Wake Forest North Carolina History

Since its inception in 1902, the North Carolina Museum of History has been an exciting place to explore our history. The center is Wake Forest College, founded in 1834 and moved to Winston-Salem, N.C., in 1956. The school was named after the founder of the school, Dr. John F. Wake, who in 1838 employed the students for half a day on his plantation and whose name was changed to Wake Forest College.

In 1946, the decision was made to move the entire campus from Raleigh to Wake Forest, N.C., and in 1951, Harry S. Truman lifted the first shovels. In 1956, the college moved its operations to Winston-Salem, N.C., and left the 122-year-old Wake Forest campus to the Southeast Baptist Theological Seminary. In 1953, after being founded in Raleigh, North Carolina, just a few miles north of the original campus, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary sold the old WakeForest campus to the Baptist State Convention. By the end of 1955, the move from Winston-Salem to Wakeforest was complete, with a new building on campus and the opening of an academic building in 1957.

In the few decades after the war, the small village of Wake Forest College began to grow around the college. This growth enabled the municipality to draft its first statutes and on March 26, 1880 it was founded as the "Town of Wake Forest High School." The town of WakeForest College was originally incorporated, but eventually it became known only as the "Wake Forest."

The growth spurned by the railroad and college led to the community being founded on March 26, 1880 as the Town of Wake Forest College. The station was moved to Forestville, which dates back to before Raleigh and Wake Forest, when a community settled in 1760, and is still home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one of the oldest colleges in the country. Under the leadership of President Harold Tribble, the campus was moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1956. The town of Wake Forest College was officially founded in 1880 as Wake Forest High School and later as WakeForest College, due to the growth of commercial and residential development. In the early 1950s, the university was housed in a new building on the site of its former campus.

The college, which was owned by the North Carolina Baptist Convention, accepted the offer because the school needed to grow and did not have the resources to do so in Wake Forest. The Convention was founded in 1833 and the institution was opened in 1834 with twenty-five students. Although Wake Forest has a much longer history, it celebrated its centennial in 1909, when the North Carolina General Assembly renamed it the City of WakeForest and approved the sale of bonds to build a generator and power grid. Under the leadership of the college's first president, William R. Reynolds Jr., he agreed in 1956 to move the campus from the city of Wake Forest to Winston-Salem.

The Jones Plantation was chosen by the North Carolina Baptist Convention, which was inspired by John Jones, founder of Wake Forest Baptist Church and the first president of the college. Jones sold his farm in 1834 for $2,000, a year before he opened the guard on the site. John Purefoy, another Baptist minister, learned of the estate and persuaded them to buy a farm north of the community of Forestville to build the school they planned, the WakeForest Institute, for another $1,500 in 1840. In 1843, Jones sold his farm for $3,800 in tax credits and sold it again for the same amount, this time to give a wake-up call to his son-in-law, William R. Reynolds Jr. and his wife, Elizabeth, at the sites.

After the Civil War, both Wake Forest College and Davidson College closed, but Trinity preserved the student population by admitting girls.

Wake Forest has undergone many changes since it moved to Winston-Salem and the North Carolina Baptist Convention bought the land in the 1930s to begin construction of Wake Forest College, which was later rebuilt. In 1946 the campus was sold to the Baptist Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, then used by Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1956 and WakeForest College in 1957. Wake Forest College moved from its original location in Wake County, N.C., to Winston-Salem and became Wakeforest University.

Dr. Calvin Jones, who owned most of the city in its current form, was appointed postmaster for the area in 1823 and began writing letters that came to Wake Forest. The Raleigh-Gaston rail line was a controversial topic at Wake Forest College because it was located in Forestville. When the college paid for the transfer of the depot building to WakeForest College in 1874, passengers arriving at Wake Forest College by train had to walk a mile north or take a train mile north of the campus.

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