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looking towards the entrance in 2023: there was an unpaved road-cutting roughly where these cars are now. The road in this photo was itself widened into the hillside 10-20 years earlier; before that, it followed the original contours even more closely.
looking away from the entrance in 2023

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of Egypt. Maybe some will turn up. [2018-11-01: yes, some have; I just need to scan them in.]

Egypt was the name Jenny (or possibly other members of her family; I'm not sure exactly where it came from) gave to an abandoned housing development ("Chesterfield" OSLT) on Pickett Road, just opposite where Wade Road (which didn't exist until years later) comes out now.

For awhile, there were even unfinished houses on the site (Harena remembers exploring some of these, I think; will have to pick her memory for more details later), but they were gone by the early 1980s when Woozle and Jenny met there (see category:Egypt).

In 1988, residents of the adjacent neighborhood who had bought the property in 1980 organized a nonprofit to run it as a retirement community, The Forest at Duke (TFAD). The original contours are now largely (though not entirely) obliterated.

from Harena's mom

written in ~2016, for publication in the TFAD newsletter

They called it Egypt, the neighborhood kids who played on this land, because they imagined that the real Egypt was desolate open country. In fact, developers had begun an ambitious apartment development in the 1970s, proposing a garage for each unit, and had felled trees, installed curb and gutter on projected streets, and had started construction on some of the buildings; then the money ran out. Undesirables, both human and otherwise, moved into this wasteland. The bank foreclosed; and, having no use for idle land which yielded no income, looked to sell it. Durham County offered to buy it and develop public housing on it.

The neighboring residents of Duke Forest, mostly Duke faculty, reared up and roared, “NIMBY!” (For the uninitiated, that’s “Not In My Back Yard!”) It was, as Ken Hall fondly remarked, the only time in memory that 45 Duke professors all agreed on something. In 1980 a limited partnership was formed and bought the land instead. (Five additional acres were bought later; this was the homeplace of Miz Lizzie Pickett, whose nephews were local construction magnates Nello and Dillard Teer, who were very protective of Miz Lizzie. On Miz Lizzie’s death, the family at last agreed to sell this acreage, which ultimately became Fountain View Lane.)

An early excursion into the possibility of student apartments on the land went belly-up due to the bankruptcy of the projected developer. In 1986, the limited partnership having been dissolved, James and Kathy Crapo came up with the concept of building a retirement community on the land, financing it themselves with help from their respective mothers (for whom Olson and Holbrook are named) and from the Halls, who said, “Great! We’ll move there when we are old, and we won’t have to leave the neighborhood!”

The rest, not to coin a phrase, is of course TFAD history.