Folks remember the Maynard farm for which the road was named.
Robert Maynard: Amos Maynard was born in 1819 and died in 1887. He had eight children. George Houston Maynard was my father’s dad. Luther Maynard was my dad. He got part of the land from his dad and added to it.
The Maynard homestead was on Walnut Street where the State Employee Credit Union is now. He owned all the land where the shopping center and the high school are and backed up to Kildaire farm and beyond.
At one time, Daddy had around 1,200 acres. The main crops were tobacco, corn and wheat. Behind the homestead were six tobacco barns, a pack house, a grading room, a potato house, chicken houses and a shed. In addition to farming, he had a lot of timberland. Daddy ran a sawmill. He sold his tobacco in Durham.
Our labor was done by tenant farmers. We provided houses for them, the land, equipment and seed, and they split the profits from the crop after it was sold.
Bun Ferrell was with Daddy 25 years. He was just like a second daddy to me. He educated all of his children. Tom Casket was with Daddy for years also. He and Bun owned houses and lived in Cary.
Daddy farmed his land until seven years before he died in 1971. In the mid-’60s he started to sell pieces of land, first for the high school, then the Catholic Church, then the land where eventually the shopping center was built.
Shortly thereafter they cut the first leg of Maynard Road, from the high school to Chatham Street. That split Daddy’s land so they named the road after him.
Joe Grissom: In 1958, we bought a house on Park Street, which backed up to Luke Maynard’s tobacco fields. I’d be in the backyard, and Mr. Maynard would drive up on his big John Deere, ask for a drink of water.
I’d say, “Yes sir, go right in and help yourself. Mr. Luke, what about selling me an acre of land?” He said, “No, I can’t. I’ve got to put another crop in. I owe Uncle Sam too much money.”
He had a massive natural stone, two-story house on Walnut Street and owned all the land clear up to behind Park Street.
Michael Edwards: When I was 12 years old, my dad leased land from Edna Maynard. The land was so remote, we’d have to carry everything over there. Daddy would load up two mules in the back of the trailer and pull that behind the pickup truck.
Several of our laborers and I would get in the back of the truck and go down to Mrs. Maynard’s house, which was the old homestead. It was like we had gone into another time.
Mrs. Maynard was a widow who had a feather bed. There were no HVAC systems in the house. I was a little too young to work, so I would stay at the house with her.
She would be cooking stuff on a wood stove, and let me lay in that feather bed. She wore an old kind of longer dress and always wore a bonnet. She was the sweetest little lady you’ve ever met.
Cary’s Heritage is taken from the book, “Just a Horse-Stopping Place, an Oral History of Cary, North Carolina,” first published in August, 2006. The book is a collection of oral history interviews conducted between local citizens and Friends of the Page-Walker Hotel.