office:

If that sale had gone through, then since 1990 large trucks would have been bringing in the next day’s mail in the middle of the night, driving in from Davie through “Zone 3” to the back of their Fidelity-facing lot. This route would have passed right by those recent 1968-1989 graves of members of Caldwell’s community, after the Davie graveyard had been closed following the filling of Zone 2. So over the decades different Black community leaders have taken different positions on whether to expand the Davie graveyard.

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