68th Chatham County
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Association Projects

The Chatham County Fair Association is committed to the continuation of the annual Chatham County Agricultural Fair, however, this is not our only function.

The Milliken House

The Fair Association has also acquired an old slave cabin that is now located on the premises.   We have preserved the cabin and it has been open fr public viewing since the the 2010 Fair. We intend to make it a part of a history trail that is also in the works.

Feel welcome to come be a part of the history!


The following paragraphs are abstracted from the Chatham County, NC Historical Association’s web page, “Log Cabin Reconstruction Project” found at chathamhistory.org/cabin.html. Please visit their site for more information on log cabin reconstruction in this area.


“Early in 1999 the Chatham County Historical Association and the Chatham County Agricultural and Industrial Fair Association agreed to work together to reconstruct two log houses in Pittsboro. The Milliken house, built by a former slave named Bob, was given to the county fair association and moved from its original location about seven miles northwest of Pittsboro to the County Fairgrounds in 1977, where it was renovated under the supervision of C.W. Bryant. By 1996 the woods had grown up to obscure the cabin and a large oak fell on it during Hurricane Fran. By 1999 it had been dismantled and piers had been raised on a higher piece of ground for its reconstruction.

(In the summer of 1999 volunteers started reconstruction) ” … on the Milliken house. After stacking logs to about the five-foot level, additional logs had to be found to continue the work because the original logs had deteriorated. Attempts were made to find old log structures that might be donated to the organizations, and when these failed a local lumbering firm was contracted to furnish the needed material. Stacking the Milliken cabin was completed in spring of 2002, and Tim Blount once again shingled the roof, completing the project in January 2004.” (Flooring was completed in 2005.)

Chinking of the walls was completed just prior to the 2010 Fair. Reconstruction of the chimney was begun that same year and remains underway.

The Margie Ellison Community Youth Garden

The Fair Association in cooperation with the Chatham Community Development Corporation and with grants from United Way, Progress Energy and the North Carolina Water and Soil Conservation Conservation Districts constructed 10 garden boxes along the west fence line for gardens planted by Chatham County youth. This project was originally conceived by Margie Ellison, long dedicated to the well being of young people in the County.

Under the supervision of Chatham County Together! 6 youth from the CCT! program and 15 Good Samaritan youth have been involved with the plots, working since late July, 2011. Drop by the plots on your way into the Fair this year!

Project Images

From “The Chatham News and Record”, Tuesday September 22, 2011

By Bill Willcox

Margie Ellison, a Chatham County Community leader, had a dream at the time of her unexpected death in 2009.

She wanted to create a community garden for young people to learn firsthand what it was like to work with the soil.

That dream is now becoming a reality at the Chatham County Fairgrounds thanks to a group of dedicated volunteers and community members.

Starting on July 27, 21 young people prepared 10 planting beds with soil, com-post and fertilizer, and planted heirloom tomatoes.

The tomato plants are producing fruit, and the young gardeners have now put in some cold weather cops such as arugula, kale, spinach, beets and collards.

Go to “The Chatham News and Record” for the complete story, or click here to download a pdf of Bill Willcox’s article with picture.