Tucked into the corner of the the big brick building at the intersection of Newmarket and Dover Roads, you will find the Durham Historic Museum entrance. I've gone by it a million times, but this was my first visit inside. On Tuesdays and Saturdays from 1-4pm during the summer, the iron gate is unlocked, and the museum is open.
Just past the threshold, you climb a steep stairway to the second floor. The walls are covered with Durham signs and photos. There is also a very cool retro chairlift that allows everyone access.
The second floor of the museum houses an eclectic mix of photographs and artifacts from Durham's past.
One of the larger pieces is the old town hearse. It was used from 1875 until approximately 1905. Turns out that Durham has lots of graveyards. The cemetery shed was ultimately razed and the hearse was donated to the Durham Historic Association.
Towards the front of the
room, there is an old school desk complete with grammar primers.
Today, Oyster River Middle School has replaced the chalkboard with a laptop. Times really have changed.
Guess it is pretty obvious that a town this old has some really interesting stories. To hear more of them, check out the Durham Historic Association page on the Town of Durham website and on their Facebook Page. Better yet, stop by and visit the museum.