Local News:

NC Wanted: Police search for men who shot 5-year-old girl in head
10/22/2016 07:41 PM
NC Wanted: Police search for men who shot 5-year-old girl in headLopez's life came to an end on Aug. 4, 2006 when two armed men barged into her home on Duke Street in Wallace and demanded money.

Apex conference aims to empower Muslims to rise above fear
10/22/2016 06:27 PM
Apex conference aims to empower Muslims to rise above fearMore than a dozen scholars met at the Apex Mosque for the two-day conference that addressed topics that included the media's portrayal of Islam and how to handle what they call hateful rhetoric.

Police: Fayetteville man drove around road barriers, crashed on collapsed road
10/22/2016 04:27 PM
Police: Fayetteville man drove around road barriers, crashed on collapsed roadFayetteville police said officers responded to a crash along a stretch of collapsed road on Bingham Drive near the intersection of Tiree Drive at about 4:10 p.m

Overnight temperatures in the 30s mean frost for some
10/22/2016 03:29 PM
7-Day ForecastSome North Carolina residents could see a little frost overnight as the area experiences the coolest weather of the season so far.

Smithfield warehouse sale helps recoup Hurricane Matthew losses
10/22/2016 03:20 PM
Smithfield warehouse sale helps recoup Hurricane Matthew lossesSmithfield businesses are getting creative on ways to rebuild after Hurricane Matthew and Saturday was the second day of a flood sale to help raise money for a damaged warehouse. Weather

Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

Pic of the Week
10/20/2016 04:00 AM
Raleigh’s giant copper acorn has a new home. It was moved from Moore Square to the corner of South and Salisbury Street. I imagine the reason is to clear the way for the impending redesign of Moore Square. The construction shown in the photo above is the new Residence Inn on Salisbury Street. Similar Posts: […]

Fall 2016 Restaurant Roundup
10/18/2016 04:00 AM
Email readers: This blog post has a virtual reality image in it. I recommend you click through to the site to see it. New eats are tasty but what can also be exciting, to me anyway, are reasons to revisit some places as they are doing new things or new folks are bringing a new […]

Blogging Experiment: RalCon Meets Virtual Reality
10/12/2016 04:00 AM
Email readers: This blog post has a virtual reality image in it. I recommend you click through to the site to see it. It’s the future! Well not quite. This post is more a test than anything new but personally, I’m getting into virtual reality and thought I’d try something for the blog. The embedded […]

Pic of the Week
10/11/2016 04:00 AM
Fiber is indeed coming as Google’s ad campaign continues on. It’s no secret now that the building at 518 West Jones Street will be home to the area’s Google Fiber offices. Or maybe showroom? Storage room? Who knows. Either way, Google has been very hush about the work that’s taken place in Glenwood South and […]

New Raleigh-Based Podcast Focuses on Transit
10/06/2016 04:00 AM
There’s a new podcast out now and its focus is on Transit in Raleigh. I just finished listening to their second episode which is a great interview with our city’s transportation planning manager, Eric Lamb. Called Inbound Raleigh, the podcast wants to talk about all the different ways to get around Raleigh that don’t involve […]

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.