This Week in History

The case of the missing water

May 20, 2014 

Eleven-year-old Wesley Williams, left, and his brother Quentin share a laugh as they tumble down a slide at the Arbor Arts and Crafts Festival in Knightdale in 2004.


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

In 2004, residents were battling to keep their freedom not from an invading military, but from an annexing town. In 1989, parents were speaking out against relocation plans in local schools. In 1964, a slight miscalculation left Zebulon without water for a short time.


For the most part, folks like to keep as many decisions in their hands as possible. For that reason, lots of people don’t take kindly to their neighborhoods being handed over to someone else’s jurisdiction.

Bridgegate subdivision residents are getting ready to contest in court the Wendell town board’s April 26 decision to annex about 260 acres west of town.

The homeowners association decided May 1 to proceed with litigation, and President Ray Lamb said it is currently shopping for an attorney. His group sent a letter to the town of Wendell a few days later, informing the town about the planned action.

The association represents 31 homes in the Bridgegate subdivision. Members believe Wendell did not follow statutory procedures the way it was supposed to, Lamb said, adding his group also thinks Wendell is not financially capable of annexing the area and providing required services to new residents.


Nobody likes having to drive across town to drop their children off at school, and the children hate having their group of friends broken up by school reassignments. Outrage can run high when school reassignments take place, and 1989 was no exception.

Parents and concerned citizens from Corinth Holders vented some frustrations Monday night but, for the most part, were left unsatisfied.

Residents were seeking answers and information regarding the Johnston County Board of Education’s recent proposals to reassign Corinth-Holder Middle School students to Micro and send the community’s high-school aged students to North Johnston in Kenly instead of Smithfield-Selma Senior High School.

As part of its $49 million long-range renovation and construction plan, the board has proposed expanding North Johnston middle and high schools to accommodate Corinth-Holder students, and building a new middle school in the northern part of the county. Approximately 200 parents gathered in the school gymnasium to oppose the busing of their children some 25 miles to Micro and to support the construction of the new school nearer the Corinth Holders area.


Isn’t having water great? It’s something we take for granted more often than not: turn on the faucet or spigot, and fresh, cool water comes pouring out. In 1964, the water system wasn’t quite as hardy as it is today, and a slight miscalculation left Zebulon residents without a drop to drink until pressure could be built back up.

There was water, water everywhere but in Zebulon Thursday morning; and Willie B. Hopkins had some explaining to do.

Hopkins said the local swimming pool was drained and filled Wednesday night. The pool has a capacity of 100,000 gallons of water, and the town water tank provides a reserve of only 75,000.

So, if you got up Thursday morning and the water for your coffee was hard to come by and you did not have enough to shave, that’s the story.

To complicate a bad situation, one of the well pumps went on the blink at the same time.

Don’t blame Mr. Hopkins. He has enough troubles.

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