“From Plantation to Park: The Story of Dix Hill” chronicles legacy of Dix Hill Community
Free exhibit will be run through 2020
What: The City of Raleigh Museum on Sunday, October 21, will unveil a new permanent exhibit about the history of Dorothea Dix Park, titled From Plantation to Park: The Story of Dix Hill. The exhibit, a joint venture with the Dix Park Conservancy, explores the long history and future of Raleigh’s newest park. From Plantation to Park explores four perspectives on the land known as Dix Hill:
- The story begins with the earliest Native American, African, and European inhabitants and continues with the experience of its mental health patients, starting in 1856 at the then-named North Carolina Insane Asylum. These perspectives are brought to life through patient artwork, video segments, and items used over the hospital’s 150-year history.
- Also profiled in the exhibit are the nurses and hospital staff, who forged a close-knit community in service to the mentally ill.
- Unique to the exhibit is the ability for the public to leave their own audio recordings of Dorothea Dix stories, which will become part of its preserved history.
- Lastly, the public will be able to see the latest redevelopment plans for the 308-acre park as the City of Raleigh envisions the future of Dix Hill as the “next great American city park.”
“We feel the public needs to understand the complicated history of the site to make informed decisions about its future. This is why the exhibit is important for Raleigh,” says City of Raleigh Museum Director Ernest Dollar.
Located less than a mile from downtown Raleigh, the Dorothea Dix Hospital was essentially a city within a city, sourcing its own food and power. Its last patient departed more than five years ago.
This new Dix Park exhibit replaces Our War: Voices of Raleigh’s World War II Veterans, which was installed in honor of D-Day.
Where: City of Raleigh Museum, 220 Fayetteville St., Raleigh, NC 27601
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Contact: Call 919-996-2220 for more details.