Local News:

Soccer stadium site? NCFC owner, developer partner invest in land in SE Raleigh
03/18/2019 02:54 PM
Steve Malik Pic-USMNTNorth Carolina FC owner Steve Malik told Wake County leaders last week that Raleigh developer John Kane and his Kane Realty Corp. have secured 40 acres in southeast Raleigh for a multi-use facility to be anchored by a soccer stadium.

Police, firefighters' charity ice hockey game will benefit Officer Ainsworth fund
03/18/2019 02:42 PM
Raleigh Police Officer C.D. AinsworthThis week, police and firefighters will turn a friendly ice hockey game into a fundraiser to help the family of Officer Charles Ainsworth, who is recovering after being shot in the neck in January.

Durham woman pleads guilty to beating 4-year-old daughter to death
03/18/2019 02:33 PM
Armani HodgesA Durham woman beat her 4-year-old daughter to death last month with a leather belt "and possibly her fists," according to a search warrant released Thursday.

Wake commissioners vote to give Crooked Creek property to Fuquay-Varina for free
03/18/2019 02:20 PM
Former Crooked Creek Golf CourseThe debate over more than 140-acres of land in Wake County has finally come to an end after county commissioners voted unanimously to give the former Crooked Creek Gold Course to Fuquay-Varina for free.

After murder, arrest, more questions about relationship in Nash County small town
03/18/2019 02:18 PM
Lynn and Diana KeelIn the day following the disappearance and death of Diana Keel and the weekend arrest of her husband, Rexford Lynn Keel Jr., who goes by Lynn, authorities in North Carolina and Arizona and members of the Nash County community where the couple lived are raising new questions about their relationship. Weather

Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

Transfer Company Food Hall Continues to Ramp Up
03/14/2019 03:00 AM
Have you been to Transfer Company Food Hall yet? While not officially open (are they?) the new food and drink vendors over at Transfer Company have been slowly opening and the entire place is operating on a week-to-week basis. What started with empanadas and seafood has now become a weekend draw for tasty eats including […]

The blog has over 10 years of content and is still going strong. Support this blog and thank you for reading.

Pic of the Week
03/13/2019 03:00 AM
The Origin hotel on Morgan Street is close to topping out. Blocking a substantially large parking deck, the hotel creates a nice bookend to Glenwood Avenue. Once Dram and Draught gets going at the corner of Morgan and Glenwood here and other active retail opens up nearby, this intersection may be a good southern starting […]

The blog has over 10 years of content and is still going strong. Support this blog and thank you for reading.

Moore Square Plans to Open in July 2019, Other Updates
03/12/2019 03:00 AM
During the March 5, 2019 City Council meeting, an update to Moore Square was given and I’ve put the video here for sharing. It’s actually a good watch if you’re interested in what’s going on. We should plan for a July or August opening based on the presentation given. Similar Posts: Moore Square Movies | […]

Plans for News and Observer Property Include Multiple towers starting with Nexus Tower
03/08/2019 03:00 AM
Announced in February with site plans submitted shortly after, Acquisition Group, the developers behind the 3-acre, former N&O property, have released plans that include multiple towers for office, hotel, and residential spaces. The first phase includes a 15-story, 250-foot office tower called Nexus which will, generally, be replacing the parking deck along Salisbury Street. Plans […]

The blog has over 10 years of content and is still going strong. Support this blog and thank you for reading.

Pic of the Week
03/04/2019 09:42 AM
Metal framing, including additional floors, are taking shape over at the Lumsden Bros. Building on West Hargett Street. The developers behind this project have done a great job in preserving the sidewalk character of the building while completely modernizing the interior and adding more density to the area. Similar Posts: Site Plans Show Renovation Work […]

The blog has over 10 years of content and is still going strong. Support this blog and thank you for reading.

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.