Local News:

Two arrested in Raleigh SECU robbery
05/26/2015 08:18 PM
Jullian Cortez Herring and Fabian Leigh EvansTwo men were arrested in connection with the robbery of a State Employees Credit Union in Raleigh on Tuesday.

Classmates honor Harnett teen who drowned
05/26/2015 07:34 PM
Justice Clark, Harnett drowning victimStudents at Harnett Central High School returned Tuesday from their Memorial Day break and were confronted with the loss of a classmate.

Sliver Alert issued for Sampson County man
05/26/2015 07:11 PM
William Earl PowellA Silver Alert has been issued for a 72-year-old Sampson County man.

Proposed Durham County budget avoids tax hike, increases school spending
05/26/2015 06:13 PM
Durham County logo, Durham County shieldDurham County residents will not see an increase to their property tax bills and schools will receive increased funding under the county's proposed 2015-16 budget, released Tuesday evening.

Raleigh businesses clean up after sprinkler system malfunction
05/26/2015 03:43 PM
Edward McKay Used BookstoreBusinesses at a Capital Boulevard shopping center continued to clean up water damage on Tuesday after a sprinkler system malfunctioned. Weather

Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

More on the Upcoming Dillon Supply Company Warehouse Rezoning
05/26/2015 04:00 AM
Click for larger According to the May 26, 2015 Raleigh planning commission agenda, the rezoning request for the Dillon Warehouse Company building is at bat. I wanted to get into it today before the meeting and maybe follow up in the comments after the results. For a little background, jump to this post: Multiple Rezoning […]

Pic of the Week
05/22/2015 04:00 AM
Great to see construction starting on the makeover of Exchange and Market Plazas. The construction should wrap up this Fall. Similar Posts: Market and Exchange Plaza Schematics, We Dive Into The Specs (February 5, 2014, 13 Comments) Municipography – Stone’s Warehouse and Plaza Upgrades (January 22, 2015, 11 Comments)

Choose Our Transit Video
05/20/2015 04:00 AM
I recommend email readers click through to the website to see the embedded video. Still on my to-do list is to catch up on the Choose Our Transit sessions. Above is the video of the meeting that took place on May 11 at the convention center. If you can’t see the embedded video, go see […]

The Link Apartments Tops Out
05/18/2015 04:00 AM
Well almost topped out. I took a walk around the site of The Link and this apartment project is currently in the “beehive” construction phase. The eastern most side of the building is topped out with the western half almost there. Last time we talked about The Link on the blog was in November 2014 […]

Municipography, 300 Block of Hillsborough Street
05/11/2015 11:54 AM
Municipography is a summary of current issues going through the Raleigh City Council and other municipal departments in the city. The point is to try to deliver any video, photos, and text associated with the discussions happening at City Hall or elsewhere. Since this is a downtown Raleigh blog, the focus is on the center […]

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.