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Knightdale, North Carolina Profile
In February of 1701, John Lawson was hired by the King of England to explore the interior of what was then called "Carolina." He was the first to document observations of the area that is now known as Knightdale. He traveled up the Neuse River and reported meeting Tuscarora natives on the banks near where the town now exists. After Lawson concluded his expedition, he reported his findings to the King of England. Soon thereafter, area land was granted to willing settlers.
In 1730, John Hinton settled in what is now Knightdale. Hinton's land grant extended to present-day Clayton, but he made his home near where Hodge Road and Old Faison Road now intersect. At that time, his land was part of Craven County. In 1771, most of Hinton's property became part of the newly named Wake County.
Hinton was a leader in North Carolina 's first battle in the American Revolution. Later, he was named a delegate to the fourth Provincial Congress, which passed a resolution that helped form the basis of Thomas Jefferson 's Declaration of Independence. Three of the seven plantations Hinton built in the Knightdale area still exist. They are The Oaks, Midway, and Beaver Dam.
As more settlers came to the Knightdale area, they made their living as farmers of tobacco and cotton. After the Civil War, Raleigh's population grew rapidly. This growth assisted in the formation of several small communities around the city. The present-day town of Knightdale was known as St. Matthew's Township. For many years the township was simply a crossroads with a small post office.
In the late 1800's, citizens of St. Matthew's Township wanted to establish a town. One of the citizens, Henry Haywood Knight, donated large portions of land for the railroad to establish a route through the township. Although Knight did not live to see it, his donations did bring the railroad to St. Matthew's Township in 1904. Knightdale, the broad valley of Knight, is named for Henry Haywood Knight. The railroad brought prosperity to the town by providing a means of commerce for farmers and merchants. The residence of the station master still stands along Railroad Street's tracks.
The North Carolina General Assembly granted Knightdale's official incorporation papers on March 27, 1927. In the 30's and 40's this rural farming community began to transform into a center for business and trade. In the 1950's, Knightdale's first volunteer fire department was formed to serve the growing population. In those days, citizens sometimes gathered in the downtown area at the intersection of First Avenue and Main Street to view movies on the exterior wall of what was then the bank. Today, Knightdale is known as a modem and progressive community that provides its residents with a small town quality of life while being strategically located in the thriving Triangle area.
Community - A multitude of reasons to love Knightdale.
The citizens of Knightdale are evenly mixed between those who have raised several generations of family here and others who have moved into some of the wonderful new subdivisions in the community. Both of these groups are united in keeping Knightdale's small town character as a trademark. Knightdale is known as a very safe community that is a great place to raise a family. With its high quality of life, strong sense of community and small town atmosphere, newcomers to Knightdale will feel immediately welcomed.
Since Raleigh is only four miles west and a straight shot on US Hwy. 64, Knightdale residents are able to enjoy the cultural, athletic, recreational, educational, employment, and shopping benefits of a large metropolitan area while at the same time maintaining the sense of community that can only be experienced in a small town. Knightdale has an active Parks and Recreation that provides sports programs for over 1,000 children annually.
Parks that exist are the Eugene F. Harper Memorial Park in downtown Knightdale next to the Town's new Harper Park Community Center and the Chamber of Commerce. It contains tennis courts, a playground and a new picnic shelter. The Knightdale Environmental Park is a trail system that has site amenities such as picnic areas and a trellis structure. Future phases will include expansion of the trail system, fishing docks and picnic areas. The 22,000-square foot, 100,000 volume Wake County East Wake Regional Library is located next to the Environmental Park and together they provide a great local resource for education. Maintaining a high quality of life is important to Knightdale, which is apparent in the amount of recent development aimed at community enhancement.
Community appearance is also of great importance to the town leadership. The town's ordinances on landscaping and signage provide for functional, yet appealing commercial development along US Highway 64. In 2001, new plantings in the US 64 median will only increase that appeal. Programs such as the annual appearance awards and the' Adopt A Highway' program are also used to promote beautification.
The Town's public schools are Knightdale Elementary grades K-5, Lockhart Elementary grades K-5, Hodge Road Elementary grades K-5, East Wake Middle grades 6-8, the new Knightdale High School grades 10-11 presently and East Wake High School grades 9-12. The Town of Knightdale, Wake County Public Schools, and Wake County Parks and Recreation formed a joint partnership to develop the new Knightdale High School and Elementary School and the Town's new 70-acre community park located in Knightdale on the comer of Horton Road and Forestville Road that when complete will have baseball and soccer fields, swings, picnic tables, and an outdoor amphitheatre.
Sense of community is strong in Knightdale. There are many community organizations and civic groups, as well as several churches that are well established and provide great support to the community. Knightdale's citizens have shown their ability to band together to provide quality growth and economic development while retaining that small town atmosphere that has escaped so many other growing towns.
RE/MAX ® United, Raleigh, North Carolina
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