Eastern Wake: Community

This Week in History

Wendell Police Sgt. Jody Wall helps adjust Grace Holliday’s child-safety seat in 2004.
Wendell Police Sgt. Jody Wall helps adjust Grace Holliday’s child-safety seat in 2004. 2004 FILE PHOTO

This week in history we look back 10, 25, and 50 years at what was happening in the eastern Wake County area.

In 2004, Knightdale was further considering merging its water system with Raleigh. In 1989, residents were experiencing freak weather akin to what this area has been seeing recently: warm weather one day, cold the next. And in 1964, the Zebulon Community Library was still looking for a home.


Water can be a big deal for homeowners. A fair portion of a homeowner’s monthly bill comes from water, so anything they can do to save money on water is usually a plus. Enter Raleigh and the plans to merge the water system with Knightdale’s own, potentially saving a significant amount of money.

Lake Wheeler turned out to be a fitting setting for a Jan. 31 Knightdale Town Council retreat in which water continually seeped into the discussion. And town officials soaked up ideas about using water service to attract developers.

One of the major items looming on the agenda: the town’s proposed water/sewer service merger with Raleigh. If the deal goes through, customers will save on water rates after 10 years. Raleigh would pay half of the $24 million price tag for system upgrades. But customers would support Knightdale’s share by paying the current rates for the first 10 years after the merger.

“These upgrades are very expensive,” Town Manager Gary McConkey said. “We can never do this as cheap as Raleigh. The bottom line is what’s best for our customers. And it’s the staff’s conclusion that it’s best to do the merger.”

The town is in the process of developing a contract with Raleigh.


Over the recent weeks eastern Wake County has seen temperatures below zero and above 60. While the weather wasn’t quite so temperamental 25 years ago, eastern Wake County was still experiencing Mother Nature’s mood swings.

Fun in the sun and snow on the slopes.

That is what residents of this part of North Carolina were witness to last week. The fun in the sun came last Wednesday with temperatures upwards of more than 80 degrees. The snow on the slopes resulted two days later on Friday as temperatures plunged to below freezing, bringing in sleet, snow and ice.

Locally, good sense and slow moving kept the number of accidents in Zebulon to a minimum. Zebulon police reported only four traffic incidents.

“We were called to assist the Highway Patrol on some of their accidents,” Chief of Police J. Wayne Medlin said. “Other than that, the weekend was pretty quiet.”

Russell Rigouard, a full-time member of the Zebulon Area Rescue Squad, agreed. “Most people had sense enough to go slow.”

Rescue personnel responded to four traffic calls, all of them on Friday. Three of those accidents resulted in minor injuries and four people were taken on to Wake Medical Center in Raleigh.


Though it was a little closer, with an offer of a place to stay, the Zebulon Community Library was still looking for a home 50 years ago.

Library officials are still desperately seeking a place to house Zebulon Community Library. And at press time, no place had been secured.

Mrs. George Tucker, president, said one person has generously offered the library a home. This rent-free building is being considered and a decision will be made soon.

There is an urgent need for better accommodations for the library. More room is needed to display recently donated volumes. Shelves are needed to store books given by a local civic club.

Space is at a premium in the library. It is inadequately heated with a tiny gas heater. There are no reading tables. Browsing among the volumes cannot be done due to the lack of room.

Mrs. Melvin Lanier, librarian, works faithfully and diligently with the library. She feels strongly and sometimes emotionally that the time has come for action.

Mrs. Tucker reminds the parents and town citizenry to think about the welfare of their children. She believes that a library – adequately stocked with readable, entertaining volumes, spacious and pleasant, conveniently located – is indispensable to the minds of growing boys and girls. Adults can profit too, she added.