Holly Springs North Carolina
Nestled among Apex, Cary and Fuquay-Varina, all towns experiencing growth from the heavily populated Raleigh and RTP areas, Holly Springs is rapidly growing. The Town of less than 1,000 in 1990 grew to more than 9,000 in 2000. By 2006, the population was approximately 17,500. Whether it is the Town’s balance of commercial and residential development, its reasonable land prices coupled with its proximity to urban centers, or its small-town charm, new residents and businesses continue to be attracted to Holly Springs.
While the Town’s economy boomed during the early 1900s, several events shortly thereafter forced the Town into a recess. World War I drew men to war and families to bigger cities for improved employment opportunities. Colonel Alford, who had stirred up economic momentum, died in 1923. In 1924, the Bank of Holly Springs failed, the first bank in the state to go belly up before the great Depression of 1929. The Town lay fallow through World War II, seemingly forgotten in the southern corner of the state’s capital county.
One of the oldest commercial structures in Wake County, which now houses Dewar’s Antiques, was built during the Town’s early years and stands as a testament to the community’s turn-of-the-century prosperity. The two-and-a-half story building edges Main Street in the heart of downtown and displays the gable-front form most commonly used for frame commercial buildings in the late 19th century.
Another downtown commercial structure developed at the turn of the century that remains today is the Seagraves Drugstore building. Initially a general mercantile, the building was later used as a dress shop and an auto parts store. The Town purchased and renovated the two-story brick building in 2003 and currently uses it as a police station. During the renovations, the Town preserved much of the original old-growth heart pine flooring and reused other original wood pieces to construct a conference table and bookcases.
In the latter half of the 20th century, progress returned to Holly Springs. In the 1960s, the Town installed streetlights and constructed a public water system. A sewer plant was completed in 1985, attracting Warp Technologies, a textile company, to Town. With the addition of Warp Technologies, Holly Springs’ tax base doubled from $8 to $16 million. The Town used the boost in revenue to expand utilities, in turn attracting further development, including the Sunset Ridge golf course community. Thus began another era of growth and prosperity that remains strong today.
Part of ensuring a successful downtown was building Town Hall in the heart of Holly Springs. On Main Street, Town Hall is a center of constant activity. Opened in 2003, the 35,000 square-foot, two-story brick building was designed in an architectural style reminiscent of the 19 th century when Holly Springs was founded.
A cupola with a large clock that faces Main Street and an outdoor plaza with a fountain behind the building are just two of the building’s features. In the lobby, above a display case maintained by the Holly Springs Historical Preservation Society, hangs a historic oil painting of George Washington, dated to the 1700s. The painting hung in 1876 in Carpenter Hall in Philadelphia.
“We could have set up a Town Hall campus outside of downtown, but that’s not the vision we had here,” Dean said. “In order to make a viable downtown, you have to have something to draw people in. Town Hall is a destination point; it centralizes how residents get services and continuously draws people to downtown Holly Springs.”
Whether it is the Town’s balance of commercial and residential development, its reasonable land prices coupled with its proximity to urban centers, or its small-town charm, new residents and businesses continue to be attracted to Holly Springs.
Hardly a weekend passes without a Town-sponsored family activity in a local park or downtown, whether it’s a free movie or concert during the warmer months or a seasonal event such as the annual Easter Egg Hunt or the Happy Holly Days Parade.
Indeed, the community seems ever-occupied with providing for future generations. The Town currently has two elementary schools and one middle school. Holly Springs High School opens in igh school in 2006.
A combination Town cultural center and Wake County library are scheduled to open downtown in late 2006, offering additional opportunities for youth and adults alike.
Source: Holly Springs NC
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Holly Springs North Carolina