Confederate memorial in Hillsborough could be history

Photo by Derick Waller/WNCN

HILLSBOROUGH, NC (WNCN) — A debate over a confederate memorial in Hillsborough has town commissioners taking action.

They could vote on Monday night to remove signage that reads “Confederate Memorial,” that’s located above the entrance to the Orange County Historical Museum on Churton Street.

Town Commissioner Jenn Weaver is leading efforts to make the change. She said the signage, located outside the former whites-only library, does not tell the Civil War’s full story.

Photo by Derick Waller/WNCN
Photo by Derick Waller/WNCN

“It doesn’t say anything about the slaves and descendants of slaves and what they endured,” Weaver said. “It’s the right thing to do and it gives an opportunity to tell a fuller story.”

Weaver said she’d like to see the signage replaced with some sort of plaque that includes a tribute to slaves.

She also said museum officials came up with the idea even before last month’s massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, that has ignited a debate over use of the Confederate Flag.

Commissioners debated the issue previously, but put off a decision in order to hear from the public. Now it’s back on the agenda.

By phone, a Sons of Confederate Veterans spokesman said he was against the change.

On the streets of Hillsborough, opinions ran the gamut. One man said, even though he’d been to the museum before, he never noticed the signage, but Jo Van Dam, a school teacher who was in town visiting relatives, said it should be left alone.

“I just don’t think we should not try to change history by eliminating certain things that were involved in our history,” Van Dam said.

The Hillsborough town commissioners meeting is set for 7 p.m. Monday July 13 in the town barn at 101 E. Orange Street.

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