The Alliance of Historic Hillsborough is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history and character of Hillsborough.
Our mission is to protect, promote, and preserve the unique heritage of our town for future generations to enjoy.
The Alliance is dedicated to bringing the full story of Hillsborough’s past to light, including the often-overlooked stories of the town’s black and indigenous communities. Our interactive map highlights special places in Hillsborough that are sacred to these communities. We encourage you to explore each of these historical places and enrich your understanding of Hillsborough’s history.
One of the most historically significant houses in Orange County, the Alexander Dickson House serves as the Hillsborough Visitors Center and office space for the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough. Built around 1790 and originally located 1.5 miles south of town, the house became the property of local farmer/businessman Alexander Dickson around 1839. Dickson’s household included his wife, their ten children, and as many as three enslaved African Americans.
In April 1865, Generals Wade Hampton and Joseph E. Johnston used the house as temporary headquarters during negotiations with Union General William T. Sherman. Ultimately Johnston surrendered nearly 90,000 troops under his command, making his surrender at the nearby Bennett Farm the largest of the American Civil War, and putting an end to the war in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. The house and (c.1850) farm office were moved to their present location in 1983.
The Alliance of Historic Hillsborough is proud to work with a variety of organizations and individuals to achieve our mission of preserving the history and character of Hillsborough. On this page, you’ll find information about our valued partners and learn how their support helps us to continue our important work.
The Alliance offers the opportunity to learn about the rich history of Hillsborough and its people through programs, community events, and storytelling. There is always a way to learn more!
I highly suggest taking the historical tour! I've lived near Hillsborough all my life without knowing its history. Cheryl, our tour guide, was a wealth of information, and I even discovered some personal lineage connected to the town!
Events like the Revolutionary War Living History Day are a great way to see history come to life. The Alliance does a fantastic job providing content for all ages, making their programs informative and entertaining.
A walking tour of Hillsborough, NC allows visitors to learn about the town’s rich history and heritage, including its colonial and revolutionary roots.
“From its early days as a bustling colonial town to its role in the Civil War and Reconstruction, Hillsborough has played a key role in North Carolina’s history. Today, it stands as a vibrant and thriving community, with a deep appreciation for its past and an eye towards the future.”
– Elizabeth Matheson, Hillsborough: Images of America