Wake Forest is a town located in Wake County that is considered to be a suburb of Raleigh. As of a 2000 census, the town was reported to have nearly 13,000 residents.
The town of Wake Forest began to be developed in 1820 when 615 acres of land were purchased in the area by Dr. Calvin Jones. The area was very sparsely populated at the time and was named as both Forest of the Wake and as Wake Forest at the time. The town started to become more populated when Jones sold his property for $2,000 to the North Carolina Baptist Convention.
After the North Carolina Baptist Convention became established in the town, it opened the Wake Forest Manual Labor Institute and then the Wake Forest College. This college was later renamed Wake Forest University, which is where the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is now located.
When the Raleigh & Gaston Railroad was completed in 1840, the schools in the area also received a boost. In addition, college leaders were able to get the railroad moved closer to the college in 1874, which further gave the economy in the area a boost and allowed the community to become incorporated. The incorporation took place in 1880 and the town became known as the Town of Wake Forest College.
The word ‘College’ was removed from the name in 1909 and the college actually left the town in 1956 when it moved to a larger city. By this time, the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary had already been conducting classes on the campus and simply took over the rest of the campus after the college moved.
Today, Wake Forest offers a nice mixture of ethnicities and cultures. Although it is not as financially well off as some of the other cities in the state, the median household income is a respectable $52,307 and the median family income is $60,408.