Although Fuquay Springs and Varina each had their own post offices before merging in 1963, only Fuquay Springs was an incorporated town. "[Varina] was more of a suburb or an area of the community," Mayor John Byrne said.

Locals say Varina was the rougher, more blue-collar area, while Fuquay Springs was home to white-collar professionals. Charles Parker, whose family once had a Parker Furniture store in each downtown, said people used to identify themselves as either Fuquay people or Varina people. (Parker, 69, was a Varina person.)

The reason behind the merger varies depending on whom you ask. Byrne said Varina needed Fuquay Springs' town services. Powell said the move was done to improve relations between the neighbors and stimulate trade.

Opinions varied on whether calling the town Fuquay-Varina was the right move. At the time, Winston-Salem was the only other hyphenated municipality in North Carolina. Powell said the new name was often misspelled, but people rarely forgot it. Bill Akins, a local developer, said his father, Waverly Akins, objected to the hyphenation for marketing reasons. He thought many people did not come to Fuquay-Varina because they disliked the combined name.