Fuquay-Varina, NC

 

Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, or the Town of Fuquay-Varina is located southwest of Raleigh, NC and southeast of Durham, NC. Fuquay-Varina is in Wake County. Fuquay-Varina was incorporated in 1909. 

The story of the town’s current name and name changes is an interesting story, or in modern day jargon; it’s complicated. The town was named in part after William Fuquay, an early French settler, and American Revolutionary War veteran. He originally purchased 1,000 acres in or around 1805 where the town of Fuquay-Varina sits today. When William Fuquay arrived, this area was called Sippihaw supposedly after the original Native American inhabitants of the area. 

In the mid-1850s William Fuquay’s great-grandson Stephen Fuquay was plowing one of his plantation’s tobacco fields, when he discovered a mineral spring. This spring was first used for drinking water, however, Stephen determined that the mineral water had healing powers. As word spread, the well became an attraction for people far and wide to the “taking the waters.” 

These “taking the waters” lead to annual celebrations at the mineral spring on Easter Monday and American Independence Day. The implementation of the railroads in the area made travel convenient, and hotels were built around the spring to accommodate the tourists. Stephen Fuquay sold the spring to a group of investors in 1860. To help market the mineral spring the investors formed the Chalybeate Springs Company.

The second name of the town, “Varina,” has an interesting origin as well. During the American Civil War woman would write men serving to help bolster their moral. This practice was common on both sides during the Civil War, and this tradition has continued to current times with school children writing to our service members abroad. It was very common that the letter writers had never met, and very common that they would never meet. However, for anyone who has ever served our nation, receiving mail from back home was just as important as the food you ate, and even the weapon you carried. As evidenced by the fact, no one ever missed mail call, and people would miss chow and forget to clean their weapon all the time.  

Virginia Arey (most likely from Cumberland County, North Carolina) and Confederate Army soldier James D. Ballentine had such a letter writing relationship and had never met. At the beginning of her letter writing campaign Virginia would close her letters to Ballentine and sign as “Varina.” This may have been in honor of Varina Anne Banks Howell Davis, the wife of Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States of America, however this is not known for certain.

After the end of the Civil War, James Ballentine returned home to Sippihaw. He and Virginia Arey eventually met, fell in love, and married in December of 1867 in Cumberland County. For the rest of Virginia’s life James referred to her as Varina. In 1880, James was appointed the first postmaster for the new post office. In honor of his wife, he named the post office Varina.

Over time, a settlement grew around the post office and James & Virginia’s general store called Varina Mercantile general store. Varina Station was established when two timber rail lines crossed nearby. This “Varina” settlement was just south of the Fuquay’s mineral spring. Virginia “Varian” Arey Ballentine (August 6, 1842 – May 28, 1888) passed away at the age of 45. James Ballentine (April 17, 1842 – February 5, 1917) never remarried but continued to have financial success and in 1910 built the Ballentine-Spence House. This was reportedly the first home in the area to have electricity and indoor plumbing. This Queen Anne style house still stands today at 109 E. Spring Street, Fuquay Varina. It is a historic landmark and was added to the National Register study list in 1990. 

Businessman John Mills in the late 1890s began offering “Moonlight Excursions” to the Fuquay Mineral Springs. This Moonlight Excursion entailed a nighttime train ride on flatcars fitted with seats from Raleigh to Sippihaw. The town became a tourist destination with all the accouterments of hotels, restaurants, and a dance pavilion. 

In honor of its founding family, and for marketing purposes, Sippihaw was renamed in 1902 to “Fuquay Springs.” In 1909, Fuquay Springs was incorporated and in doing so, the new town limits encompassed much of the neighboring settlement of Varina. Most importantly annexing Varina’s business district, and the Cape Fear and Northern Railway and the Norfolk Southern Railway rail junction. 

Even with this “annexation” Varina was still moving forward with the new Varina Union Station depot built in 1910 after the original Union Station deport was destroyed by fire. A new Varina post office was built around 1910 as well. In 1914, the Bank of Varina was founded, competing with the Bank of Fuquay. Tobacco warehouses were built in Varina near the rail hub, and other business enterprises were started increasing the business base of Varina. 

Both Fuquay Springs and Varina had been growing rapidly together through the first part of the 20th century. Because of the close proximities, both town’s populations had grown together economically and socially. The two towns merged into Fuquay-Varina in 1963. 

From the 1900s to the 1970s, Fuquay Springs and Varina became major trading hubs for the southern part of Wake County as well as Harnett and Johnston counties. Tobacco and to a lesser degree cotton being the leading agriculture product of trade during this time period. During the early part of the 20th century through the 1940s, tourism to the Fuquay Mineral Springs drastically declined. This decline has been attributed to the improved and extensive road system that allowed new automobile owners the ability to select other tourist destinations. With the decline of the tobacco and textile industries in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the economy in this part of Wake County began to decline from an agriculture base and transform into a bedroom community for Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park. 

For the first half of the 20th century, Fuquay-Varina slowly grew in population. The 1910 U.S. Census placed the population at 127. The 1950 U.S. Census placed the population at 1,992. The 2000 U.S. Census placed the population at 7,898. The population growth between 1950 and 2000, while almost a four-fold increase in 50 years, the growth since 2000 is almost four-fold again to an estimated 2019 population of 30,324.

Much of this population growth is due to the Research Triangle Park (RTP) which was originally established in 1959. RTP was originally conceived by academics from North Carolina State University and Duke University with the objective of developing a place or area where both universities could perform research together. These academics overall objective was to create a place of innovation and development that would attract businesses and the best people. 

The three leading research institutes of higher learning in the area, Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill make up the “Triangle” in Research Triangle Park. Fuquay-Varina is located south of this triangle. 

Growth in the Research Triangle Park has been beyond what was originally imagined with all the surrounding cities and towns feeling all the effects of population growth and the related side effects of this growth. Being one of the largest research parks in world, the Research Triangle Park is the largest research park of its kind in the United States. More than 200 global companies including SAS Institute, Verizon, Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Met Life, ABB, Inc., HCL American, and American Airlines are located within the RTP.

Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) is the most convenient commercial air service for Fuquay-Varina. The following airlines serve Raleigh-Durham: Air Canada Express, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, American Eagle, Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airline, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, and United Express. While there is no Amtrak station in Fuquay-Varina, both Cary, NC and Raleigh, NC have Amtrak stations with regular service.

The Fuquay-Varina’s primary and secondary education programs are well rated. There are 11 top ranked colleges or universities in the Fuquay-Varina area.

Fuquay-Varina is home to the following parks:

-Fuquay Mineral Spring Park – Is the site of the mineral spring around which the Fuquay Springs originated. Facility includes picnic tables, restored spring house, benches.

-South Park – Facilities includes two baseball fields, one multi-purpose field, two soccer fields, community center, a picnic shelter, playground units, a miniature water park for children, grilling area, and a walking track.

-Falcon Park – Facilities include youth baseball/softball field, picnic shelter, playground, charcoal grill area, sand volleyball court and a gymnasium.

-Action Park – Facilities include two youth softball/baseball fields, batting cages, four lighted tennis courts, and a playground.

-Carroll Howard Johnson Environmental Education Park – Facilities include nature walking trails, overlooks, bridges, restrooms, and a picnic pavilion.

-Ballentine School Park – Facilities include three youth baseball/softball fields.

-Library Park – Facilities include a picnic shelter, playground area, and a charcoal grilling area.

-Honeycutt Road Park – Facilities include two lighted soccer fields, two tennis courts, playground, paved walking track, and paved parking areas.

-Kinton Soccer Field – Youth soccer field

-Ransdell Soccer Field – Youth soccer field

-Fleming Loop Soccer Complex – Youth soccer fields

-Lawrence Street Park – Soccer Field 

-Herbert Akins Park – Three soccer fields

-Banks Road Park – Two soccer fields and a baseball/softball field

-Splash Pad – 6,000 square foot pentagon shaped pad features multiple jets of streaming water from more than 35 water features. 

Need Association Management?

Contact Us

Fuquay-Varina, NC

 

Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, or the Town of Fuquay-Varina is located southwest of Raleigh, NC and southeast of Durham, NC. Fuquay-Varina is in Wake County. Fuquay-Varina was incorporated in 1909. 

The story of the town’s current name and name changes is an interesting story, or in modern day jargon; it’s complicated. The town was named in part after William Fuquay, an early French settler, and American Revolutionary War veteran. He originally purchased 1,000 acres in or around 1805 where the town of Fuquay-Varina sits today. When William Fuquay arrived, this area was called Sippihaw supposedly after the original Native American inhabitants of the area. 

In the mid-1850s William Fuquay’s great-grandson Stephen Fuquay was plowing one of his plantation’s tobacco fields, when he discovered a mineral spring. This spring was first used for drinking water, however, Stephen determined that the mineral water had healing powers. As word spread, the well became an attraction for people far and wide to the “taking the waters.” 

These “taking the waters” lead to annual celebrations at the mineral spring on Easter Monday and American Independence Day. The implementation of the railroads in the area made travel convenient, and hotels were built around the spring to accommodate the tourists. Stephen Fuquay sold the spring to a group of investors in 1860. To help market the mineral spring the investors formed the Chalybeate Springs Company.

The second name of the town, “Varina,” has an interesting origin as well. During the American Civil War woman would write men serving to help bolster their moral. This practice was common on both sides during the Civil War, and this tradition has continued to current times with school children writing to our service members abroad. It was very common that the letter writers had never met, and very common that they would never meet. However, for anyone who has ever served our nation, receiving mail from back home was just as important as the food you ate, and even the weapon you carried. As evidenced by the fact, no one ever missed mail call, and people would miss chow and forget to clean their weapon all the time.  

Virginia Arey (most likely from Cumberland County, North Carolina) and Confederate Army soldier James D. Ballentine had such a letter writing relationship and had never met. At the beginning of her letter writing campaign Virginia would close her letters to Ballentine and sign as “Varina.” This may have been in honor of Varina Anne Banks Howell Davis, the wife of Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States of America, however this is not known for certain.

After the end of the Civil War, James Ballentine returned home to Sippihaw. He and Virginia Arey eventually met, fell in love, and married in December of 1867 in Cumberland County. For the rest of Virginia’s life James referred to her as Varina. In 1880, James was appointed the first postmaster for the new post office. In honor of his wife, he named the post office Varina.

Over time, a settlement grew around the post office and James & Virginia’s general store called Varina Mercantile general store. Varina Station was established when two timber rail lines crossed nearby. This “Varina” settlement was just south of the Fuquay’s mineral spring. Virginia “Varian” Arey Ballentine (August 6, 1842 – May 28, 1888) passed away at the age of 45. James Ballentine (April 17, 1842 – February 5, 1917) never remarried but continued to have financial success and in 1910 built the Ballentine-Spence House. This was reportedly the first home in the area to have electricity and indoor plumbing. This Queen Anne style house still stands today at 109 E. Spring Street, Fuquay Varina. It is a historic landmark and was added to the National Register study list in 1990. 

Businessman John Mills in the late 1890s began offering “Moonlight Excursions” to the Fuquay Mineral Springs. This Moonlight Excursion entailed a nighttime train ride on flatcars fitted with seats from Raleigh to Sippihaw. The town became a tourist destination with all the accouterments of hotels, restaurants, and a dance pavilion. 

In honor of its founding family, and for marketing purposes, Sippihaw was renamed in 1902 to “Fuquay Springs.” In 1909, Fuquay Springs was incorporated and in doing so, the new town limits encompassed much of the neighboring settlement of Varina. Most importantly annexing Varina’s business district, and the Cape Fear and Northern Railway and the Norfolk Southern Railway rail junction. 

Even with this “annexation” Varina was still moving forward with the new Varina Union Station depot built in 1910 after the original Union Station deport was destroyed by fire. A new Varina post office was built around 1910 as well. In 1914, the Bank of Varina was founded, competing with the Bank of Fuquay. Tobacco warehouses were built in Varina near the rail hub, and other business enterprises were started increasing the business base of Varina. 

Both Fuquay Springs and Varina had been growing rapidly together through the first part of the 20th century. Because of the close proximities, both town’s populations had grown together economically and socially. The two towns merged into Fuquay-Varina in 1963. 

From the 1900s to the 1970s, Fuquay Springs and Varina became major trading hubs for the southern part of Wake County as well as Harnett and Johnston counties. Tobacco and to a lesser degree cotton being the leading agriculture product of trade during this time period. During the early part of the 20th century through the 1940s, tourism to the Fuquay Mineral Springs drastically declined. This decline has been attributed to the improved and extensive road system that allowed new automobile owners the ability to select other tourist destinations. With the decline of the tobacco and textile industries in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the economy in this part of Wake County began to decline from an agriculture base and transform into a bedroom community for Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park. 

For the first half of the 20th century, Fuquay-Varina slowly grew in population. The 1910 U.S. Census placed the population at 127. The 1950 U.S. Census placed the population at 1,992. The 2000 U.S. Census placed the population at 7,898. The population growth between 1950 and 2000, while almost a four-fold increase in 50 years, the growth since 2000 is almost four-fold again to an estimated 2019 population of 30,324.

Much of this population growth is due to the Research Triangle Park (RTP) which was originally established in 1959. RTP was originally conceived by academics from North Carolina State University and Duke University with the objective of developing a place or area where both universities could perform research together. These academics overall objective was to create a place of innovation and development that would attract businesses and the best people. 

The three leading research institutes of higher learning in the area, Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill make up the “Triangle” in Research Triangle Park. Fuquay-Varina is located south of this triangle. 

Growth in the Research Triangle Park has been beyond what was originally imagined with all the surrounding cities and towns feeling all the effects of population growth and the related side effects of this growth. Being one of the largest research parks in world, the Research Triangle Park is the largest research park of its kind in the United States. More than 200 global companies including SAS Institute, Verizon, Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Met Life, ABB, Inc., HCL American, and American Airlines are located within the RTP.

Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) is the most convenient commercial air service for Fuquay-Varina. The following airlines serve Raleigh-Durham: Air Canada Express, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, American Eagle, Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airline, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, and United Express. While there is no Amtrak station in Fuquay-Varina, both Cary, NC and Raleigh, NC have Amtrak stations with regular service.

The Fuquay-Varina’s primary and secondary education programs are well rated. There are 11 top ranked colleges or universities in the Fuquay-Varina area.

Fuquay-Varina is home to the following parks:

-Fuquay Mineral Spring Park – Is the site of the mineral spring around which the Fuquay Springs originated. Facility includes picnic tables, restored spring house, benches.

-South Park – Facilities includes two baseball fields, one multi-purpose field, two soccer fields, community center, a picnic shelter, playground units, a miniature water park for children, grilling area, and a walking track.

-Falcon Park – Facilities include youth baseball/softball field, picnic shelter, playground, charcoal grill area, sand volleyball court and a gymnasium.

-Action Park – Facilities include two youth softball/baseball fields, batting cages, four lighted tennis courts, and a playground.

-Carroll Howard Johnson Environmental Education Park – Facilities include nature walking trails, overlooks, bridges, restrooms, and a picnic pavilion.

-Ballentine School Park – Facilities include three youth baseball/softball fields.

-Library Park – Facilities include a picnic shelter, playground area, and a charcoal grilling area.

-Honeycutt Road Park – Facilities include two lighted soccer fields, two tennis courts, playground, paved walking track, and paved parking areas.

-Kinton Soccer Field – Youth soccer field

-Ransdell Soccer Field – Youth soccer field

-Fleming Loop Soccer Complex – Youth soccer fields

-Lawrence Street Park – Soccer Field 

-Herbert Akins Park – Three soccer fields

-Banks Road Park – Two soccer fields and a baseball/softball field

-Splash Pad – 6,000 square foot pentagon shaped pad features multiple jets of streaming water from more than 35 water features. 

Need Association Management?

Contact Us