Local News:

Raleigh man killed in police chase, crash in Youngsville
10/15/2018 09:35 AM
Marcus RichardsonA Raleigh man was killed Sunday night after he lead police on a high-speed chase that ended in a crash in Franklin County, Wake Forest police said.

UNC chancellor, police chief won't be forced to testify in Silent Sam defacing hearing
10/15/2018 07:28 AM
Maya Little, UNC protesterThe woman who tossed blood and paint on the Silent Sam statue at UNC is scheduled to go on trial Monday.

Officials searching for missing inmate in Hoke County
10/15/2018 04:47 AM
Cul P. JonesOfficials are searching for an inmate who was reported missing from the Hoke Correctional Center in Raeford late Sunday evening.

FEMA at the fair: Experts offer free hurricane relief advice at NC State Fair
10/15/2018 03:23 AM
NC State Fair opening day delayedIn addition to its usual appeals like food, agriculture displays, showcases and rides, the North Carolina State Fair is focused on something new this year -- hurricane relief.

After one hot day, more fall weather is on the way
10/15/2018 02:22 AM
Current Temperatures, DMAMonday will be the hottest day of the week, according to WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner, and the fall-like temperatures we felt over the weekend will be back. Weather

Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

Pic of the Week
10/12/2018 03:00 AM
More of a rendering or cross-section this week. As I was looking through the RUSbus grant application, I noticed this diagram of how the mixed-use project could look like. Now this isn’t set in stone by any means but I take it as what the planners have in mind including market-rate and affordable housing, hotel, […]

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

Plans for Smokey Hollow Phase 2 Bring More Residential and Office to Glenwood South
10/10/2018 08:19 AM
Rendering of Smokey Hollow Phase 2. Click for larger. While the community actively watches the first phase of Smokey Hollow rise out of the ground along Peace Street, plans for more buildings have been submitted. Phase 2 will contain additional buildings along West and Harrington Streets with residential and office components. The highlights: 280 Residential […]

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

Browsing Through The Latest Civic Campus Master Plan
10/04/2018 08:36 AM
The city has posted the latest version of the master plan for the downtown civic campus. This would involve a significant update to the municipal buildings to the north of Nash Square. Over time, it’s possible that the existing buildings will all be demolished and up to 20-story towers for city workers will be built […]

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
10/02/2018 04:00 AM
The newest owners of the 1850s mansion in Boylan Heights are making moves to turn it into a boutique hotel. Located at the edge of the neighborhood at Boylan and Mountford Avenue, the hotel is in a great location and offers a unique stay. The owners are currently going through the rezoning process and if […]

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

11 Years Later From the Boylan Avenue Bridge
09/26/2018 03:00 AM
Click for larger It’s starting to get fun when you build a catalog of photos over a long time. The two photos above are from the Boylan Avenue Bridge with one photo taken in September 2007 and another September 2018. Over 11 years, things have filled in just a bit. In the foreground, Raleigh Union […]

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.