Historical Markers in
Wake County, North Carolina

32 Pounder Naval Cannon 81st or Wildcat Division A.I.A Tower Alexander B. Andrews Anderson Andrew Johnson Andrew Johnson Andrew Johnson Birth Site Anna J. Cooper Artificial Limbs Berry O'Kelly School Birthplace of Andrew Johnson Blakely Cannon C.C. Crittenden Camp Bryan Grimes Carolina Power & Light Car Barn & Automobile Garage Central Prison Charles Duncan Mc Iver Charles N. Hunter Christ Episcopal Church Confederate Monument Confederate Soldiers Memorial CSS H.L. Hunley Memorial Dorothea Dix Hospital Estey Hall Eugenics Board Executive Mansion Experimental Railroad Fall of Raleigh Fannie E. S. Heck First Baptist Church First N.C. State Fair First Presbyterian Church Frederick Augustus Olds Freedmen’s Convention Fuquay Mineral Spring 1858 Gales Family Garner Historic District General Grant Geodetic Survey Stones Governor’s Palace Governor’s Palace of North Carolina Henry Clay Oak Henry Lawson Wyatt J. Melville Broughton James H. Harris James H. Young Jane McKimmon Joel Lane House John L. Taylor John S. Ravenscroft Josephus Daniels Josiah W. Bailey Just Like the Liberty Bell L. O’B. Branch Lamar Stringfield Leonard Medical School Leonidas L. Polk Life on Dix Hill Lunsford Lane Medical Society of North Carolina Melville B. Cox Memorial Belltower Milburnie Dam Morrisville Engagement Mount Hope Cemetery N.C. Division of Archives & History N.C. Pharmaceutical Association N.C. State Capitol N.C. State Museum of Natural Sciences North Carolina North Carolina Bar Association North Carolina Confederate POWs North Carolina Dental Society North Carolina Medical Board North Carolina Medical Society 150th Anniversary North Carolina Museum of History North Carolina State Capitol North Carolina State Library North Carolina Veterans' Memorial North Carolina Vietnam Veterans Memorial Oakwood Cemetery Old Breastworks Old Hickory Highway Olivia Raney Library Peace College Pettigrew Hospital Presidents North Carolina Gave The Nation Raleigh and Gaston Railroad River Crossing Saint Mary’s Saint Mary’s School Samuel A'Court Ashe, LL. D. Seaboard Air Line Railroad WWII Memorial Shaw University Shotwell St. Augustine's College State Bank of North Carolina State Capitol State of North Carolina Agriculture Building State of North Carolina Labor Building Stone's Mills Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee The Governor Morehead School The Governor Morehead School Thomas Day Thomas R. Jernigan To Our Confederate Dead To the North Carolina Women of the Confederacy Tupper Memorial Baptist Church Unknown NC Soldier CSA W. N. H. Smith Wake Forest University William Polk William Ruffin Cox William W. Holden Worth Bagley Worth Bagley Zebulon Baird Vance “Elmwood”
In the 1960s, North Carolina was a center of the civil rights movement, with Greensboro being the site of the first sit-in protests in the country.
Wake County, located in the heart of North Carolina, has a rich and diverse history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Tuscarora and the Saponi. European settlers arrived in the 1700s, primarily from England, Scotland, and Ireland, and established small farming communities.

In 1771, Wake County was officially formed and named after Margaret Wake, the wife of colonial governor William Tryon. The county quickly grew and prospered as a result of its fertile land and prime location along major transportation routes, including the Neuse and Cape Fear rivers. The city of Raleigh became the county seat and capital of North Carolina in 1792, further solidifying Wake County's importance.

During the Civil War, Wake County experienced considerable turmoil as it was located between Union and Confederate forces. Many residents enlisted in both armies, and the county saw its fair share of battles and skirmishes. After the war, Wake County underwent a period of reconstruction, with the economy centered around agriculture, specifically crops such as cotton and tobacco.

As the 20th century progressed, Wake County saw significant growth and development. The establishment of institutions like North Carolina State University and Research Triangle Park helped to attract a diverse population and fostered economic expansion. Today, Wake County is known for its thriving technology, healthcare, and education sectors, making it one of the fastest-growing counties in the United States.

Overall, Wake County has transformed from a rural farming community into a vibrant and dynamic area that combines a deep sense of history with modern progress and innovation. The county's past acts as a foundation for its present achievements, while its forward-thinking mindset ensures a promising future for its residents and visitors.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Wake County, North Carolina.

  • 1771 - Wake County is established on March 12
  • 1785 - The county seat is moved to Raleigh
  • 1832 - The North Carolina State Capitol building is completed in Raleigh
  • 1865 - During the American Civil War, Union troops occupy Raleigh
  • 1887 - North Carolina State University is founded in Raleigh
  • 1924 - Wake County's population exceeds 100,000
  • 1959 - Research Triangle Park is established between Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill
  • 1979 - Raleigh becomes the state capital of North Carolina
  • 2000 - Wake County's population surpasses 650,000