Wake Forest Historical Museum

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

The Arson Fires

In the early hours of May 5, 1933, the original Wait Hall burned to the ground.

Wake Forest College students were roused from sleep to run outside and watch the flames engulf a building that had stood at the center of campus since 1835. Over the next two years, a string of more than 70 arson fires struck locations across town and college. The crimes were never solved.

Willard Brown (WFC ’36) was there. He is age 101.

4 comments on “The Arson Fires

  1. Amy Dowis
    September 4, 2014

    I enjoyed the video very much and it was put together so nicely. Willard Brown is my grandfather. 🙂

    • wakeforestmuseum
      September 5, 2014

      Your grandfather is a lovely, remarkable man. We felt so lucky to have this chance to record an interview with him. He and his son are remembered and loved by many in Wake Forest. So glad you liked the video, it was interesting to work on!

  2. Janet Brown Dowis
    September 11, 2014

    Thank you so much for videoing this! I enjoyed listening while you interviewed daddy! He was very pleased with your visit and reminiscing about WF college.

    • wakeforestmuseum
      September 11, 2014

      Thank you for assisting with the interview! It was wonderful to meet both of you, and these memories are very special to us. Your dad was so fantastic, and I look forward to putting more of his recollections on the website.

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This entry was posted on August 30, 2014 by in Wake Forest in the 1930s 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