About This Place
Wake Forest is a town and suburb of Raleigh, North Carolina in Wake County in the U.S. state of North Carolina and is located just north of the state capital, Raleigh. The population was 12,588 at the 2000 census. In 2009, the estimated population was 27,915. In 2007, the town was listed by Forbes Magazine as the 20th fastest growing suburb in America, with a 73.2 percent increase in population between 2000 and 2006. Wake Forest was the original home of Wake Forest University for 122 years before it moved to Winston-Salem in 1956.
In 1820, Dr. Calvin Jones, originally from New England, bought 615 acres (2.5 km²) of forested land in Wake County, North Carolina. The sparsely populated area became known as the Forest of Wake, or Wake Forest. Jones sold his farm to the North Carolina Baptist Convention for $2,000, who opened the Wake Forest Manual Labor Institute, later Wake Forest College, on the site. The Raleigh & Gaston Railroad, completed in 1840, established a depot in nearby Forestville, that stimulated the school and surrounding village. College leaders convinced the railroad to move the depot even closer to the college in 1874, leading to more economic development. This community was incorporated as the "Town of Wake Forest College" in 1880. In 1909, the word "College" was removed from the name of the town. The college moved to the much larger city of Winston-Salem NC in 1956. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary began offering classes on the original campus of Wake Forest University in 1950, and occupied the entire campus when the university completed its move.
Wake Forest operates under the Council-Manager form of government. The citizens elect a Mayor and Board of Commissioners as the town's governing body. The Town Manager is appointed by the Board to serve as the chief operating officer administering all municipal affairs. The current mayor is Vivian A. Jones and current Council Members include Chris Kaeberlein (Mayor Pro Tem), Anne Hines, Frank Drake, Pete Thibodeau and Margaret Stinnett.