Curious what was happening in the area 10, 25 and 50 years ago? We dig through our eastern Wake County newspaper archives each week and pull snippets of the news that made headlines to help you remember.
This week in 2003, a Wendell mayor of more than a decade announced plans to bow out of office. In 1988, a downtown Knightdale structure was being considered as an important historical site. And in 1963, a local swim team was competing against other area teams – no different than local swim teams have for the last six weeks of 2013.
After serving as Wendell’s mayor for 14 years and as a commissioner for six prior years, Lucius Jones announced in July of this year he would not seek re-election the following November.
In a few months, Wendell Mayor Lucius Jones will find himself with a commodity he is not very familiar with: free time.
Jones’ decision to call it quits became easier when former town manager Ira Fuller announced his candidacy last week.
“Had Ira not filed, I might have felt obligated to run again,” Jones said, adding that he encouraged his friend to seek the position. “His decision to run made my choice easier, since I know he would do an excellent job as Wendell’s mayor.”
During the past two years, the 60-year-old Jones received pressure from his family to “take it easy,” he said.
“They’ve been asking me to slow down for a few years, pointing to how much time I spend in meetinsg and other town business.”
The building located at the corner of First Avenue and Main Street in downtown Knightdale had the attention of the Knightdale Heritage Council in 1988, and that group hoped a state society would also take an interest in the structure.
John Stalvey, associate chairman of the council, said last week that the structure on First Avenue that now houses Don’s Auction House and the Knightdale Pizza Market may be mentioned in an N.C. Historical Preservation Society newsletter recognizing important historical sites in North Carolina towns.
The council selected that building because at various times it has housed the town’s pharmacy, post office and doctor’s office, Stalvey said.
“It has many memories for the older people,” he said. “We sent it in with a summary of what it has meant in the past.”
After World War II, the local merchants sponsored free movies on the side of the building on Friday nights, Stalvey recalled.
“It was a right good gathering,” he added.
There might not have been as many community swim teams as there are today, but summer swim meets were just as big a deal this week, 50 years ago.
The Zebulon swim team hosted and apparently dominated a team from Clayton, according to an article in the Zebulon Record.
Michele Thomas was a triple winner in the 8-year-old girls class; Tommy Liborio and Steven Vinson, triple winners in the 12-year-old boys; Pattie Smith, triple winner in the 12-year-old girls; and Cathy Clark, triple winner in the 14-year-old girls.
Ben David Thomas and Mark Wilson were the winners of one and two events in the boys 14-year-old class; Jane Hinton and Vicki Temple, winners of one and two events in the 16-year-old girls class; and Johnny Clark and Henry Temple, winners in one and two events for 16-year-old boys.
Pamela Vinson was the second-place winner with a back stroke in the girls 6-year-old class. John Zebulon Davis came in second with breast stroke in the boys 8-year-old class.
Joe Hinton was the winner of one and two events in the boys 10-year-old class, and Frances Massey and Angela Vinson came in for one and two events.
Winning the 100-yard freestyle relay were 16-year-old boys Johnny Clark, Timmy Kemp, Henry Temple and Robert Lanier (1:36); 12-year-old boys Tommy Liborio, Steven Vinson, Tim Lanier and Tommy Massey (2:06); and 10-year old girls Frances Massey, Angela Vinson, Frances Sawyer and Cheryl Chapman (2:43).
Other 100-yard freestyle relay winners were 14-year-old boys Freddie Hinton, Ben David Thomas, Mark Wilson and Eddie Smith (1:58); and 14-year-old girls Jane Hinton, Cathy Clark, Pattie Smith and Vickie Temple (2:02).