Shaping Alamance County

Timeline created by jessquintana
In History
  • Battle of Alamance

    Battle of Alamance
    This was the final battle of the War of the Regulation, a rebellion over corrupt and unfair practices of the colonial government. Royal governor William Tryon sent in the militia to respond to the violence and enforce the law. The Regulators who were unprepared and not trained lost the battle and Tryon offered to pardon those who would swear allegiance to the Crown. Within six weeks, more than 6,000 settlers had taken the oath and were pardoned by the new royal governor, Josiah Martin.
  • Company Shops Founded

    Company Shops Founded
    As the transportation industry grew, along came the development of the railroad with the need to transport goods. In 1851, construction of the Atlantic and North Carolina railroad began in Greensboro and in 1859, the maintenance roundhouse for the railroad opened at Company Shops, a few miles northwest of Graham. There were 57 buildings in the village with seven shop structures providing more job opportunities. Company Shops grew into today's Burlington- the largest municipality in the county.
  • Lynching of Wyatt Outlaw

    Lynching of Wyatt Outlaw
    Wyatt Outlaw was a former slave and the first African American Town Commissioner and Constable to be elected in the town of Graham. He was lynched by the KKK on February 26, 1870. The men responsible for his death were not sent to prison or held accountable.
  • Creation of Steam Powered Mills and Textiles 1880-Early 1900s

    Creation of Steam Powered Mills and Textiles 1880-Early 1900s
    The first steam powered mill in Alamance County opened in 1882 and brought new opportunities for textile and economic development and jobs. The Alamance Plaids that were developed in the late 1850s were now being made in larger amounts and remained popular until WWII. Many of the local businessmen built housing developments around their mills so their employees would have a place to live, work, and build their families. When these mills closed the communities built around them suffered.
  • Elon College Founded

    Elon College Founded
    In 1889, Elon College was founded by the Christian Connection with a student body of 76 students. It offered a four-year program in the liberal arts. In 1893, the area around the college was established as the town of Elon and land around the college was developed for residents and businesses. Today, Elon University has grown into a prestigious university, earning recognition in the US News and World Report's top 100 Universities list.
  • Confederate Statue Preserved at Courthouse

    Confederate Statue Preserved at Courthouse
  • Rainey Hospital Built

    Rainey Hospital Built
    The opening of Rainey Hospital helped to the establishment of the foundation of healthcare within the Alamance County. The hospital was the first major medical facility opened within the county and it led to the creation of the current hospital system within the county.
  • Lynching of John Jeffress

    Lynching of John Jeffress
    John Jeffress was a Black man who was accused of rape in 1920. Jeffress admitted to the attempt but said that he did not follow through with it. 25 citizens led by President W. A. Harper of Elon College 'arrested' him. When being led to court, a mob met him and shot him to death. Sheriff Story denied knowing anyone in the mob and stated that it was someone from outside of the county. He said "Graham is quiet. There appears to be no race feeling. The negro was not a resident of Alamance County."
  • First Black School (Graham Negro High School) Opens

    First Black School (Graham Negro High School) Opens
    In the 1870s, public education was formed but you could not go past 8th grade if you were an African American student. In the 1930's, "colored" schools were built across the county. This school was built in conjunction with the Rosenwald schools which created matching grants to build rural schools for black children in 15 states between 1913 and the 1930s. There were 8 Rosenwald schools in Alamance County, including Graham Negro High School, which was the site that now hosts Ray Street Academy.
  • Western Electric Opens

    Western Electric Opens
    In 1946, the Fairchild plant was leased to Western Electric for the manufacturing of telephones. Western Electric built several new buildings on the site and was eventually used for the assembly and testing of Army's Nike Ajax guided missile system.
  • Death of Charles Drew in Alamance County

    Death of Charles Drew in Alamance County
    Dr. Charles Richard Drew, a pioneer in blood transfusion and the first director of the American Red Cross Blood Bank died at Rainey Hospital after a tragic automobile accident in rural Alamance County. It was significant for Alamance County because it was erroneously reported that Dr. Drew Died because he did not receive treatment due to his race.
  • Panty Hose - Textiles

    Panty Hose - Textiles
    Glen Raven Mills invented pantyhose in 1953. At the time Gant ran the Glen Raven Knitting Mill of North Carolina, which was founded by his father John Gant in 1902. Gant was inspired to invent the garment by his pregnant wife, Ethel. Glen Raven is still located in Alamance County and is still a family owned, worldwide producer of fabrics and textiles. However, they no longer manufacture panty hose. They do produce internationally known brands such as sunbrella.
  • Alamance Community College Founded

    Alamance Community College Founded
    Originally known as the Burlington-Alamance County Industrial Education Center (IEC), Alamance Community College was one of the first organized community colleges in North Carolina and offered courses such as yarn and fabric analysis, loom fixing, and machine shop to accommodate the heavily textile focused industry of Alamance County. It changed its name to Technical Institute of Alamance in 1963 before finally becoming Alamance Community College in 1988.
  • Expansion of Water Supply

    Expansion of Water Supply
    Between 1959-1981, Alamance County saw the expansion of its water supply through the construction of Lake Burlington (later renamed Lake Cammack) and Lake Macintosh. The construction of these lakes helped to supply the county with enough fresh water to support its growing population and to help maintain its thriving textile industry, which served as the main economic driver within the county.
  • Rise of Western Electric and Newcomers

    Rise of Western Electric and Newcomers
    At the peak, Western Electric employed over 3,000 people and included more than 26 buildings. In the 1970s, the Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty dealt a blow to the plant, employment began to decline and eventually AT&T took over the buildings until 1992 when it moved to Greensboro, NC.
  • Interstate I-85 Built

    Interstate I-85 Built
    In 1962, construction was completed in order to turn U.S. Highway 70 into the four-lane Interstate 85 to connect Greensboro to Durham, within Alamance County. This 11-mile stretch of road served to finish what many had come to call "North Carolina's Main Street" and served as Graham's southern boundary for many years. Prior to construction the 1-lane stretching between Guilford County to Efland had inconvenienced motorists with constant delays and detours.
  • First African American Attends Elon College

    First African American Attends Elon College
    Glenda Phillps Hightower
  • First African American Student in Segregated School

    Pomula Lee Shaw
  • First African American Teacher in Alamance County

    Mrs. Clara Hawkins
  • Burlington Race Riots

    Burlington Race Riots
    In May of 1969, 15 year-old Leon Mebane, a student at Turrentine Junior High School was killed after a violent confrontation between residents, police, National Guard troops, & the NC State Bureau of Investigation. Officers were originally called after several Black students staged a protest at Williams High School. The Race Riots served as the culmination of mounting racial tensions due to forced integration of the local school system as well as other incidents of racial discrimination.
  • First African American Graduates from Elon College

    First African American Graduates from Elon College
    Glenda Phillips Hightower also received an honorary Ph.D. on April 4, 2019
  • Alamance County Forced to Comply with Segregation Law

    Alamance County Forced to Comply with Segregation Law
    On July 13, 1971, following stagnant efforts to integrate all schools within the Burlington City Schools, such as the predominantly African-African American Sellars-Gunn Elementary School, the presiding court ruled that Burlington City Schools were required to maintain a 'racially balanced enrollment' of between 17% - 29% black students and 83% - 71% white students. The predominantly white, Alamance County Schools were not referred to the Department of Justice for legal proceedings.
  • First African American County Commissioner

    First African American County Commissioner
    Jack O' Kelly became the first and only individual of African American descent to be elected to the Alamance County Board of Commissioners.
  • County and Memorial Hospital Merged

    County and Memorial Hospital Merged
  • Textile Mills Begin to Close

    Textile Mills Begin to Close
    Burlington's economy revolved around textiles. A shift in the economy happened after NAFTA when many of the industries couldn't compete with the globalized industry. This was felt when Burlington Industries, Inc., one of the largest textile producers of the 1960s and 1970s, held its headquarters in Burlington for decades. In the late 1990s, the company closed most of its North Carolina plants due to inability to keep up with global competition, eliminating more than 3,000 jobs in the process.
  • Western Electric Closes

    Western Electric Closes
    After over 30 years, Western Electric closed its facilities in Burlington. Western Electric's presence within East Burlington served as a large economic driver and allowed for the creation of many of the city's first suburbs. Its closure facilitated the economic stagnation of the East Burlington community and forced many families to move to the Western part of the city, aided in the racial and economic segregation of the city.
  • I-85/I-40 Interstate Link Completed

    I-85/I-40 Interstate Link Completed
  • ARMC Opened

    ARMC Opened
    In 1986, the two hospital boards merged the hospitals by resolution, making them subsidiaries of Alamance Health Services. In 1995, Alamance Regional Medical Center was constructed as a replacement for the two older hospitals. It was the last new full service hospital opened in the State. The opening of ARMC increased access to healthcare for people in West Burlington area, and removed access to care for the Eastern part of Burlington.
  • LabCorp Founded

    LabCorp Founded
    NHL (National Health Laboratories) and RBL (Roche Biomedical Laboratories) merge to become one of the largest clinical lab providers in the world. Led by Dr. James Powell, the new company, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, is headquartered in Burlington, N.C.. LabCorp's legacy remains as one of the county's largest employers.
  • Alamance-Burlington School System Created

    Following the merger of the former Burlington City Schools and the Alamance County Schools, the Alamance-Burlington School System was formed. However, following this merger, no further steps were taken to integrate the schools within the new system and the original 1971 court for desegregation was dissolved. The lines remain to this day from the city and county schools as the were originally established prior to the merger.
  • Health Director investigated for treating Latino patients

    Health Director investigated for treating Latino patients
    The State Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation of 2 employees of the health department for writing work notes for non-citizen mothers receiving neonatal care from the county. 1 of those women (Marxavi Angel Martinez) was arrested and deported. Health Director Barry Bass said he was ordered to release records of 5 patients to comply with an inquiry. 1 of the patients, an undocumented immigrant, faces felony charges for allegedly using the Social Security number of a deceased person.
  • First Female County Commissioner Chair

    First Female County Commissioner Chair
    Linda Massey was the first female to lead the Alamance County Board of Commissioners.
  • First African American Superintendent

    First African American Superintendent
    In 2006, Dr. Randy Bridges was hired as the first Black superintendent for ABSS.
  • Kernodle Clinic East Burlington Closed

    Kernodle Clinic East Burlington Closed
  • First Female Judge

    First Female Judge
    In 2011, Katie Overby was appointed as the first female judge.
  • Sheriff Investigated for Racial Profiling

    Sheriff Investigated for Racial Profiling
    In 2012, the Justice Department opened an investigation on the Alamance County Sheriff, Terry Johnston, regarding misconduct and patterns of discriminatory policing of the Latino/Hispanic community. The investigation didn’t uncover any wrongdoing. The same Sheriff recently negotiated a $2.3 million contract with ICE to house its detainees in Alamance County Detention Center (a federalized facility which is now no longer opens to the public).
  • First African American Chair of Chamber Board

    First African American Chair of Chamber Board
    In 2014, John Peterson served as the first African American chair of the Alamance Chamber Board.
  • First Black Judge

    First Black Judge
    In 2017 Larry Brown Jr. was appointed as the first Black judge in Alamance County.
  • Confederate Monument Controversy

    Confederate Monument Controversy
    As a result of the continued injustices and killings of Black people, world-wide protests have occurred, resulting in confederate memorials being removed or relocated. In Alamance, community leaders, including Mayor Ian Baltutis, local CEOs, and education board members call on the Alamance County Commissioners and the Graham City Council to relocate the statue, placed by the Graham chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1914, to a location where it is given historical context.
  • First African American President hired for Alamance Regional Medical Center

    First African American President hired for Alamance Regional Medical Center
    Mark Gordon hired as president of Alamance Regional Medical Center in Burlington. Gordon also serves as a senior vice president with Cone Health.