Local News:

Fan Town Hall: Triangle ADs talk money, TV, rights and rules for student-athletes
08/14/2018 08:35 PM
Fan Town Hall logoIn a wide-ranging discussion of rules, rights and the billions of dollars that course through college athletics, the athletic directors of Tobacco Road's top three universities - NC State's Debbie Yow, UNC's Bubba Cunningham and Duke's Kevin White - had candid answers for questions from fans, from each other and from WRAL's Jeff Gravley.

Nash County deputies searching for suspect in triple shooting
08/14/2018 07:35 PM
Shooting Night crime scene tapeNash County deputies are investigating after three people were shot Tuesday night.

Morrisville readies multi-sport complex for pro, national events
08/14/2018 06:10 PM
Wake Competition Center Morrisville is the new home to a sprawling, 30-acre sports facility called the Wake Competition Center. Not only are the Carolina Hurricanes a potential tenant, organizers are working to attract a national-profile event by 2020.

Lockdown lifted at Rocky Mount Prep following search for student
08/14/2018 06:02 PM
Rocky Mount PrepRocky Mount Preparatory School was on lockdown Tuesday afternoon while police searched for a student in the woods behind the school, according to officers with the Rocky Mount Police Department.

65-year-old charged in fatal Durham hit-and-run crash
08/14/2018 04:59 PM
William Patrick CarlA man has been arrested in connection with a hit-and-run crash that killed a Durham woman Sunday night. Weather

Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

Pic of the Week
08/13/2018 03:00 AM
Construction is moving along over at Davie Street Presbyterian Church. The new addition will add a lot more space to the historic church at the corner of Davie and Person. See more about the plans here. Come discuss this project and others on the downtown Raleigh Community. Similar Posts: Davie Street Presbyterian Church Expansion High-Level […]

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Pic of the Week
08/08/2018 03:00 AM
Photo by xtremetoonz The site of The Fairweather condos has been cleared at the end of Harrington Street. After the Rogers House move in June, this makes the site ready for construction of the 45 condo units. The view should be pretty nice! Similar Posts: Pic of the Week (June 6, 2018, 0 Comments) The […]

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The Saint Townhomes Take Shape and Elevate
08/06/2018 03:00 AM
The Saint townhomes. July 2018. It’s been almost a year since we checked in on the townhomes along St. Mary’s Street, The Saint, and these units are coming along nicely. The 17 units offer something truly unique to downtown, the city even, as they are high in quality and design. With a mix of floor […]

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Downtown Raleigh’s Event-Driven Days Are Now Over
08/02/2018 05:01 AM
Raleighites sit all over City Plaza waiting to watch a movie on a large inflatable screen. July 2016. I’m sure you, like me, have heard it all the time from those that worked in downtown Raleigh in the 1980s or even the 1990s. “Downtown was dead.” I get this all the time from those who […]

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Pic of the Week
07/30/2018 11:55 AM
It looks like the storage building on South Street is basically completed. The ancillary retail space was empty last I checked but since it will support the storage building, it won’t be anything too exciting. (except for maybe the professional organizers in the house) These storage buildings are cheap to run and it’s not too […]

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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.