Wake Forest Historical Museum

Due to concerns over COVID-19, the museum has suspended public operations until further notice. Staff will be checking emails and voicemail regularly and responding as quickly as possible to questions and concerns. Please check back for updates. Thank you for understanding.

The Business District

In 1872 Wake Forest College convinced the Railroad to move the station from Forestville to a location just east of the campus. Shortly afterwards, the College began to sell lots east of the tracks for homes and businesses.

A downtown business district grew rapidly, and during the first half of the twentieth century this area flourished.

Downtown Wake Forest boasted a full slate of businesses that included department stores, men’s clothing stores, pool halls, two movie theaters, a Chevrolet dealership, three drug stores, two grocery stores, banks, a cotton broker, and as many as twenty eating establishments catering to students, faculty and residents.

It was in the truest sense of the word a “college town.”

About wakeforestmuseum

This is the Old Well that stands beside the two-story Greek-Revival house in northern Wake County that was purchased by Calvin Jones in 1820 along with 600 acres of land. It is the oldest historic structure in the Town of Wake Forest. Initially used concurrently as a residence, doctor’s office, and post office, the property was sold in 1832 to the North Carolina Baptist Convention, which was seeking a suitable location to educate young ministers. What is now Wake Forest University opened here in 1834 and, under the guidance of first President Samuel Wait, began to develop a flourishing student body, advanced curriculum, and new brick campus. Today the Calvin Jones House is part of a four acre complex that includes gardens, pathways, and a state of the art museum. The house is furnished to reflect the period of its various residents, and the museum’s extensive displays depict the history of college and town.

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This entry was posted on July 24, 2013 by in The Business District and tagged , , .
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