Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tributaries of Morgan Creek

Having listed out the tributaries of Bolin and Booker Creeks, I suppose I should follow up with the same information on Morgan Creek. So here goes:

Morgan Creek - This creek was named for Mark Morgan and his family, who were early Europeans in the area. The Morgans arrived here before Orange County was formed in 1754, when this was the extreme western frontier of European civilization. In old documents, Morgan Creek is sometimes referred to as Mark's Creek.

Pritchard Branch - This creek drains the Westwood neighborhood in Chapel Hill and the UNC power plant. I have never heard a name for this creek, but it is shown on the Ayers 1954 map of Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

Chapel Spring Branch - This is one of two creeks that form Meeting of the Waters Creek. It rises near the Carolina Inn, although it is buried until it reaches South Road near the Sonja Haynes Stone BCC. The name comes from the fact that the spring at the top of the creek was used for drinking water for the New Hope Chapel which stood about where the Carolina Inn is today. That was the chapel which gave rise to the name Chapel Hill.

Meeting of the Waters Creek - This creek flows into Morgan Creek in the vicinity of the NC Botanical Garden. Old maps of UNC show this creek but do not give a name for it. It seems likely that Kemp P Battle gave this name to the creek, as he mentions it in The History of the University of North Carolina, which was published about 100 years ago. Battle was fond of naming natural features in the vicinity of UNC.

Neville Creek - This creek forms the main western arm of University Lake. The name undoubtedly comes from the name of landowners west of University Lake and Neville Road (which is also out that way) must take its name the same way. The name dates to at least 1891.

Phil's Creek - This creek forms the northwest arm of University Lake. The name appears on the 1891 Tate map, so it is at least that old.

Price's Creek - This is the creek that forms the main southern arm of University Lake. I do not know the origin of the name.

Pritchard's Mill Creek - This is a tributary of Price's Creek just southwest of University Lake. The creek is obviously named for the Pritchard Mill, which once stood just upstream of where Damascus Church Road crosses the creek. Pritchard's Mill has a deep history, but it was owned by the Pritchards during the Civil War. At one time, this creek was called Cumbo Branch.

Wilson Creek - This creek drains the area right around US 15-501 south of Chapel Hill and flows into Morgan Creek right above the 15-501 bridge. In old documents, this creek is referred to as Obed Creek.

Fan Branch - This creek drains out of the area where Southern Village is today and conflows with Wilson Creek just before Wilson Creek flows into Morgan Creek.

Willow Creek - This creek flows throught the western side of Carrboro. I have never ehard it called this name, nor is it labeled this way on any map that I know of, but the creek flows through Willow Creek Shopping Center, I am assuming that the shopping center took its name from the creek.

Chapel Creek - Several modern maps show this name for the tributary of Morgan Creek that is just downstream of Meeting of the Waters Creeek. I am not sure how old that name is and I am not sure that it isn't just a cartographic error - ie that someone is mistaking this for Chapel Spring Banch.

Buck Branch - This creek drains the vicinity of Mt. Carmel Church Road near the Chatham-Orange line, just north of High Hill.

Cub Creek - This creek is the next tributary south of Buck Branch and south of High Hill. It is entirely in Chatham County and drains the vicinity of Governor's Club. Cub Creek flows into Jordan Lake, but historically it was a tributary of Morgan Creek.

Big Branch - This is a tributary of Cub Creek, draining the area just west of High Hill.

Anybody know some other creek names (or origins of creek names)?

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