CCHA’s collections have been developed almost entirely from generous donations of items by persons wishing to preserve Chatham’s history. The collection contains a variety of artifacts and documents--a colonial warrant signed by William Hooper, signer of the Declaration of Independence and first Chatham County Clerk of Court, letters from Hadley children in Indiana writing home to their parents in Chatham County, photographs of the construction of the now-dismantled dam at Carbonton, to original oil paintings of Pittsboro places by Mrs. Annie Bynum, a rabbit gum used to catch the famous Chatham rabbits, a Revolutionary War era cannonball, and labels made in Pittsboro’s silk mill.
Primary source materials include such items as day books from various county businesses, tax listings by townships for 1912 and 1917, a minute docket for Superior Court, and a Sheriff’s monthly jail report. Secondary source materials include abstracts of land grants, early maps and photocopied material for Chatham County such as a selection of high school principals’ reports.
The Chatham Historical Museum houses some of the collections for display and research use. Others are stored for future display.
How you can help
- Offer items of significance to Chatham’s history to the museum as gifts, as loans for temporary exhibits, or allow us to photograph or scan your items for our digital collection.
- Donate funds for the acquisition of new items and preservation of the collection
- Offer your time and expertise to help us manage our collections
We encourage anyone with items of potential interest for the historical collection to contact us at Collections@chathamhistory.org. Items may be given to the museum as gifts, loaned for temporary special exhibits, and some may be scanned to provide a digital copy for the collections. We are particularly interested in early documents and old photographs, school yearbooks, diaries, letters, and maps.