Sesquicentennial Park is a small gazebo-like park at the North West corner of Court Square in downtown Graham. Sesquicentennial Park, often referred to as a pocket park, is 2,500 square feet, brick courtyard inviting downtown visitors to stop and take a seat. There is a commemorative bell featured in the center of the park. The bell is from the original court house circa 1859. The Bell is owned by the Crissman family, but is loaned to the park. Other than the bell, there are stone benches around the edge of the park with flowerbeds.
Murals are brightening up the business district in downtown Graham. Come take a walk around downtown to get up and close with the murals. You are encouraged to interact with the murals and be sure to tag us. #grahamnc #visitgrahamnc #lovegraham
Graham’s murals joins artists and the business district to create powerful artworks transforming the building’s walls, neighborhood identity, and individual lives. The murals are intended to enhance downtown’s identity, turning ordinary spaces into community destinations, promoting dialogue, while increasing art in public spaces in Graham.
Graham defines public art as art in public places wherein there is an original visual art piece including sculptures, murals, photographs, mosaics and electronic art installations installed on a permanent basis. Public art is free, accessible, and in the public realm.
The property around the courthouse site was divided into 68 lots and an auction was held to distribute the property. A lot on Court Square was sold to E.M. Holt for $726, which was more than was paid for the original 68 acres. Another lot was sold to John R. Pugh and James A. Graham as trustees for the Graham Baptist Church for $1. Many other lots were sold at the auction and construction quickly started on buildings in the new town.
On June 4, 1849, the first court session in Alamance County was held at the Providence Christian Church. Since the court needed a permanent home, the commissioners decided to build a courthouse that would not cost more than $8,000, with a jail to cost $4,000. The courthouse was to be of stone or brick and covered with tin or zinc roofing. The contract was agreed upon on July 17, 1849 and the new Courthouse was completed in 1851.
From this modest beginning Graham slowly emerged as a trade center for the county. Residents from throughout the county came to purchase supplies and handle their business at the county seat. In fact, at one time there was a campground on the southeast side of town for people that wanted to stay for an extended period of time.
It was not long after the town’s incorporation that news circulated that the North Carolina Railroad wanted to run its tracks one block north of the courthouse. The railroad felt that since Graham was near the center of the Goldsboro-Charlotte line it would be an ideal spot for repair and maintenance shops. The residents did not like the idea of the noise, smoke and activity the railroad would create. So, the town commissioners passed a law that prohibited the railroad tracks from coming within one mile of the courthouse. The proposed railroad tracks were moved north of town and the shops were built two miles to the west, which gave birth to Burlington.
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