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Cary - A brief history

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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 went through the town, linking Bradford's Ordinary to a major transportation route. 

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 300 acres surrounding the railroad junction in 1854 and named his development Cary, after Samuel Fenton Cary (a former Ohio congressman and prohibitionist he admired). Page is credited with laying out the first streets in Cary, built a sawmill, a general store, a post office and a hotel to serve railroad passengers.

In the early years, Cary adopted zoning and other ordinances on an ad-hoc basis to control growth and give the town structure.

Beginning in 1971, the town created 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 967-acre 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.

The local government continues to place a high value on creating an aesthetically pleasing town.

Visit Cary today!

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