Durham, part of the Research Triangle region, has an estimated population of 451,212 which makes it the fourth largest city in the state of North Carolina. The city was founded initially as a railroad depot located between Wilson and Hillsborough. The original land was donated by a local physician, Bartlett S. Durham, and at first named Durham Station - shortened to Durham at its official incorporation. The town grew slowly at first, but after the Civil War began to thrive with the establishment of a booming tobacco industry. Initially, the tobacco industry dominated the city's economyhat but was soon rivaled by the establishment of multiple textile mills, particularly in East and West Durham.
The city also quickly developed a vibrant African-American community that was home to many prominent and successful black-owned businesses. The most successful of these was the North Carolina Mutual Insurance Co. and the Mechanics & Farmers' Bank. The area was known as Hayti by residents and more popularly known as the "Black Wall Street."
Durham has a rich and vibrant art and cultural community. The Durham Association for Downtown Arts, a non-profit arts organization is committed to the development, presentation, and fiscal sponsorship of original art and performance in the Durham community. Durham's centerpiece of culture is the Carolina Theater which shows both live performances as well as films, primarily independent releases. Festivals and events include jazz and blues festivals, symphony concerts, art exhibitions, and a multitude of cultural expositions including the American Dance Festival and the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. Other points of interest in the area include North Carolina Museum of Life and Science, Historic Stagville Plantation, Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Horton Grove, Catsburg Store, Bennett Place, and the American Tobacco Trail.
Duke University, North Carolina Central University, and Durham Technical Community College call Durham home and have a great influence on the area in general. Durham has a surprising number of excellent restaurants for its small size, concentrated in the University and downtown areas.