Menu:

Local News:

Former UNC athletes take to Twitter to gain support for lawsuit
01/27/2015 08:08 PM
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillTwo former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student-athletes who are suing the school and the NCAA to ensure other student-athletes receive a proper education took to Twitter on Tuesday to garner support for their cause.

BB&T accounts wiped out by 'processing issue'
01/27/2015 07:45 PM
BB&TA "processing issue" resulted in a number of BB&T customer accounts either having incorrect or negative balances, the bank said Tuesday.

McCrory: Education bureaucracy slows filling needed teacher positions
01/27/2015 07:28 PM
Pat McCrory with David CrabtreeThe UNC Board of Governors hosted an Education Summit on Tuesday to talk about ways to boost, strengthen and improve the quality of education in North Carolina.

Google Fiber bringing ultra-fast Internet to Triangle
01/27/2015 04:06 PM
Google Fiber in TriangleLife in the Triangle is about to get faster - at least online.

Study: Chatham Park to produce 115,000 jobs
01/27/2015 04:03 PM
Chatham Park MapA study commissioned by Chatham County economic development officials says the controversial 7,000-acre Chatham Park development will produce 115,000 jobs and drive $154 billion in total economic impact over the next 40 years.

WRAL.com Weather


Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

Downtown Developer Greg Hatem on Downtown Vibrancy
01/27/2015 08:08 PM
At last week’s city council meeting, Greg Hatem, owner of Empire Properties and Empire Eats, stood up and shared some thoughts. He had a few things to say about our city’s vibrancy and the ongoing discussions with the outdoor amplified sound permitting. Here’s the video of Mr. Hatem’s comments and the following council discussion. If […]

Municipography – Stone’s Warehouse and Plaza Upgrades
01/27/2015 08:08 PM
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 […]

Multiple Rezoning Requests on the Table
01/27/2015 08:08 PM
There’s a nice cluster of rezoning requests at the city right now that could bring new development to where there is currently none or very little existing activity. The RalCon commenters have been all over it recently so I wanted to bring it up top for more exposure. Rezoning requests don’t sound exciting but it […]

Pic of the Week
01/27/2015 08:08 PM
The Devon apartments on Tucker Street has finished construction and is now leasing out units. The building took almost three years to complete and when compared to similar projects, that is much slower. However, when watching it go up the big difference you notice is the use of concrete floors compared to wood. I imagine […]

Skyhouse Raleigh One Year Later
01/27/2015 08:08 PM
The Skyhouse Raleigh apartment building that broke ground about a year ago is set to open in March of 2015. I remember taking a photo of the crane one year ago so am revisiting the site today. Weather was similar too. Skyhouse Raleigh, photo taken in December 2013 Skyhouse Raleigh, photo taken in December 2014 […]

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.