Local News:

Plane from 'Memphis Belle' movie to be in Sanford
09/19/2014 02:42 AM
Memphis BelleThe B-17 bomber that appeared in the film "Memphis Belle" will be in Sanford for free ground tours and paid flights.

NC checks August joblessness, US conditions better
09/19/2014 02:40 AM
UnemploymentA new snapshot of North Carolina's most-watched economic indicator is being revealed.

Scotland County residents watching overseas vote for independence
09/19/2014 02:12 AM
Britain ScotlandAs the world waits for the outcome of Thursday's historic vote on Scotland's independence, southeastern North Carolina's Scotland County - some 3,700 miles away - can't help but keep a close eye on the decision.

Two arrested after downtown Cary shootout
09/18/2014 09:25 PM
Chase Austin McKiley and Nicholas Scott JenkinsTwo Raleigh men were arrested in connection with a Thursday afternoon shootout between two cars that ended outside the Cary Police Department.

Arrest made in shooting of 13-year-old Henderson girl
09/18/2014 09:22 PM
Dyquarium Nashan MooreInvestigators arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with a Wednesday night shooting that injured a 13-year-old. Weather

Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

Color Codes Coming to Downtown Parking Decks
09/19/2014 02:50 AM
Downtown #Raleigh color-coded parking palette announced — City of Raleigh (@RaleighGov) September 11, 2014 Parking is one of those services where having no complaints are a good thing and no real praise happens. I’m not sure enough people rave about how great a parking experience at a place is. So in hopes of […]

Pic of the Week
09/19/2014 02:50 AM
The Lincoln apartments, planning to open in Summer 2015. Similar Posts: Construction Set to Start On The Lincoln (May 13, 2014, 19 Comments) The Lincoln Will Bring 224 Apartments To Emo Raleigh (May 13, 2014, 21 Comments) Crash of the Resident Wave, The Lincoln Getting Settled (9/10) (June 20, 2014, 2 Comments)

Pic of the Week
09/19/2014 02:50 AM
Construction of Peace Street Townes continues. A sign at the site claims, as of last weekend, that only 4 units remain of the 18 unit site. Similar Posts: Peace Street Townes Breaks Ground (November 13, 2013, 5 Comments) Townhomes Coming To Peace Street, Can Smell The Doughnuts (August 12, 2012, 21 Comments) Crash of the […]

Groundbreaking For Raleigh Union Station March 21, 2015
09/19/2014 02:50 AM
I’m at the Raleigh Union Station meeting and wanted to get this out. The mayor announced a groundbreaking for March 21, 2015. More to add later. The meeting tonight was more open house than new information. The groundbreaking announcement was the biggest piece of news and the March 21 date is not an accident. March […]

Steel Rising at Holy Trinity Anglican on Peace Street
09/19/2014 02:50 AM
I’m trying to think when the last new church was built in downtown Raleigh? There may be quite a gap between that one and the one being constructed now on Peace Street next to the AIA NC building. Holy Trinity Anglican is currently located at the house on the corner of Peace and Blount Street […]

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.