This Week in History: Dec. 18

December 17, 2013 


What was on your mind 10, 25, even 50 years ago? Here’s a look back at some of the news that was making headlines in eastern Wake County newspapers this week in years past.

In 2003, there was some fuss over Wendell’s westward annexation, as property owners expressed concern over the move. In 1988, Zebulon saw the first tenant in its new industrial park as NMC of North America opened a plant in the area. And in 1963, Zebulon was paying much more attention than we do today as a new phone book was being distributed.


Property owners were questioning the blistering speed at which Wendell was barreling toward annexation of several westward plots.

Wendell’s plan to annex a total of 260 westward acres received a mixed reaction from affected property owners. Some fear tax increases and believe the annexation will not benefit them, while others say they simply do not know enough about the plan yet.

Bill Thornton owns and operates a trailer business on Wendell Boulevard. He is not pleased about Wendell’s annexation plan, especially since his property is likely to be inside the town’s corporate limits “much sooner” than he thought. The SouthAg president said his property, located in the 2000 block of Wendell Boulevard, became part of the town’s extraterritorial jurisdiction only a few months ago, and he understood it would not be annexed “this soon. I thought it would take at least a couple of years before they would start annexing these properties.”

Thornton’s surprise was well warranted; when Wendell expanded its reach the May before, it was estimated that it would be five years before the land was annexed.


The Zebulon plant known today as Nomacorc, but known 25 years ago as NMC of North America, was nearing completion in 1988. NMC was the first business to occupy a space in Zebulon’s up-and-coming industrial park.

The first tenant in Zebulon’s fledgling industrial park is nearly fully operational after opening its doors earlier this month.

NMC of North America Inc., the Belgian plastic foam industry that became the town’s newest corporate citizen in February, presently employs two shifts and plans to add a third in January. The firm currently has 35 to 40 people on its payroll after moving to two full shifts last week. The addition of another shift will mean jobs for another 10 to 19 workers next month.

Construction began on the 110,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in May. The only remaining work to be done at the $6 million plant site consists largely of landscaping and some fine-tuning on the machinery inside.


Phone books are almost a thing of the past, now. In a couple more generations, it may be a rare thing for anyone under the age of 20 to have even heard of them. But back in 1963, they were both an indispensable tool for finding things and people, and a valuable measure to gauge a community’s growth.

Southern Bell’s new Zebulon telephone directory is now being distributed.

Delivery began December 14, 1963, R.U. Beck, Southern Bell manager, said today.

“And you won’t find a better yardstick of Zebulon’s progress than the new telephone directory,” he said. “It shows just how fast this area is growing.”

About 1,650 directories are being mailed in this area. This is 50 more than was distributed last year.

The new Zebulon directory has about 1,400 alphabetical listings, 50 more than last year’s directory.

The Classified section, or Yellow Pages, also has more listings for business and professional people, and for products and services – all under headings alphabetized according to the product or service you are looking for.

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