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Wake DA race pits courtroom, court system experience
10/30/2014 03:26 PM
Wake DA candidatesWake County voters next week will elect a new district attorney for the first time in almost 30 years.

Fort Bragg commander reflects on Afghanistan mission
10/30/2014 03:25 PM
Fort BraggLt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, the commander of Fort Bragg, said the mission in Afghanistan has changed from fighting to teaching the armed forces there how to run their own army.

Brothers charged in Nash courthouse shooting
10/30/2014 02:56 PM
Brandon Tremaine Morris, Demond Levar MorrisNash County authorities have charged two Rocky Mount brothers in connection with Tuesday's shooting at the county courthouse that wounded two.

Raleigh woman suing surgeon who implanted homemade device
10/30/2014 02:51 PM
Susan WilliamsA Raleigh woman is suing two medical device companies and a spine surgeon, who she says implanted a homemade device in her neck and upper back that he created in his garage.

Fayetteville VA hospital workers call for reopening ER
10/30/2014 02:12 PM
Fayetteville VA Medical CenterEmployees at the VA Medical Center in Fayetteville on Thursday called for reopening of the facility's emergency room, which closed in September because of a shortage of physicians.

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Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

Pic of the Week
10/30/2014 03:50 PM
Kind of following up on a recent post about the upcoming apartment project, called The Gramercy, here is a photo of the corner of Glenwood Avenue and North Street. The site has been cleared of the former buildings and is ready to start construction. Similar Posts: Demolition Taking Place, Making Room For The Gramercy Apartments […]

Fall 2014 Restaurant Roundup
10/30/2014 03:50 PM
Tasty 8’s on Fayetteville Street The year of the bakery continues with some very delicious looking places that should be opening soon. Some new renovations are included in this season’s update including some activity on Hillsborough Street. This area primarily doesn’t see very many new shops and retail so perhaps this is the beginning of […]

Weekend Listen, Jarrett Walker
10/30/2014 03:50 PM
Raleigh NC: Happy to be kicking off an update of the Wake Co Transit Plan, with @KimleyHorn Look forward to spending more time there. — Jarrett Walker (@humantransit) September 11, 2014 Jarrett Walker and his transit consulting company were recently hired to be a part of the update to the Wake County Transit Plan. Below […]

301 Hillsborough, A Review
10/30/2014 03:50 PM
The parking lot at 301 Hillsborough Street This story is as old as the blog itself so it is kind of exciting to revisit an “old” development. Articles in the news have reported that the city is in talks with interested developers to build on top of the city-owned property at 301 Hillsborough Street. From […]

Campaign for Bicycle Repair Stations in Downtown Raleigh
10/30/2014 03:50 PM
O&S Fundraising Campaign – Bike Repair Stations from Oaks and Spokes on Vimeo. Watch the video for Bicycle Repair Stations in Raleigh on Neighborly. A group of Raleigh bicycle fans want to raise money to install bike repair stations on the greenway and in downtown Raleigh. These are quite common in more bike-friendly cities around […]

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.