Durham History Lives

Special Duke Hospital exhibit to be part of museum's grand opening Saturday

Years in the making, the new Durham History Museum hub will open Saturday with one exhibit focusing on Duke Hospital.
Years in the making, the new Durham History Museum hub will open Saturday with one exhibit focusing on Duke Hospital.

Duke Medicine is supporting Durham's effort to create a home for the Museum of Durham History, which on Oct. 12 will celebrate the grand opening of the museum's first physical space, the Durham History Hub, at 500 W. Main St. downtown.

Museum officials say the Hub, located in the brick building that formerly served as a transfer station for Durham's municipal bus system, will become a starting point for exploring Durham's rich history, allow expansion of museum services, and add to the rapidly growing vitality of the downtown area.

"Durham's history and Duke Medicine's history are inextricably and proudly intertwined," said MaryAnn Black, Duke University Health System associate vice president for community relations. "So it's only appropriate that we help bring the Museum of Durham History to fruition and celebrate our shared heritage."

Grand Opening Day events, which are free, include:

  • 10 a.m. -- Durham's first History Parade. Bands, history re-enactors, bagpipers, floats and others travel from East Main Street near the old County Courthouse to the Hub at 500 W. Main St, near West Village downtown.
  • 11:30 a.m. -- Ribbon cutting. The Hub's official opening, with a first look at its exhibits. Among them is a healthcare exhibit called "Early Hospitals of Durham" that Duke Medicine financial support -- as well as research, information and photos, from Duke University Medical Center Archives -- helped make possible. Visitors to the exhibits will receive a free raffle ticket for prizes.
  • Noon to 5 p.m. -- Family-friendly performances on two stages featuring music -- from gospel to jazz to folk -- and children's choir; a jump rope demonstration; dance; professional storytelling; and more. Food trucks will be on site.

(The rain date for all activities is Sunday afternoon, Oct. 13.)

Beginning Oct. 15, the Hub will be open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5p.m., with extended hours on Thursdays and Third Fridays in the spring and summer months. Admission is free.

Learn more about the Grand Opening event and the Museum of Durham History at http://museumofdurhamhistory.org/