This Week in History: Feb. 5

February 4, 2014 

At age 6, Sydney Philbeck steps through the last zero in the sheet-size “100” hand prints during the 100th day of school at Lockhart Elementary in 2004.


This week in history we look back 10, 25, and 50 years at what was happening in the eastern Wake County area.

In 2004, Knightdale was growing... again. In 1984, the merger debacle between Zebulon and East Wake high schools finally came to an end – a least as far as who would be principal. And in 1964, Zebulon was preparing for something hardly any town is without these days: a dedicated community library.


In 2004, Knightdale was going through another growth spurt as a massive wave of annexations was in the works.

Town officials are mulling a massive involuntary annexation plan that would engulf its extrateritorial jurisdiction and beyond – first concentrating on “doughnut holes” and then moving to larger areas over a period of five years.

And to help with the growth, officials also recently unveiled a plan to add 21 employees over the same period.

During the Town Council’s annual retreat Jan. 31, Planning Director Mike Frangos detailed the annexation plan, which would start with several commercial tracts on the north side of U.S. 64 west of the Steeple Square shopping center. The businesses affected would include Knightdale Tire & Service, Wake Stone, Lisa Dee’s Florist and Hasty Utilities.

Those parcels have an assessed value of about $2 million.

Frangos told the council members they would need to pass a resolution of consideration to begin the annexation process.


The week of Feb. 9 saw the resolution of the conflict caused by the upcoming merger of Zebulon and East Wake high schools, as Dr. Barbara Rogers was reinstated to her role as principal.

Following two months of turmoil and three weeks of reflection, Wake County superintendent Dr. Robert E. Bridges announced Monday that Dr. Barbara Rogers would remain as principal of East Wake High School.

Bridges indicated that the “storm of controversy” created by Dr. Rogers’ removal led to his decision to reinstate her. With East Wake and Zebulon high schools set to merge in August, Bridges said he now realized that keeping Dr. Rogers in office would make the transition easier.

“My original objective was for this merger next fall to be as smooth as possible and I’ve been concerned that this objective was at risk,” the superintendent explained. “If Dr. Rogers remains in that position (as principal), we will have the best chance to bring this about.” He added there is “nothing temporary about this assignment.”

Dr. Rogers said she was “just delighted” when Bridges informed her of his latest decision Monday morning.

“It came as a big surprise to me,” she said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue serving the county.”


In 1964, Zebulon was looking for a dedicated building for its community library.

Plans are underway to secure a building to house the community library.

Mrs. George Tucker, president of the Zebulon Community Library, Inc., reports that the newly formed organization hopes to secure a building adequate for the library.

The present library is housed in the Woman’s Club in 15 x 12 quarters. There are about 1,500 volumes crowded into this space.

No charge is made by the Woman’s Club to the library for rental, according to Mrs. Armstrong Cannady, president of the Woman’s Club.

Mrs. Melvin Lanier said more space is “desperately needed.” She indicated that it is impossible to display the books to the greatest advantage. Rotarians have donated a goodly number of books and Mrs. Lanier said shelf space is needed for putting these books in a special section.

Mrs. Tucker said no location for the library has been found. A downtown location is preferable, she said, adding that the feeling of officers of the organization is that such a location would be of better public use.

Today, Zebulon Community Library is located very close to downtown Zebulon; it can be found just north of U.S. 64, at 1000 Dogwood Drive, Zebulon.

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