Cary History

Cary’s Heritage: The Cary Colored School

Cary, NC – In 1893, the two-room segregated Cary Colored School opened off of Shirley Drive behind what is today Cary Elementary School. In 1900, Dr. Rev. Meadows became the principal and one teacher, and Ada Ruffin was the second teacher for grades 1-6. When students graduated from the 6th grade, they were bused to Berry O’Kelly segregated High School in Method, a suburb of Raleigh.

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Cary History

Work Starting This Year to Repair Three Cary Historic Sites

Cary, NC – Throughout 2018, the Town of Cary surveyed residents about uses for three historic sites before unveiling their uses earlier this year. Now, repairs and interpretations are starting soon to prepare these buildings for their new life in Cary.

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Cary History

Cary’s Heritage: Early History of Rogers Building

Cary, NC – Many folks remember the earlier history of the Rogers building at 149 East Chatham Street. Where EE Salons is now and before Rogers Restaurant was there, the building housed an earlier restaurant called the Rendezvous. And before that, it was a feed store and chicken hatchery. Here are some early memories.

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Don’s Blog: Hillcrest Cemetery Restorations

I am pleased to announce that Cary has contracted with Verville Interiors and Preservation, LLC to repair, restore, and preserve cemetery monuments in our local historic landmark, Hillcrest Cemetery. Work by expert craftsman, Michael Verville, also includes leveling leaning stones and stabilizing loose stones. Rest assured that the work will be completed in accordance with the US Secretary of the Interior Standards for Historic Preservation and Conservation and Cary’s Historic Preservation Commission will be involved as well.

What? You’ve never heard of Hillcrest Cemetery? Well, with burials dating back to the 1700s, Hillcrest Cemetery is a special place of great historic significance to our community. It is the final resting place of a number of men and women who made considerable contributions to the Town of Cary’s social, economic, political and religious growth, and development. Interred at the cemetery are fifteen former mayors, educators, and business leaders to include members of the Jones, Page, Templeton and Guess families, and Cary High principal Marcus Baxter Dry, Esther Ivey, Russell O. Heater, Alfred “Buck” Jones, and R. S. “Dad” Dunham. Hillcrest Cemetery was designated a historic landmark in 2014 and is Cary’s only municipal cemetery.

View of Hillcrest Cemetery in Cary

Restoring these monuments to their original glory is the least we can do for those who gave so much of themselves for Cary.
So where is Hillcrest Cemetery? I’m glad you asked! The cemetery is located at 608 Page Street just south of downtown. The Town of Cary acquired most of the cemetery in the 1960s and 1970s, making it the Town’s only active municipal cemetery.

Google map view of Hillcrest Cemetery location

Cary’s American Legion Post 67 hosts an annual Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony at Hillcrest Cemetery and The Friends of the Page-Walker also promotes walking tours through the cemetery to better educate visitors about Cary’s history. You can learn more about Hillcrest Cemetery from the Friends by clicking here.


In partnership with the Town’s Spruce Program, the Town will also hold one clean-up day in the Cemetery on September 7 from 9 – 11 a.m.  Volunteers can perform light cleaning of headstones/markers and/or just help with a little landscaping maintenance. Sign-up will be available through the Town’s website here.
Spruce volunteers donate their time and energy to help keep Cary clean and green by working in our parks, streets, streams, and other public spaces. From trail maintenance to litter cleanups and many other projects in between, the Spruce Program supports our citizens’ efforts to have a direct positive impact on both the beauty and the environmental health of our community.


I look forward to seeing everyone at Hillcrest Cemetery on September 7th and thanks in advance for coming out to help. If you have any questions about the monument repair and/or the scheduled clean-up day, please shoot me an email at don.frantz@townofcary.org or contact the Town Clerk’s office at virginia.johnson@townofcary.org .

From the blog of Cary Councilmember Don Frantz. Photos courtesy of Don Frantz.

Cary

Cary’s Heritage: Rogers Restaurant

Cary, NC – Rogers Restaurant was once at the location on East Chatham Street where EE Salons is now. In his oral history interview with us in August of 2000, Billy Rogers told us some history about the restaurant. Read more

Cary Presenting First Juneteenth Celebration

Cary, NC – Juneteenth is a nationwide celebration of the end of slavery in the United States, and Cary holds its first Juneteenth celebration this year, mixing both education and cultural arts. Read more

Cary History

Historic James Madison Williams House Burns Down

Apex, NC – One of the region’s oldest buildings, the James Madison Williams house burned down early Tuesday morning, May 22, 2019. No one was reported injured and the fire’s cause is still unknown. Read more

Cary History

Town of Cary Relocating Historic Nancy Jones House

Cary, NC – The Town of Cary reached an agreement to purchase the Nancy Jones House, the oldest standing house in town, with plans to relocate it by next year. Read more

Cary History

Cary’s Heritage: Rogers Motel

Cary, NC – William “Billy” Rogers died recently, and now the Chatham Street Commercial development group is planning to buy the Rogers Motel building and tear it down for commercial and office space construction.

When the building is lost, the history that took place there does not need to disappear with it. In August of 2000, Billy gave us an oral history interview. Here is what he told us at that time about his family’s businesses. Read more

Cary History

Cary’s Heritage: Barnabus Jones Farm, Pt. 2

Cary, NC – A.J. Bartley and son Jon told us more about the Barnabas Jones farm after they bought it in 1957.

A.J. Bartley

I came to Cary in 1948 after finishing a master’s degree in Missouri. I taught economics and business at North Carolina State from 1948 until 1976 when I retired. I grew up on a farm, and bought this one close to the university.

In 1951, when Mr. Bringham bought it, the house had never been painted. He was going to convert it into a hog farm, but in 1957, he decided to sell it. There was a big lawn and some enormous trees in front, and fruit trees on the land, so we could raise fruit. Read more