Wake Forest Historical Museum

LOCATION: 414 N. Main Street Wake Forest, NC 27587 CONTACT: 919-556-2911

The Early Years


In 1834 the North Carolina Baptists purchased the Calvin Jones plantation as the site for an institute to educate Baptist ministers. The Calvin Jones House served as home of the first president Samuel Wait and his family. Students worked a part of each day on the plantation, had their classes in the carriage shed, and slept in the cabins originally built for enslaved workers.

The 1850 lithograph shows the original “College Building,” built in 1837 at a cost of about $20,000. The building contained classrooms, library, chapel, and society halls. The Calvin Jones House had been moved to make way for the new structure and is visible in the upper left corner. Following the death of Samuel Wait, the new building was renamed Wait Hall. It was destroyed by fire in 1933.

A dramatic change in the appearance of the campus came during the administration of Dr. Charles Taylor (1884-1905). President Taylor was interested in the academic growth of the college, but also in transforming the landscape into a park-like setting. He selected Tom Jeffries to build the rock wall encircling campus, improve the walkways, and plant thousands of trees and shrubs.

Today the Old Campus, which is the home of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, looks much as it did in the 1950s.

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This entry was posted on July 23, 2013 by in Exhibits and tagged , , , , , , .

Hours & Info

Tues-Fri: 9am-noon & 1:30-4:30pm
Sun: 2pm-5pm

Closed: Saturday and Monday

Call us at 919.556.2911

Free Admission

Follow us on Instagram!

Flying the Demon Deacon flag as we host visitors from the WFU Alumni Council. Welcome to #oldcampus! Happy Easter from the Wake Forest Historical Museum. (Old Well photographed from the Brewer-Harris Garden) These are the brothers of Kappa Sigma fraternity. They went to school here on the Old Campus and reunite each year at the Trek. They are an amazing group and we appreciate all they do for the Wake Forest Historical Museum! #kappasigma #wfu "His most unusual talent was combining profanity in unexpected ways," author Tucker Mitchell says to our Trek to the Old Campus crowd, about the subject of his excellent biography, legendary WFC football coach Peahead Walker. #wfu #oldcampus