Wake Forest Historical Museum

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

Wake Forest’s Downtown Blacksmith Shop, 1954

It’s surprising to think the Town of Wake Forest still had a blacksmith shop until about 1960. It was where Lumpy’s Ice Cream is today; just an unpainted wooden building … Continue reading

August 11, 2017 · Leave a comment

Discovering Hundreds of Graves in the “Old Cemetery”

This Sunday, May 21st at 3:00 pm, the museum is hosting a free public forum about the historic “Old Cemetery” of Friendship Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. Through the use of ground … Continue reading

May 17, 2017 · Leave a comment

Rain Saves Lives at Olive Branch Baptist Church

It was February 10, 1946 when heavy rain struck–bringing with it a miracle that could be called fate, luck, or Providence. As it was a Sunday morning, the children of … Continue reading

February 23, 2017 · Leave a comment

From Slavery to Freedom in Wake Forest

When Calvin Jones arrived at his newly purchased farm in 1821–in the part of the county he later named “Wake Forest”–he brought more than his family. He also brought a number of … Continue reading

February 2, 2016 · 6 Comments

“Doctor” Tom Loses Home by Fire

On the afternoon of January 13, 1923, an out of control blaze destroyed the home of “Doctor” Tom Jeffries in the Wake Forest neighborhood now known as the East End. … Continue reading

January 13, 2016 · 1 Comment

The DuBois School Athletic Program – In Celebration of Black History Month

To mark Black History Month, the museum is sharing a rare collection of images from the DuBois School. By the time these photographs were taken in 1964-65, school segregation was … Continue reading

February 7, 2015 · 3 Comments

A Dancer and a Songwriter – Fame Hits the East End

Like an echo of the literature, music, and fashion known as the Harlem Renaissance, the African-American community in mid-20th century Wake Forest experienced a surge in creativity, intellectualism, and culture. … Continue reading

October 25, 2014 · 5 Comments

The Legacy of L. Robert Best: “Let your light shine.”

He was a headmaster straight from Central Casting–a stern, bespectacled black man from Barbados with a clipped accent, perfect manners, and a passion for equal education that would change Wake … Continue reading

March 7, 2014 · 2 Comments

A Slave History: Free at Last in Wake Forest

One of the most fascinating articles we’ve found in the archives of the Wake Forest College student newspaper, the Old Gold and Black, tells the story of Ellen Lewis. Also … Continue reading

September 5, 2013 · 2 Comments

Olive Branch Baptist Church

During the Civil War, slaves worshipping at Wake Forest Baptist Church broke away to create their own congregation. The Baptist Church leaders offered help, funding and guidance, demonstrating the Christian … Continue reading

August 20, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Doctor” Tom Jeffries

Born a slave in Virginia, Tom Jeffries came to Wake Forest College in 1884 and continued working there for 43-years. Students and professors often sought his advice and wisdom, and … Continue reading

July 24, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Normal and Industrial School

This was once considered the most important school for African American students in Wake County. Educator Allen Young began building the campus in the East End neighborhood in 1905, and … Continue reading

July 21, 2013 · Leave a comment

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

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Remembering our friend Bill Joyner. Always with that smile. #1967Forester Atlas Ray, owner of a legendary store in the Harricanes, was among those remembered at the WFHA program on country stores. Just received several reels of 16mm film. Looks like 1950s home movies of the Demon Deacs in the Billy Barnes days!!! From the April 1961 Wake Forest phone book... instructions on how to use a dial telephone, how to dial a number, how to interpret ringing and busy signals, and what to do on a party line. Anyone else remember those days?