Lake Hogan Farm, which currently exists as a residential community, was a successful dairy farm from 1930 to 1995.
The Hogan family has lived in Chapel Hill since the 1700s, before Chapel Hill itself was established. The Hogan brothers — Glenn, Jack, Henry and Hubert — started Lake Hogan Farm, primarily a dairy farm, north and west of Chapel Hill in 1930.
Each brother brought a unique talent to the family venture.
Glenn specialized in animal care and masonry.
Henry had the vision of the farm, connections within the community and business sense.
Jack worked with energy and building and Hubert with agricultural technique and technology. Combined, they created a thriving business.
The second generation of brothers, Bob and Bill, continued the dairy’s operation until 1995.
“We were raised on it, worked on it, lived on it and then became owner-operators of it in a partnership,” said Chris Hogan, grandson of Henry Hogan.
“It’s been a special part of our lives and still is to this day.”
The Hogans helped bring electrification to the Chapel Hill area and obtained the first rural electrification grant in the United States, which brought power to other Orange County farms.
Henry Hogan later co-founded the Central Carolina Farmer’s Exchange, located in Carrboro and Hillsborough.
It still operates today under a different title: Southern States.
“The family introduced others to the rural life, offering tours of their historic homestead and farm, teaching about farming and milking, giving hayrides and even allowing visits with (UNC’s) wooly mascot, Rameses,” said Aaron Nelson, president and CEO of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, in an email.
Rameses has been in the care of the Hogan family since the introduction of the mascot in 1924.
The brothers are also credited with damming Bolin Creek, which created Lake Hogan. Locals and college students flocked to the lake in the 1930s and 1940s to swim and picnic.
Lake Hogan Farm is the first example of “agritourism,” an agriculture-based operation that brings visitors to a farm, in the Chapel Hill area.
When choosing a business to induct into the Hall of Fame, Nelson said the committee looked for leadership, community impact and a strong ability to inspire others.
“They’re being honored for smart business acumen but also for their continuous integration with everything into the community,” said Susan Hogan, granddaughter of Henry Hogan.
“It’s a wonderful recognition of a deserving group of people,” Chris Hogan said.