Wake Forest Historical Museum

All visitors must wear a mask while inside the museum and Calvin Jones House. We appreciate your cooperation!

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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