Skip to main content Navigation

Past Projects

A partial list of past projects.


2014 Highlights

In 2014 the WCHS gave $250 to help sponsor Ruth Little’s book on Cameron Park.


Yates Mill, Raleigh Heritage Trail and Oak View donations.

In 2012 WCHS gave donation to Yates Mill for one of their projects.

In 2012 WCHS gave $500 to help pay for a brochure for the Raleigh Heritage Trail.

WCHS gave $1,000 to Oak View to help in the fundraising to restore a tenant house on the property.


Highlights of 2011

WCHS restored the tombstone of Jacob Johnson in City Cemetery in 2011. He is the father of U.S. President Andrew Johnson.

Gave $2,500 to the B.W. Wells Foundation in Wake Forest to help pay for wiring in the main building

WCHS gave $1,000 to help stabilize the Ailey-Young House in Wake Forest. This is a Reconstruction era home of freed slaves.

WCHS paid to restore the box tombstone of Mary Burges in City Cemetery. Her box tombstone was the only box tombstone with legs that was still standing in that cemetery.

WCHS joined the Vanguard Class from First Presbyterian Church and Dean Ruedrich in 2011 to restore the Devereux Plot in City Cemetery. Each entity gave $2,500 each.


Yates Mill restoration movement and other projects.

Society President Mabel Dorsey (1988-1990) initiated a movement to restore Yates Mill. The effort soon grew too large for the society. A separate group was formed to restore the mill. WCHS helped in raising money for the group as well as holding the new group’s money until they received their tax exempt status. The mill and subsequent park were restored and opened in 2006.

Society President Mabel Dorsey suggested to the board that the L.L. Polk House needed restoration. Society members Mabel Dorsey and Tom Norris met with N.C. State Chancellor Larry Monteith and Agricultural Commissioner Jim Graham to get their support for a new organization to restore this house of the first N.C. Agriculture Commissioner. This started as a WCHS project with Mabel Dorsey, Tom Norris, Barbara Massenburg, Tom Jordan, and others. It soon grew to a separate group. The beautiful home is mostly restored and is open today.

Under the leadership of Barbara Massenburg (1990-1992), Oak View farm began its transformation from being a rundown farm house to becoming the beautiful education park it is today. Earl Droessler (1987-1988) and Barbara Massenburg lobbied the county commissioners and others to restore the farm house and make a park out of this area. Today it is a wonderful park to educate the public about farm life in the past.

WCHS helped to market Kelly Lally’s, “Raleigh’s Comprehensive Architectural Survey: 1992 Architectural Survey of Raleigh, North Carolina.”

WCHS placed tombstones at the graves of Martha Lane McKethan Brickell (1778-1852) and Grizella Lane Ryan (1793-1852) in City Cemetery. These were 2 of Joel Lane’s daughters. The project was initiated by Elizabeth Norris and implemented by Anne Gordon.

The WCHS gave $1,500 to the Dubois School Alumni Association in Wake Forest for a sign in 2001. This was a 1922 Rosenwald School that was being renovated.

Gave $1,500 to the Manassa Pope House Foundation toward the purchase of a 1920 stove to help in the restoration of the house

Paid for a display case for an original State Capitol Chair to be displayed at the State Capitol Paid for a new brochure for City Cemetery

Paid for storage of furniture that was to be used in the L.L. Polk House when it was completed

In 2005 WCHS gave All Saints Anglican Church $2,500 to help pay for moving the All Saints Chapel at the Church of the Good Shepherd. They did not raise sufficient funds to pay for the move, and they returned the money. Later Greg Hatem paid to have the chapel moved.

Established a Speaker’s Bureau in 2002

Earlier Projects

Projects prior to 1990

WCHS member Beth Crabtree led the WCHS to save the ca. 1810 Badger-Iredell Law Office. The society worked with the Wake County Bar Association to move the office to Mordecai Square. The WCHS also held an auction to raise funds to furnish to law office.

Publication of a historical map of Wake County

Acquisition and placement of a showcase in the lobby of The Wake County Courthouse to display historical artifacts

Placement of a plaque honoring James Robertson, a pre-Revolutionary War hero

Placement of a bronze marker on a granite stone at City Cemetery for Jacob Marling, first professional painter in Raleigh

Placement of a plaque for Governor Abner Nash

Placement of a plaque for Attorney General Alfred Moore

Placement of a plaque for Hephzibah Baptist Church in Wendell, a county landmark

Placement of a bronze plaque on a large stone at the site of the first Wake County Court House at the corner of Boylan Avenue and Hargett Street in Raleigh.

WCHS President Martha G. Robinson worked with the Hope Foundation to find and place a gravestone for Governor David Stone (1770-1818). He is buried near Knightdale at his site of his former Wake County plantation, “Restdale.” Restdale was on Hodge Road, south of Poole Road.

The society worked with several groups to erect a tombstone in Oakwood Cemetery for Adolphus Gustavus Bauer, the architect of the N.C. Executive Mansion and many other famous building. The society also did restoration work to the tombstone of his wife, Rachel Bauer.

WCHS sponsored the publication of the Raleigh pictorial history, “Raleigh, City of Oaks” authored by James Vickers. The project was spearheaded by past-president Mrs. Joan Pennell.

In 1968 the society asked Elizabeth Reid Murray to write a history of Wake County to be ready for the 1971 county bicentennial. She did extensive research, and it soon became evident she would not meet the 1971 deadline. The society and she dissolved the partnership. Mrs. Murray continues her research on her own, and 12 years later in 1983, published her first volume of Wake County History entitled, “Wake County: Capital County.”

The society started walking tours of Raleigh’s City Cemetery on Labor Day around 1965. These tours continue today.