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Hillsborough Town

Orange County, North Carolina

Hillsborough Town Hall is located at 101 East Orange Street, Hillsborough NC 27278.
Phone: 919‑732‑1270.


Beginnings [1]

Hillsborough contains a wealth of historic structures and archaeologically significant sites. The banks of the Eno River contain several archaeological sites of Indian settlements dating to AD 1000. The Indian trading path crosses through Hillsborough along Saint Mary's Road and the Eno River. The Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation is currently reconstructing a Native American village based on nearby archeological digs in the floodplain behind the county courthouse.

The town, which was laid out in 1754, dates back to pre-Revolutionary times. It was a politically active town and the site of the Regulator Uprising of 1768. Since its founding, Hillsborough has been a county seat. The 1844-45 courthouse and many other historic homes and structures grace Hillsborough. The 1760 Alexander Dickson House has been restored and now houses the visitors center for Historic Hillsborough and northern Orange County. In 1973, the Town established the Hillsborough Historic District that encompasses the original square mile of the Town to recognize and protect these valuable cultural resources.

West Hillsborough contains a mill village with two mills, commercial structures, and traditional mill houses from another mill village formerly located on Occoneechee Mountain. This well-preserved example of a mill village is a viable community within Hillsborough. In the mid-1970's, Hillsborough annexed West Hillsborough including the mill village community.

Hillsborough, the county seat of Orange County, contains county offices, the courthouse, and other functions of county government. Most of these facilities are located in the Historic District east of Churton Street. The County Recreation Department occupies a former high school on Tryon Street. A branch of the County Library and the County Department of Social Services share this site with the Recreation Department. There is a partially developed county park on the north side of Town adjacent to the Fairview neighborhood. There are six (6) county schools in the Hillsborough area.

The Hillsborough Town Hall occupies the Ruffin-Roulhac House, a historic structure dating to 1821. Other Town facilities include the annex (finance), police station, a cemetery, public works facility, water plant, and sewer plant. The Town has acquired twenty-eight (28) acres on Occoneechee Mountain that it currently leases to the State as part of the Eno River Park system.

Hillsborough contains a rich heritage of churches with many congregations dating back to colonial times and many church buildings of historic significance.

  1. Town of Hillsborough North Carolina, Vision 2010 Comprehensive Plan, revised, 2006, www.hillsboroughnc.org, accessed September, 2007.