The Keyauwee Indians were the primary inhabitants of
northwestern Randolph County in the late 1700s traversing the
fertile hunting grounds along the Deep and Uwharrie rivers. Amid
a triumvirate of Keyauwee, Eno and Saura tribes, tax records
indicated the residency of nearly twenty-five English and Dutch
farming families in the Trinity region prior to the 1780s.
Early residents were mostly Methodist and advocated literacy by
formalized classroom instruction. By 1838, Brown’s Schoolhouse,
a one-room private school, was flourishing in the community.
Union Institute was founded in 1839, melding the Methodist
majority and Quaker minority populations. Led by Methodist
minister and President Braxton Craven, the Institute became
Normal College in 1851 and Trinity College in 1859. In 1892,
Trinity College was relocated to Durham; in 1924, it was renamed
In Trinity, the College building was reformed
as Trinity High School, a preparatory school for the Durham
campus. It later became a public high school. A plaque marks the
site of Brown’s Schoolhouse on Surrett Drive, less than a mile
from Trinity High School. Victorian boarding houses once used as
Trinity College dormitories, as well historic homes of
professors and prominent citizens, line N.C. 62 and serve as
lasting reminders of the community’s rich heritage.