This week in history: Aug. 14

August 12, 2013 

Alicia Brown, right, tends to some last-minute paperwork as her daughters Alexis, left, and Colisha wait for the Knightdale Elementary School day to officially begin in 2003.


We tear through our eastern Wake County newspaper archives to bring back parts of the past that may have been forgotten. We pull snippets each week of the local news that made headlines 10, 25 and 50 years ago.

This week in 2003, Knightdale’s comprehensive plan was a mystery to many town residents. In 1988, poundage had more than doubled as the Wendell tobacco market opened. And in 1963, the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce was helping revamp the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce.


Knightdale’s 2027 Comprehensive Plan broke down the town and surrounding areas into five design districts, and town leaders thought the idea ensured well-managed growth over time.

The town’s residents, on the other hand, had a hard time understanding that logic.

A district layout incorporates all aspects of land use and design based on input from Knightdale residents, town officials said, adding the method takes into account infrastructure and transportation needs, as well as acknowledges fiscal limitations associated with development of a specific district.

What design districts do not provide, planners note, is a prescription for specific use or development of land assets within any given district.

Town officials believe Knightdale’s five planned districts – countryside, neighborhood, town center, highway and special use – ensure a functional form for town growth.

Stressing development of compact neighborhoods while setting aside land for open space, the countryside district promises a feel and charm that is believed to appeal to most people.

Within the district, residents can expect encouraged development of farmland, single homes, small residential neighborhoods and mixed-use traditional neighborhood developments. Additionally, small village clusters that would support shops, small business, and civic and residential spaces could be built within the district, officials report.

Many residents expressed mixed feelings about the future development plans. Many residents and business owners in the proposed areas said they were not even aware of the town’s plans for future growth.


Both poundage and prices showed an increase over the prior year as the Wendell tobacco market opened in August of this year.

A combined 280,017 pounds was sold on opening day at Wendell’s two warehouses, the Liberty and the Banner. In 1987, that figure was 129,470.

“The crop was more fully advanced than last year,” said Liberty manager Horace Baker, explaining the increase in poundage.

The average price per 100 pounds on opening day was $144.01, compared to last year’s opening-day average of $143.08.

Opening-day sales this year totaled $403,260.22, a whopping increase over last year’s total of $185,247.59.

A total of 159,181 pounds was sold at the Liberty for $232,448.21, and 120,836 pounds were sold at the Banner for $170,812.01.

“We had a good sale,” Baker said. “All the farmers seemed to be happy. No tobacco was rejected, so the farmers must have been satisfied.”

While eight sales days were held last year, 12 sales days have been scheduled this year.


Thanks to low membership figures the year before, the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce was getting a little help from its big brother in Raleigh.

Plans are being formulated for reactivation of the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce, Aaron Lowery, Chamber secretary, said this week.

The Raleigh Chamber of Commerce will assist in helping build the local Chamber, Lowery said.

Lowery said a Chamber is needed for the progress of the town. Industry is secured through such an organization, and many other assets which aid in the progress of the town.

Cards have been mailed to prospective members, Lowery said, and the response has been “very slow.” Only a few persons or firms indicated they would join or be willing to join the organization.

Lowery said there are 101 business establishments or professional men who should belong to the Chamber. Last year, the organization had only 28 members.

This part sounds awfully desperate, considering the redundancy.

The secretary urges that business establishments or professional men join the Chamber. Success of the unit depends on memberships.

The present organization has sort of died on its feet. Interest of the members and non-members has lagged.

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