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Section 1: Occaneechi to Cates Creek

By David Southern

       The following details are an attempt to identify, section by section, original landowners along the Great Road, later called Fish Dam Road, from Hillsborough eastward. There is a caveat or disclaimer to the effect that further research may call for adjustments to this list. Moreover, not all present research is included. Either way, there is more information to follow.

From the Occaneechi site to Cates Creek (called Dutchman’s Creek on early deeds):



     Churton and Corbin (for which see Powell: Dictionary of North Carolina Biography [DNCB]) were officers in the employ of Lord Granville: Corbin as his agent, and Churton as one of his surveyors. Four hundred acres of Churton’s land on the north side of the Eno was set aside for a new town, first called Corbinton, which became Hillsborough. The area of the Occaneechi village site was outside and east of the 400-acre town limits (present Cameron Street being the eastern town line). Corbin land south of the Eno was passed down through Edmond Fanning to the Hogg, Alves, and Norwood families. A great section of it, 663 acres, was sold by the Norwoods to General Julian S. Carr (see his historical marker in Durham, on Chapel Hill Street near the expressway) for $10,000 and became his estate called Occaneechee Farm. There he bred racehourses, and the enormous stable, once visible from US 70 Business (and Fish Dam Road before that) remained standing until the early 1970s when it collapsed under the weight of a heavy snow. The deed to Carr and later plats associated with Occaneechee Farm mention the section of Fish Dam Road near Cates Creek.


Granville grants:

William Churton, 663 acres, 7 June 1754, on the north side of Eno River [microfilm

number, NCA&H]

Francis Corbin [no record, entry, survey, or title has been found for this grant. Corbin

lived in the Cupolo House in Edenton. The Cupolo House Papers (microfilm,

SHC) contain notes on the early grid of the village of Corbinton]. Some of this

land was later sold to the notorious Tory, Edmund Fanning (see his NC historical

marker on Churton Street, Hillsborough)


Orange County deeds:

2 / 128 William Churton to Francis Corbin, 653 acres [sic] on the south [sic] side of Eno,

and identical, excepting the obvious clerical errors, to the Granville grant to Churton. There is an attachment stating that at the instance of James Hogg—who had purchased the above tract [the eastern 253 acres not set aside for a town] from Edwin Corbin, heir of Francis Corbin—James Watson, Thomas Hart, and John Hogan appeared, 19 May 1777, before Nathaniel Rochester and Thomas Taylor to confirm the authenticity of Churton’s handwriting. John Lutteral, Esq. of Caswell County and William Courtney, Esq. of Orange County also confirmed the authenticity of same. Churton had died, possibly drowned, in 1767 while completing new surveys for the map of North Carolina known as Collet’s (1770). Much of his land in the area of Hillsborough was willed to Edmund Fanning

11 / 112 James Hogg to Gavin Alves and William Norwood, 361 acres, 9 June 1803,

$2,400 (mentions the Raleigh Road and University Road, but not Fish Dam Road)

53 / 2-3 Norwood et al. to Julian S. Carr, 663 acres, 25 April 189[?], $10,000 (mentions

Fish Dam Road and neighbor Cicero Berry, heir of John Berry, the builder, who bought much Borland land at a courthouse sale)


Orange County plats:

?/?? Occaneechee Farm