Cary ( ) is a large town in
Wake and Chatham counties in the U.S.
state of North
almost entirely in Wake County, it is the second largest
municipality in that county and the third largest municipality in
The Triangle after
Raleigh and Durham. Cary is a suburb of Raleigh.
The town's population was 94,536 at the
, but the
that its population had grown to 134,000 by 2009, making it the
largest town and seventh largest municipality statewide.
to the US Census Bureau,
Cary was the 5th fastest growing municipality in the United States between September 1, 2006, and September 1,
The census bureau more recently rated the Raleigh-Cary
metropolitan area as the fastest growing municipality in the U.S.
between 2007 and 2008.
situated at the heart of North Carolina's Research
Triangle Region. It is edged on the north and east by Raleigh,
on the north and west by Research Triangle Park and Morrisville, on the south by Apex and Holly Springs, and on the west by the Jordan Lake area. The majority of Cary is in western Wake
County, with a small part in Chatham
According to the United
States Census Bureau
, the town has a total area of 43.5 mi²
(112.6 km²). 42.1 mi² (109.0 km²) of it is land and 1.4
mi² (3.6 km²) of it (3.17%) is water. More recent Cary records
show that as of 2007 the town has a total area of 52.79 mi².
Today's Cary began in 1750 as a settlement called Bradford's
Ordinary. About 100 years later, the construction of
the North Carolina Railroad between New
Bern and Hillsborough placed Bradford's Ordinary on a major
Allison Francis "Frank" Page is
credited with founding the town. Page was a Wake County farmer and
lumberman. He and his wife, Catherine "Kate" Raboteau Page bought
surrounding the railroad junction in 1854 and named his development
Cary after Samuel Fenton Cary
former Ohio congressman and prohibitionist he admired). Page became
a railroad agent and a town developer. He laid out the first
streets in Cary and built a sawmill, a general store and a post
office (Page became the first Postmaster). In 1868, Page built a
hotel to serve railroad passengers coming through Cary. Cary was
incorporated on April 6, 1871, with Page becoming the first mayor.
In 1879, the Raleigh and Augusta Air-Line Railroad (later the
Seaboard, now CSX Transportation
arrived in Cary from the southwest, creating Fetner Junction just
north of downtown and spurring further growth.
In the early years Cary adopted zoning and other ordinances on an
ad-hoc basis to control growth and give the town structure.
in 1971, the town created a Planned Unit Development (PUD) zoning
to accommodate population growth related to the growth of Research
Triangle Park nearby.
A PUD allows a developer to plan an
entire community before beginning development, thus allowing future
residents to be aware of where churches, schools, commercial and
industrial areas will be located well before such use begins.
Kildaire Farms, a Planned Unit Development in Cary was North
Carolina's first PUD. It was developed on the Pine State Dairy Farm
by Thomas F. Adams, Jr. Adams named a section of Kildaire Farms
"Farmington Woods" in their honor. The local government has placed
a high value on creating an aesthetically pleasing town.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 94,536
people, 34,906 households, 25,132 families residing in the town.
The population density
867.2/km² (2,246.0/mi²). There were 36,863 housing units at an
average density of 338.2/km² (875.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the
town was 82.17% White
, 6.15% African American
, 0.27% Native American
, 0.03% Pacific Islander
, 1.47% from
, and 1.83% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos
race were 4.28% of the population.
There were 34,906 households out of which 41.7% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 63.3% were married couples
living together, 6.3% had a female
householder with no husband present, and 28.0% were non-families.
21.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.0% had
someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average
household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.18.
The age distribution was 29.1% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to
24, 38.6% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 5.4% who were 65
years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100
females there were 99.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and
over, there were 97.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $75,122, and the
median income for a family was $88,074. Males had a median income
of $62,012 versus $38,819 for females. The per capita income
for the town was
$32,974. About 2.1% of families and 3.4% of the population were
below the poverty line
, including 2.8%
of those under age 18 and 3.5% of those age 65 or over. According
to the Census Bureau's 2007 estimates, median incomes had risen to
$89,702 (household) and $111,556 (family).
In terms of higher education, 68.0% of adult residents in Cary
(ages 25 and older) hold an associate degree or higher, and 60.7%
of adults possess a baccalaureate degree or higher. Cary has one of
the lowest crime rates in the state for municipalities of its size.
The home ownership rate (owner-occupied housing units to total
units) is 72.8%.
In 2001, Town of Cary was declared the fourth safest of 327 large
municipalities in the nation in the 8th Annual Morgan Quitno Safest
(And Most Dangerous) City Award.
The town's reputation as a bedroom community for affluent
transplants from outside the South
has led to backronyms
for its name such as "Containment Area
for Relocated Yankees." Data from the 2000 Census shows 29.2% of
Cary residents are native to North Carolina. 55.2% were born in
other states. Additionally, 15.6% of the town population were born
outside the United States.
Cary Town Hall.
Cary has a council-manager
; the mayor and council members serve a four year
term, with half of the council seats being up for election each
odd-numbered year. Four of the six council seats are elected by
district; the remaining two seats are at-large
The current town council consists of Mayor Harold Weinbrecht and
Representatives Jennifer Robinson (District A), Don Frantz
(District B), Jack W. Smith (District C), Gale Adcock (District D),
Erv Portman (at-large), and Julie
On October 9, 2007, Harold Weinbrecht defeated then-mayor Ernie
McAlister. Citizen concern over the impact rapid growth was having
on the town, especially on roads, schools, and the environment, led
to McAlister's ouster.
Read left to right.
- From 1871 to Present
|A. F. Page
||J. H. Adams
||R. J. Harrison
|E. C. Hayes
||R. J. Harrison
||H. B. Jordan
|N. C. Hines
||J. M. Templeton, Jr.
||G. S. Leacock
||T. H. Taylor
|W. G. Crowder
||E. P. Bradshaw
||W. H. Atkins
||G. H. Jordan
|E. P. Bradshaw
||Dr. F. R. Yarborough
||A. N. Jackson
||H. H. Waddell
|Dr. J. P. Hunter
||M. T. Jones
||T. W. Addicks
||L. L. Raines
|R. W. Mayton
||Robert G. Setzer
||H. Waldo Rood
||Dr. W. H. Justice
||Dr. E. B. Davis
||Joseph R. Veasey
||Fred G. Bond
|Harold D. Ritter
||Koka E. Booth
Cary Chamber of Commerce.
Cary public schools were established in the late 1800s.
Public transit within the town is provided by C-Tran
, with six fixed-routes. There
is also a door-to-door service for the elderly (55+) and riders
with disabilities. Triangle
Transit operates fixed-route buses that serve the metropolitan
region and connect to the local municipal transit systems in
Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.
Star, Carolinian and
Piedmont passenger trains stop at the Cary Amtrak
station. They offer service to Charlotte, New York
City, Miami, and
The League of American
has designated Cary one of the fourteen recipients
of the first Bicycle-Friendly Community
"providing safe accommodation and facilities for bicyclists and
encouraging residents to bike for transportation and
Cary Greenways and Trails maintains a network of sidewalks and
paved trails connecting neighborhoods and parks throughout town.
These greenways place strict requirements on environmental
conditions to preserve a park-like atmosphere. In addition,
standard sidewalks and paths exist throughout the town.
Airport, located northwest of downtown Raleigh via
Interstate-40 between Raleigh and Durham, serves Cary and the greater Research Triangle
Raleigh-Durham is a focus city for
American Airlines and a hub for American Eagle Airlines.
Freeways and primary routes
Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park
- Page-Walker Hotel
- WakeMed Soccer Park, where the Carolina
- William B. Umstead State Park Cary's North Harrison Avenue ends at the Reedy
Baseball National Training Complex, 4 Baseball Fields including Stadium Center Field
with seating for 1,754
- Thomas Brooks Park, 4 Baseball/Softball Fields (lighted),
Batting Cage, 2 Basketball Slabs (lighted), 2 Soccer Fields
- Sk-8 Skate Park, outdoor street course made up of rails, banks,
grind ledges, quarter-pipes and half-pipes from 3 to tall with pro
shop, concession area, restrooms, covered viewing area. Summer
- Fred G. Bond Metro Park, Park with Bond Lake, Boathouse, Ropes
Course, Trails, Athletic Fields, Playgrounds
- The Cary Ice House, Indoor Year Round Rink offering Hockey and
- Triangle Aquatic Center , the largest public aquatic facility
in North Carolina, 3 Pools including competition pool with 1,000
seat seating, cafe, swim shop
- Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, Unique stand of Eastern Hemlock Trees located at 2616
Kildaire Farm Road, Cary, NC
- Jelly beans Super Skate Center of Cary, off of Buck Jones Road
- Cary Tennis Park, Championship Tennis Courts with Stadium
Court, 29 Courts, 2 Backboard Courts, 4 mini courts, Pro Shop,
Snack Bar, Locker Rooms, All Courts Lighted.
- Lochmere Golf Club, 18 Holes
- Prestonwood Country Club, 54 Holes of Championship Golf, 6 Clay
Tennis Courts, 9 Hard Courts, Swimming Pool, Clubhouse
- Macgregor Downs Country Club, 18 Holes, 8 Clay Tennis Courts, 3
Hard Courts, Swimming Pool, Clubhouse
- SAS Championships, Champions Tour, 2.1 Million Purse, Every
September, Prestonwood Country Club
Honors and awards
- Money Magazine Best Place to Live #5 in the Nation
- NCAA Championship City
- Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival
- Cary Band Day High school band competition and parade, held
- Cary Road Race, Every April includes a 10K, 5K, and 1 Mile Fun
- Run for Life, includes a 5K and 1 Mile Run
- 2008 Division I Women’s Soccer College Cup
- 2009 Division I Women’s Basketball Regional
- 2009 Division I Men’s Soccer College Cup
- 2010 Division I Women’s Soccer College Cup
- 2010 Division II Baseball Championship
- 2011 Division III Men’s and Women’s Cross Country
- 2012 Division III Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships
Notable natives and residents
- Former Cary citizen Walter Hines Page was a U.S. ambassador to
- Cary resident Marshall Brain is
the founder of the HowStuffWorks
website. He is also a published author and a futurist who believes
that robots will have taken over unskilled jobs by 2050.
resident David Potorti became a peace activist following the death
of his brother James in the World Trade Center attack of 2001. He is a founding member of
September 11th Families for Peaceful
- Cary resident Deborah Gonzales is a novelist who writes under
the names Sabrina Jeffries, Deborah
Martin and Deborah Nicholas.
- Cary residents Aaron
Ward and Jesse Boulerice are
former Carolina Hurricanes
players who have made their homes here.
- Cary resident Kay Yow was the head coach
of the women's basketball team at North Carolina State
- New Orleans Population Continues Katrina Recovery;
Houston Leads in Numerical Growth, U.S. Census Bureau News,
- US Census Press Release, March 19, 2009
- Guide to Services
- About Cary : Looking Back
- Cary town, North Carolina — Income in the Past 12
Months (In 2007 Inflation-Adjusted Dollars)
- CARY, NC RANKED 4TH SAFEST IN U.S.
- Money Magazine Article - Part 2
- Cary town, North Carolina - DP-2. Profile of
Selected Social Characteristics: 2000
- Weinbrecht ousts McAlister in Cary
- Weinbrecht Wins Upset in Cary Mayoral Race
- Cary Bicycle Plan
- Cary Greenways and Trails
- Thomas Brooks Park
- Sk-8 Skate Park
- Fred G. Bond Metro Park
- The Cary
- Triangle Aquatic Center
- Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve
beans Super Skate Center of Cary
- 2006, Money Magazine Best Place to Live #5 in the
- 2008, NCAA selects Cary, NC as a Top Six “NCAA
Championship City” for pilot program
- Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival
- Cary Band Day
- Cary Road Race
- Walter Hines Page
- Brain's eye is firmly on the future
- Former Hurricanes at home in Triangle
- 2002: Kay Yow