The Hillsborough Town Board approved a letter of support to the Occaneechi of the Saponi Tribe last month for the reconstruction of the Occaneechi Village.
The replica village is to be built at its previous site behind the downtown Hillsborough Farmer’s Market on the Eno River front.
“Everybody would like to see it rebuilt,” said Mayor Tom Stevens. “It will be nice to have the village back as an acknowledgement of an important part of our local history.”
Prior to moving to Orange County, the Occaneechi tribe lived on an island in the Roanoke River near what is now Clarksville, Virginia. They traded with other tribes and the English and had a monopoly on the deer skin trade.
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In the late 1600s the Bacon Rebellion in Virginia led them to move to the Eno River in what is now Orange County.
“The Occaneechi lived along the river and were tradesmen, farmers and hunters,” said John “Blackfeather” Jeffries of the Occaneechi. “They grew corn, green beans, squash and melons and hunted deer, rabbits, bear and squirrel.”
Jeffries said they traded with the Europeans for metal.
“There was an archeological dig in the 1980’s and they found axe heads, metal knives, metal musket parts and bullets,” said Jeffries. “UNC is doing another archeological dig there now as we prepare to put up the posts for the wall around the village.”
The county has donated the money for the village posts.
In other business:
▪ The town discussed the purchasing of the Hillsborough Inn.
“We are doing everything we can to avoid the cost of going to court with the eminent domain hearing,” said Town Commissioner Evelyn Lloyd. “We will go forward if necessary, but it would be nice to handle it with an offer before it comes to that.”
▪ Newly appointed Officer William Felts reaffirmed his oath of office before the board and town staff.
▪ The board passed a resolution for Orange County Board of Commissioners to appoint Rob Bray as an out-of-town seat on the board of adjustment and Victoria Hudson as a town representative on the Orange County Animal Services Advisory Board.