Local News:

Owner of former AT&T building vows to rebuild and find new tenant
10/27/2016 01:24 PM
Former AT&T call centerDemolition and repairs have already started on the 46,000 square foot building in Goldsboro on Highway 117 South.

Authorities searched for wigged suspect in Chapel Hill bank robbery
10/27/2016 01:23 PM
Authorities searched for wigged suspect in Chapel Hill bank robberyAuthorities said a person wearing a blonde wig entered the First Citizens Bank at 53 Chatham Downs Drive and demanded money from a teller.

Michelle Obama joins Clinton at NC rally
10/27/2016 01:20 PM
Clinton, Michelle Obama campaign in Winston-SalemFirst lady Michelle Obama added her star power to Democrat Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign on Thursday, urging a raucous crowd in Winston-Salem to get to the polls by Election Day to build a better future for the nation's youth.

Pepsi Bottling to expand Robeson operation
10/27/2016 10:44 AM
Pepsi bottlePepsi Bottling Ventures LLC will create 50 jobs over the next five years at a new $16.5 million distribution center in Robeson County, officials said Thursday.

Wake woman charged with manslaughter after father dies
10/27/2016 10:02 AM
Angel Bradford, charged in father's deathA woman charged in March with assault following a domestic incident in Cary involving her boyfriend and her father has been indicted on a charge of involuntary manslaughter after her father died of his injuries. Weather

Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

Pic of the Week
10/26/2016 04:00 AM
Bike parking at Citrix along Hargett Street. While private, this is probably the peak of bicycle parking in downtown Raleigh. Similar Posts: [UPDATE] Bicycle Parking In Downtown Raleigh (October 12, 2009, 13 Comments) Federal Grant Funding Miles of Bicycle Facilities In Downtown Raleigh (January 6, 2014, 4 Comments) It’s The [Bicycle] Network (May 1, 2014, […]

RalCon Supports The Wake Transit Referendum
10/25/2016 04:00 AM
On Nov 8, or now if you’re into early voting, Wake County residents will see this little box on their ballots. This blog, along with a list of other fine persons and organizations, endorse a FOR vote for transit and the sales tax to pay for it. For downtown Raleigh, and anyone that wants to […]

Pic of the Week
10/20/2016 04:00 AM
Raleigh’s giant copper acorn has a new home. It was moved from Moore Square to the corner of South and Salisbury Street. I imagine the reason is to clear the way for the impending redesign of Moore Square. The construction shown in the photo above is the new Residence Inn on Salisbury Street. Similar Posts: […]

Fall 2016 Restaurant Roundup
10/18/2016 04:00 AM
Email readers: This blog post has a virtual reality image in it. I recommend you click through to the site to see it. New eats are tasty but what can also be exciting, to me anyway, are reasons to revisit some places as they are doing new things or new folks are bringing a new […]

Blogging Experiment: RalCon Meets Virtual Reality
10/12/2016 04:00 AM
Email readers: This blog post has a virtual reality image in it. I recommend you click through to the site to see it. It’s the future! Well not quite. This post is more a test than anything new but personally, I’m getting into virtual reality and thought I’d try something for the blog. The embedded […]

Welcome to RaleighFree!

Our goal is to provide you with information about the wide variety of free things to do in Raleigh, NC. With the many parks, museums, and other attractions, there's enough to keep most people busy and happy for quite a while. Browse our links, and check back soon, more content is coming online quickly.

History of Raleigh

Oak Tree Raleigh is also known as the "City of Oaks," mainly because of the numerous oak trees that adorn the entire city. Yet aside from these functions, the city is also North Carolina's capital and Wake County's seat. According to a count for July 2006, Raleigh's population is estimated to be around 353,604, thus making the capital one of America's rapidly expanding cities. In fact, Raleigh ranks fourth in the "List of Best Big Cities in 2006" by Money Magazine. Of course, anyone who is familiar with the city's history is not at all surprised by such a remarkable development. Since Raleigh is among the selected US cities intentionally developed to be a state capital, it can easily be said that the city is destined for expansion and progress.

Long before becoming a state capital, the city was called as the "Wake Crossroads," a name that gives a clear idea regarding the city's geographical function. At that time, Raleigh served as a place where travelers from either north or south could rest and maybe have a drink in one of its taverns. The place was eventually chosen to be North Carolina's capital in 1788. According to some accounts, "Wake Crossroads" was selected since it was within a 10-mile radius of Isaac Hunter's Tavern, a place popular among legislators at that time. But it was in 1792 when Raleigh was formally established as North Carolina's capital.

Sir Walter Raleigh That same year, the North Carolina General Assembly bought a lot from a local businessman and started making plans for Raleigh, which was by the way, modeled after Philadelphia, the US capital state at that time. The city got its name from Sir Walter Raleigh, who sponsored the Colony of Roanoke. The aforementioned assembly held its first meeting in the capital in December 1794. A month after that, the legislative body officially granted Raleigh a charter along with an "Intendant Police" (Mayor) and seven commissioners. John Haywood was Raleigh's first "Intendant Police."

Although Raleigh was lucky to be spared from destruction during the Civil War, the city remained little in size until streetcar lines were introduced in the 1920s. Since then, Raleigh began to grow, eventually transforming into one of the state's commercial hubs. A railroad was also constructed to link the city to neighboring communities. By the end of the Second World War, Raleigh had undergone many significant developments, particularly in its infrastructure. What used to be a rural community evolved into a bustling urban center. The development of the city's infrastructure is largely attributed to the founding of the North Carolina State University School of Design in 1948. But the construction and existence of the Research Triangle Park in the 1959 also brought big changes to the city. With a 7,000 acre land area, the RTP is the world's biggest research park, comprising Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. With its high-tech facilities, the RTP is also among the global leaders in scientific research and development.

As education is essential to any improvement of a city, Raleigh also has many universities and colleges. Aside from the North Carolina State University, other schools in the capital include Shaw University, St. Augustine's College, Meredith College, Wake Tech Community College, and Peace College. Both St. Augustine's and Shaw were founded towards the end of the 1860s, as schools for the freed slaves after the Civil War. Shaw was the premier university founded for that particular purpose in the country. In 1874, the Estey Hall was added to provide higher learning to women of African-American ethnicity.