This week in history

September 14, 2013 

A Knightdale Academy of Gymnastics student tumbles heels over head to entertain an audience during a movie night at Wendell’s J. Ashley Wall Towne Square in 2003.


Do you ever wonder what was going on 10, 25, and even 50 years ago in eastern Wake county? Wonder no more! Every Wednesday we bring you This Week in History, to satisfy your historical curiosity.

Sometimes problems get better, and sometimes they don’t. Ten years ago on Sept. 18, 2003, families from the Emerald Pointe subdivision in Knightdale were trying to cope with bus routes they felt left their children in danger.

On Sept. 22, 1988, the Knightdale Town Council had recently approved a shopping center that today hosts businesses such as Food Lion, McDonald’s, Black Belt World and World Karate Do. And Sept. 19, 1963, the local Jaycees were given $671 for school projects at Wakelon School.


In 2003, the Emerald Pointe subdivision of Knightdale was still under construction, and the Wake County Public School System’s plan for bus routes left many parents dismayed and worried for their children as large amounts of traffic and heavy equipment rumbled past their bus stop every weekday.

“Who do I call if I believe that my child’s bus stop location is not acceptable?” reads one of the numerable questions on the Wake County Public School System’s Web site. “Call the district nearest you and inform them of the problem,” states the answer. “Also, download the Transportation Service Request Form and send the information to your local transportation district.”

Emerald Pointe subdivision resident Sandra Dunston banded together with several of her neighbors and did as the Web site directed. Dunston and her neighbors, who were concerned for the safety of their children as the little ones waited for the bus at the corner of Onyx and Aquamarine lanes in the Knightdale subdivision, wanted to move the location onto the corner of Onyx Lane and Agate Court, only a few hundred feet away from the current location.

The mothers followed the procedure. They downloaded and filled out the required form. They generated a letter drafted by Joanne Clayton, supporting their bus stop change request.

The request, though it followed procedure to the letter, was eventually denied. Dunston, like many Wake County parents today, was forced to take the safety of her child into her own hands, and hope for change sooner rather than later.


On Sept. 22, 1988, the Knightdale Town Council had recently approved with a unanimous decision the construction of a new 140,330-square-foot shopping center on the northwest corner of U.S. 64 and Smithfield Road. Knightdale residents may recognize the shopping center that today plays host to the Knightdale Food Lion, Black Belt World, World Karate Do and others.

Knightdale will soon be getting another shopping center on U.S. 64, thanks to the Town Council’s unanimous vote last week on a proposal for the John Bauchman tract.

The site plan calls for a 140,330-square-foot shopping center on the northwest corner of the U.S. 64-Smithfield Road intersection. The motion for approval was made by Councilwoman Reba Pendleton and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Carl Moore.

[…]The L-shaped shopping center would be located on the northwest corner of the Bauchman tract. The delineation of an outparcel (a separate, smaller lot) on the highway corner was previously OK ’d, and it is to be used for a service station.


On Sept. 19, 1963, Zebulon Jaycees were working on the construction of the Wakelon School athletic field, and the community was helping them out with funds for the $1,000 project.

Local Jaycees are in the final stages of completing the press box, restrooms and concession stand on Wakelon School athletic field.

Jaycee officials announced this week that $671 has been given in donations by merchants of the town and private individuals. The project will cost approximately $1,000.

Money left over after the payment of the project will be used for the school ’s athletic program.

The Wakelon School was purchased by GlaxoSmithKline in 1986 and used as office space until 2007, when it was repurchased by the town and renovated. It now serves as the Zebulon Town Hall.

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