Cary History Tour

Hop On Downtown Cary’s First Historic Trolley Tour

Cary, NC – To celebrate the 150th year of the Page-Walker Hotel, a new tour is teaching people the history of Downtown Cary, all from the ease and comfort of a trolley car.

Page-Walker

Tour Through The Past

The Downtown Cary Trolley Tours take place on Sunday, April 29, 2018 and will show Downtown Cary landmarks including the Page-Walker Hotel, the Guess-Ogle House, the Dr. John Pullen Hunter House, the Cary Arts Center, the Sams-Jones House, multiple cemeteries and more.

Brent Miller, one of the tour organizers and a board member of the Friends of the Page-Walker, said historic site are selected for the tour based on a variety of criteria.

“We think architectural significance is important. The Ivey-Ellington House is an example of that,” Miller said, referencing the Ivey-Ellington House’s uncommon board-and-batten and Gothic style mixture. “We also look at historical significance because of the people associated with it.”

The trolley tour is sponsored by both the Town of Cary and the Friends of the Page-Walker, with Jennifer Hocken and Kris Carmichael from the Town of Cary and Miller, John Lytvinenko, Barbara Wetmore, Kerry Mead, Pat Fish and Leesa Brinkley from the Friends forming the committee to create the tour.

Members of the Friends will lead the tours while town staff will be at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center where the tour will start and end. Lytvinenko, whom Miller said had the original “brainchild” of the tour itself, will be driving the trolley and also drives the trolley in Raleigh’s history tours.

Learning Something New About Cary

Miller said the Page-Walker was chosen as both the physical start point for the tour and the event’s catalyst because of the hotel’s importance in starting the town where so many of us now live.

“It was built by the town’s founder (Frank Page) in 1868 and located here because the railroad was close by,” Miller said. “It can be traced back to what made Cary what it is today.”

In this tour, Miller said the hope is people will not only learn about Cary landmarks they see downtown everyday but will learn about parts of the area they were never aware of.

“We’ll be going down Cedar Street, which used to be called Railroad Street. There may be people on the tour who have never drive down that road,” he said. “We’ll be visited the downtown cemeteries and many people may not have ever visited them or know about the African-American history of Cary associated with them.”

This is the tour’s first year and with high demand for seats selling out the tour and several downtown sponsors – Everything’s Better Monogrammed, Ashworth Drugs, Academy Street Bistro, Annie’s Attic, Perfect Piece, the Mayton Inn and Modern Service – Miller said the hope is they will bring back the tour in future years.

Event Details

The Downtown Cary Trolley Tours

Sunday, April 29, 2018

2, 3 and 4 PM

Page-Walker Arts & History Center, 119 Ambassador Loop

Cary History Tour


Story by Michael Papich. Photos courtesy of the Friends of the Page-Walker, Hal Goodtree and Jessica Patrick.

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9 replies
  1. Barbara Abrams
    Barbara Abrams says:

    I’d love to go on this tour. Could it be considered for weekly during the summer? I can’t make these dates either and a year is a long time to wait. What a wonderful idea!!!

  2. Brent
    Brent says:

    Barbara, the 3 tours we’ve planned for the inaugural tour recently sold out. After this pilot program, we will discuss possibilities for additional tours in the future. Thanks for your interest!

  3. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    Totally agree! Just heard about this, and wouldn’t be able to make this Sunday on short notice. Hopefully you will do it again in the future.

  4. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    Just moved to Cary and am interested in learning the town’s history. Additional monthly tours would be great!

  5. Brent
    Brent says:

    Thanks to all who are supporting this idea and advocating for more tours. It’s no small feat to pull this off, but the Town and the Friends will do all we can to make future tours happen.

    Meanwhile, to learn more about Cary’s history, visit FriendsOfPageWalker.org , come to our next preservation program (http://friendsofpagewalker.wildapricot.org/event-2782081 ) and visit the Page-Walker Arts & History Center where you can tour the Cary History Museum and purchase several Cary history publications.

  6. Veronica Bucki
    Veronica Bucki says:

    Fantastic idea – monthly tours in various seasons and different locations – train station, The Carytheater for a video of history of Cary, and or tour of museum at Page-Walker.

  7. Brent
    Brent says:

    Thanks Veronica. Great ideas. The current tour mentions The Cary Theater and train station. Regarding different locations, Cary has 2 other National Register historic districts in addition to downtown: Carpenter and Green Level.

    Any interest out there in those?

  8. veronica
    veronica says:

    Brent,
    Depends on how many sites there are to visit in Carpenter & Green Level locations – the General Store or Feed Mill is always Fun!
    I especially have enjoyed the Joel Lane property and Mordecai in Raleigh – wonderful history. Glad we are beginning Trolley Tours in Cary!

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