Wake Forest,  North Carolina, is a beautiful city that’s full of life. There are a number of reasons you might want to live and work in this city or visit it for its rich history.

As a local roofing company, we take pride in our community and the cities that we live and work in. Here’s a brief recount of Wake Forest history, how it came to be, and some other fun facts.

wake forest history

Wake Forest History: The Beginning 1832-1862

This simple town began in the year 1832 when the North Carolina Baptist Convention was intent on establishing an educational institute in the area. The goal of the establishment was to train missionaries and future ministers under Dr. Calvin Jones.

A 615-acre plantation north of the already existing community of Forestville was purchased for $2,000 (the equivalent of roughly $63,000 today). Dr. Jones described the Forestville community as one of the best communities and neighborhoods in all of the state.

The Wake Forest Institute opened in February 1834 and had 72 students enrolled within the first year. Today only one of the three buildings that were used for the school is still standing, and you can visit it as a historical landmark.

War and Railroads: 1862-1880

War was declared in 1862, and all of the students at the Wake Forest School enlisted to serve the United States. The college closed and wouldn’t reopen until 1865 but was used as a hospital for soldiers during the war.

The trustees in the community wanted a railroad that would be closer and more accessible for the community. In 1874 they spent exactly $2,000.03 to relocate the depot from Forestville to Wake Forest. The relocation spurred business and helped the city develop many modern businesses, including a pharmacy, hotel, restaurant, cotton merchants, hardware stores, and a department store. By 1930 there were many businesses in this bustling and rapidly growing city.

Finally, on March 26th, the community was incorporated as the Town of Wake Forest College.

wake forest history

Royall Cotton Mill and a Thriving College: 1880 – 1990

The Royall Cotton Mill was started by three brothers-in-law during the year 1899. The mill and the homes of those that worked in it were soon built just north of the town boundary.

Throughout this time of 1880-1956, the town and the college thrived. However, shortly after World War II, the college did move to Winston-Salem, but the Southern Baptist Convention located its newest seminary in Wake Forest, and the Southeastern Baptists shared the campus through 1956.

When the colleges left, and U.S. Highway 1 moved west of town, things slowed down a bit and weren’t quite as easy for 40 or so years. Some businesses came and went and helped to review the old city through the 60s and 70s.

Explosive Growth: 1990 – Today

Wake Forest has recently seen massive growth in its population, with expectations of the population growing to more than 40,000 in the near future.

Many new homes and subdivisions have been built, and the boundaries of the town now run from Franklin Country on the north to the Neuse River on the south. The adjustments for the growth of the town have helped to meet the needs of the people. For example, in the early 2000s, the city merged its water and sewer systems with Raleigh’s to help with infrastructure planning.

wake forest history

Today Wake Forest, North Carolina, is home to some fantastic people and a population that’s full of joy and passion for life. Whether you’re looking for a quiet suburb or a bustling city, Wake Forest offers a little bit of both.

Being just outside Raleigh, there are lots of amenities not far from the city center and career opportunities in a number of fields. Wake Forest is known as one of the best places to raise a family in North Carolina. Most residents own their own homes, and there are many city parks and infrastructures to encourage a growing family.

K&D Roofing Is Here To Help!

If you live in the Wake Forest area and you’re looking for a roofing company that cares not only about you but also about the community. Then look no further. We’re here to help you take care of your home. At K&D Roofing, we put our customers first and offer premium roofing services. From repairs and inspections to replacements, we’ve got you covered. Reach out to us today to learn more!