Two Hillsborough Mills Granted Landmark Status

The Town of Hillsborough has adopted an ordinance that will grant local historic landmark status to two of the town’s mills.

The former Bellevue Manufacturing Company and Eno Cotton Mill buildings will enjoy the new designation after the ordinance passed the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners.

Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens says this decision will spur growth in the area.

“That will help in their redevelopment,” he says. “It will be great for economic development and provide a lot of new residencies and amenities in Hillsborough.”

Stevens adds they have proof of the potential ramifications because the Eno Mill has been used as a host for area small businesses for decades.

“Mystery Brewing has their facilities in there,” he says. “Weaver Street has their facility in there. It’s been a great incubator for a lot of small businesses, and some businesses have gotten to be pretty substantial.”

While the Eno Mill has served as that small business incubator, the Bellevue Mill can provide additional housing in Hillsborough. “The Bellevue Mill has been approved for the last five years for a little bit more than 100 apartments or condominiums,” Stevens says.

Stevens says that they are hopeful the 50% reduction in property taxes that come with the landmark status will enable the Bellevue Mill developer to move forward.

Mayor Stevens says he believes that the additional housing from the development of the Bellevue Mill – coupled with the entrepreneurship that is being developed at the Eno Mill – will provide a major economic boost to Hillsborough and the surrounding area.

Bill Of Rights Day Monday: Ring Your Bells In Hillsborough

This Monday, December 15, is National Bill of Rights Day, the 223rd anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights.

The town of Hillsborough will mark the occasion – as it’s done for the last two years – with a Community Bell Ringing event. At 1:00 pm on Monday, town bells and church bells will all ring simultaneously for 223 seconds – that’s 3 minutes and 43 seconds in all.

The idea for the event came from Scott Washington, Hillsborough’s town historian.

WCHL’s Aaron Keck spoke with Washington last week.


That bell-ringing event begins at 1:00 pm on Monday and runs for 223 seconds – and everyone’s invited to bring out their own bells and ring them at the same time, anywhere in Hillsborough.

For more information, visit

Hillsborough PD Seeks Individual In 11/30 “Incident”

**UPDATE: A spokesperson for HPD reports the subject has been identified.**

Hillsborough police are asking for your help in locating the above-pictured suspect in an “incident” that took place on Sunday, November 30, at the Hampton Pointe Shopping Center.

The full statement from Hillsborough Police is below:

SEEKING INFORMATION – The Hillsborough Police Department is seeking assistance from the community in identifying the following subject in reference to an incident at the Hampton Pointe Shopping Center on November 30th.

If you or someone you know has information pertaining to this subject, please contact Detective S. Bilsky at (919) 732-9381 x37 or submit an anonymous tip via:

Hillsborough Restaurants To Raise Money For Local Radio

Hillsborough radio station WHUP 104.7 FM is getting a boost from local restaurants next week.

The low-powered community station is planning to take to the air waves next summer. To help raise money for the launch, eleven eateries are pitching in by donating 5 percent of their profits on Thursday, December 11th.

The town-wide event is called WHUP Uncanned.
Participating venues include:

Hillsborough BBQ
Hot Tin Roof (after 7:30)
La Place
Mystery Brewing Pub
Radius Pizzeria
Saratoga Grill
The Whistle
Weaver Street Market (food bar only)
Wooden Nickel Pub

In addition to great food, Mystery Brewing, Radius and The Whistle will also offer live music. You can learn more here.

Is Hillsborough ‘America’s Coolest Small Town?’

The Town of Hillsborough is currently running a close second behind Washington, N.C. in a contest to find “America’s Coolest Small Town.”

Washington and Hillsborough are dominating the contest on the Budget Travel website. Topping a long list of contenders, Washington, N.C. has a total of 4656 votes, while Hillsborough has a total of 4,376 votes.

No one else even comes close. The third-place contender so far is Huron, Ohio, with 1,850 votes.

While Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens praises Washington for its coolness, he’s urging WCHL’s listeners to cast votes for his town.

“It’s just a great place to live, work, play,” said Stevens. “And most of the things that make it the coolest small town are just the things that people who live there do for themselves.”

Budget Travel is looking at towns with a population under 10,000 that can boast of stunning architecture, unique history, great food and shops, and thriving scenes in art and music.

You can vote here for Hillsborough until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 2.

Website editors will the narrow the list down to 15, and voters will pick the winner from there.

The 10 finalists will be announced in February.

“Ladies Night Out” Thursday In Hillsborough

Thursday evening, head up to Hillsborough for “Ladies Night Out”!

About 20 downtown shops, galleries and restaurants will be taking part, holding special events and offering deals for ladies (and gentlemen) from 6:00-9:00 p.m.

“Ladies Night Out is a fun thing that a lot of our shops and restaurants do every year right before Thanksgiving…so if you’re not going to the game, (head) to downtown Hillsborough,” says Mayor Tom Stevens. “And it’s fun…most of the shops have little specials going on – so it’s a great and very celebratory time.”

Ladies Night Out is put on each year by the Downtown Merchants of Historic Hillsborough, the Hillsborough Tourism Board, and the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau.

The Qi Garden on South Churton Street is one of the participating businesses. Lucia Shaw of the Qi Garden stopped by WCHL last week and spoke with Aaron Keck.


Visit this link for a full list of participating businesses and more information about what’s in store.

H’boro PD Seeks Armed Robbery Suspects

The Hillsborough Police Department is seeking your help in finding two suspects in an armed robbery that took place Sunday afternoon at the Hampton Pointe Apartments.

The full statement from Hillsborough Police is below:

SEEKING INFORMATION – The Hillsborough Police Departments Criminal Investigations Division is seeking assistance from the community in identifying two subjects involved in an armed robbery at the Hampton Pointe Apartments on Sunday, November 16, between 4:00pm – 4:30pm. The subjects were described as two (2) black males wearing dark colored clothing and were last seen running towards I-85 North near exit 165.

If you or someone you know has information pertaining to this case, please contact Sergeant S. Nicolaysen at (919) 732-9381 x30 or submit an anonymous tip via:

Is Hillsborough America’s “Coolest Small Town”?

Your votes could win Hillsborough the coveted title of “Coolest Small Town” in America.

With its thriving food scene, community spirit and a host of literary luminaries, Mayor Tom Stevens says Hillsborough sets an excellent example of how rich small town life can be.

“I like to think of it as setting a good example,” he says. “There’s a lot of cool places – it really is about neighborhoods and people coming together, and taking the good things that (we) have and (figuring out) how we can accentuate those and make things better.”

Hillsborough is currently in the lead in Budget Travel’s nationwide online contest ranking towns with populations under 10,000.

You can nominate a town until December 2. After that, the list will be narrowed down to 15 frontrunners. The winning town will be announced in February.

Stevens reminds all Orange County residents your vote can help shine a light on a local gem.

“Go vote for Hillsborough,” he says. “We’ve been in the lead for a good while – and you can vote every day.”

Click here to vote in the contest.

Is Hillsborough America’s “Coolest Small Town”?

Do you think Hillsborough is the coolest small town in America?

The website is accepting nominations for an online “Coolest Small Towns in America” contest. Fifteen towns will be chosen to move on to the finals – and Hillsborough’s currently in first place with the most nominations. Let’s keep it there!

Head online and submit your nomination:,17/

The nominating process runs through Tuesday, December 2. The contest recognizes towns with a population under 10,000 “and a certain something that no place else has.”

Riverwalk Opens In Hillsborough

After years in the making, Hillsborough’s 1.8-mile Riverwalk trail is finally, officially open.

The town marked the opening of Riverwalk with a formal ceremony and a public celebration on Saturday afternoon. Hundreds turned out to experience the trail and hear a proclamation from Mayor Tom Stevens.

Find more information on Riverwalk here.

Located along the Eno River, Riverwalk is part of the statewide Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Town officials first conceived of the idea in the late 1990s to promote active recreation, protect the town’s watershed, and generate activity downtown.

Visit this page for a Riverwalk scavenger hunt.

Mayor Stevens says it’s already working – as residents and visitors are already using the trail, not just for recreation but also as a transportation corridor.

Mayor Tom Stevens joined Aaron Keck on WCHL Monday to discuss Riverwalk and look back on Saturday’s public celebration.