Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Wake Wednesday - From the Baptist Grove to Moore Square

Did you know that the land that is currently known as Moore Square was once referred to as the Baptist Grove?


I happened upon this tidbit while browsing thru an old issue of our Wake Treasures Journal. The reference is in an article titled Reminiscences of Grandmother Mary Ann Towles in Volume 1, number 4, Winter 1991, p15.

Enjoy this picturesque description:
Uncle William SHAW had a store on Fayetteville Street in Raleigh, and his dwelling house was on Wilmington Street. It was a large three story building with a beautiful garden, a large front, and a back yard. In one corner of the front yard, a big oak spread its branches over a large portion of the yard. Back of our lot was the Baptist grove.2 In the center of the grove stood a small wooden church, lighted with tallow candles in tin scones. The candles were lighted by a maiden lady, Miss Lucinda BRIGGS.  
The location is noted in this footnote: 
2 The Baptist Grove is now what is known as Moore’s Square, across from the old City Market. 
Based upon other dates in the entry, this must have been ca. 1820. 

This is just a sampling of the interesting bits of Wake history you will find in our Journal.

Journal access is a great perk of your Wake County Genealogical Society membership and a handy tool for those researching in Wake County remotely. Members have 24/7 access to the Journal. With 30 years of content, you will likely find the surnames and place names you are researching. Access the Journal issues directly in the Member Area after log-in.

This content is referenced with permission of Journal editor.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Wake Wednesday - Old Raleigh Building With Many Lives


This beautiful building sure had a lot of lives. Extra points if you know the story without even looking. Do you know all the names and functions it had over its long life. Sadly, this beautiful Wake county landmark that our ancestors would have strolled past on a leisurely afternoon is no more.

You can read the wonderful twists and turns of this beauty's history in this Goodnight Raleigh blogpost

Baptist Female University - built in Built in 1899 at the corner of Blount and Edenton streets.

Baptist University for Women - name change in 1904.

Meredith College - 1909 was renamed again, "in honor of Thomas Meredith, founder of the Biblical Reporter (1835) and an early 19th century advocate of higher education for women". The college was housed here until the mid 1920's when it relocated to the present location.

Mansion Park Hotel - from the mid 1920's until sometime in the 1950's. The hotel advertised itself as Raleigh's "Most Comfortable Hotel" with reasonable rates, free parking, between Capitol and Governor's Mansion, 122 rooms, 100 bathrooms, Headquarters, Carolina Motor Club, AAA.


In the 1950's, this beautiful building was purchased by the state and used as office space including a driver's license office. This beautiful old "grand dame" was demolished in 1967. The location is now a parking lot. Ahhhhh.....progress.

One more photo before I close. This one from the Meredith College website. A class photo from the college's early days. I love that they used the spectacular porches and stairways to pose. What a remarkable place with a remarkable story.


Were your ancestors part of this story?

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Local Learning Opportunity: July 30 Presentation - Writing Your Family History - Features WCGS President, Carla Stancil

Be sure to put July 30 on your calendar and call ahead for registration for this special event. Don't miss WCGS president, Carla Stancil team up with Lisa Lisson to offer tips to inspire, encourage and even help you over your writer's block. Share those stories. Leave a legacy!

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Monday, July 18, 2022

Wake Treasures - Vol 31, Issue 1 is Available

The latest issue of The Wake Treasures Journal is now live for reading or download at the Wakecogen website. Members should log in the member area to access it through the left sidebar. Here is a preview of what is inside from Journal editor, Donna Shackle.

In this publication you will find a vignette of President Carla Stancil's Wake County ancestors, the City of Raleigh Death registers from 1900-1901, and the first article of the Ernest Haywood Files.  I'm particularly pleased to present you a series of letters to and from Carl Stancil, Carla Stancil's beloved father, while he was in the marines from 1944-1952.  This is a series of 144 letters to be published over the next issues of Wake Treasures and we are looking forward to having you follow Carl on his journey.  Warm thanks to Carla for sharing this piece of history with us.
If you have any Wake County an ancestors or research, Wake Treasures would love to feature your work in a future issue.  We welcome submissions of research reports, narratives, and special articles.  If you have questions or want to learn more about being published in our award winning journal, feel free to contact me at
Please consider joining the journal team.  In order to make the publication possible, a team of volunteers works behind the scenes and needs your help.  There are currently openings for a content curator and transcribers.  If you're interested in learning more about how you can help, please contact me at and I will be happy to discuss volunteering opportunities.
Happy Reading, Donna, editor
To download this new edition, log into the Members Area and go to the Wake Treasures webpage. And if you have personal stories of people, places, and events connected to Wake County, please consider sharing them for inclusion into future editions!

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Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Wake Wednesday - Where to put the permanent NC State Capital

Would Wake County be very different if the choice of the state capital location had been different?

How? Would roadways and growth centers be effected? Would a location five miles away make a difference?

This is an interesting thought to ponder. I am sure it would have mattered more to the generations who came before us as their transportation and access to commerce would be most affected.

Hunter vs. Lane

The story of selecting the site of the permanent state capital is covered in this great article about inns and tavern from NCpedia. Isaac Hunter and Joel Lane are both represented here, as are several other important inns and taverns from the early days of colonial North Carolina.
"Inns and taverns played an important role in the economic and geographic development of colonial North Carolina. These establishments-also known as "ordinaries" in eighteenth-century America because they often catered to the full spectrum of social classes-were frequently one of the first businesses to appear in newly designated county seats, offering food and lodging to travelers and visitors to court...."

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