Creating an English-Style Village in the Carolina Countryside

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About the Book

In 1974, R.B. Fitch of Chapel Hill bought 632 acres in Chatham County, North Carolina, just outside Chapel Hill, with a vision of creating a community, a mix of residential and low-key commercial in the style of the English villages he admired when serving as a U.S. Air Force pilot in the United Kingdom in the 1950s. With his wife Jenny, he began constructing the project and today, 50 years later, Fearrington Village is a major development in the region with some 1,600 houses, a nationally known luxury inn, a five-star restaurant, a bookstore, and a spa, drawing tourists and residents from all over.
Fearrington Village was the first Planned Unit Development in Chatham County and one of the first in the state. It has influenced other developments and Fearrington residents have had an effect on the state’s economy and politics. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Business Hall of Fame has called Fearrington Village “an example of an exquisitely planned and executed community.” This is the first comprehensive history of the village. It includes excerpts from R.B. Fitch’s interviews in 2011 with the Southern Oral History Project at UNC, which are published here for the first time.

About the Author(s)

Bill Arthur is a former reporter for The Charlotte Observer and a reporter and editor at Bloomberg News in Washington. His writing has appeared in Washingtonian Magazine, The Nation, and other publications. He lives in Fearrington Village.

Bibliographic Details

Bill Arthur
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 75 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9461-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5273-3
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“Veteran journalist Bill Arthur has written a thorough and insightful history of the origins and growth of Fearrington Village, a unique English-style development now numbering some 1,600 homes, in rural North Carolina but within an easy drive of the cities of the Research Triangle. As the long-time representative of the community in the U.S. House, I can attest to its nationwide attraction and the remarkable civic engagement of its citizens. I learned a great deal from Arthur’s study and expect even long-time Fearrington residents will as well.”—David Price, former U.S. Representative