Wendell, North Carolina
Wendell, North Carolina
Small Town, Big Charm City Connection
|Named for||Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.|
|• Mayor||Virginia Gray|
|• Total||5.76 sq mi (14.91 km2)|
|• Land||5.74 sq mi (14.87 km2)|
|• Water||0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2)|
|Elevation||318 ft (97 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||1,493.99/sq mi (576.84/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1023154|
Incorporated in 1903, Wendell was settled in the 1850s, when farmers in Granville County were victims of a blight that came to be known as the Granville County Wilt. Their tobacco crops failed, and they chose to move to a new location with more fertile land for their crops.
As settlement increased, a small village took form. The villagers asked the local schoolteacher, M.A. Griffin, to choose a name. Griffin suggested they call it Wendell, in honor of his favorite poet, Oliver Wendell Holmes. However, the townspeople pronounce each syllable with equal emphasis, not as the poet's middle name is said. The Town seal was adopted on April 4, 1963.
The first post office was built in 1891, and has been restored by the Wendell Historical Society. The oldest institution in Wendell is Hephzibah Baptist Church, founded in 1809. The first newspaper was the Wendell Clarion, founded in 1911, which was succeeded by the Gold Leaf Farmer and currently the Eastern Wake News.
Wendell has four buildings and two districts that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These are the Dr. Thomas H. Avera House, Harmony Plantation, Riley Hill School, Sunnyside, Wendell Boulevard Historic District, and the Wendell Commercial Historic District.
Wendell is located in the northeast central region of North Carolina, where the Piedmont and Atlantic Coastal Plain regions meet. This area is known as the "Fall Line" because it marks the elevation inland at which rapids and small waterfalls begin to appear in creeks and rivers. Its central Piedmont location situates Wendell approximately two and a half hours (via car) west of Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, and four hours east of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Wendell enjoys a moderate subtropical climate, with moderate temperatures in the spring, fall, and winter. Summers are typically hot with high humidity. Winter highs generally range in the low 50s°F (10 to 13 °C) with lows in the low-to-mid 30s°F (-2 to 2 °C), although an occasional 60 °F (15 °C) or warmer winter day is not uncommon. Spring and fall days usually reach the low-to-mid 70s°F (low 20s°C), with lows at night in the lower 50s°F (10 to 14 °C). Summer daytime highs often reach the upper 80s to low 90s°F (29 to 35 °C). The rainiest months are July and August.
Wendell's current mayor is Virginia Gray. She conducts Town Board of Commissioners meetings and only has a vote in the event of a tie. The administration of the town is conducted by the town manager. The board of commissioners includes John Boyette (Mayor Pro-tem), Joe DeLoach, Jason Joyner, Phil Tarnaski, and Jonathan M. Lutz.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,845 people and 2,430 housing units. The population density was 1123.2 people per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 58.1% White, 30.2% African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.9% Japanese, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 3.20% from other races, and 1.34% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.5% of the population.
As of the 2010 census, there were 2430 housing units, with 40% of units built before 1980. Of the 2010 population, 55% were married. 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 11.6% were persons 65 years or older, 29% were between the ages of 25-44, and 30% were between the ages of 0-19. The median age in 2010 was 35. The average household size was 2.12.
The town is served by five public schools which are administered by the Wake County Public School System. They include Lake Myra Elementary, Carver Elementary School, Wendell Elementary School, Wendell Middle School and East Wake High School.
The town is home to one institution of higher learning, Southeastern Free Will Baptist College.
- Air: Wendell is served by Raleigh-Durham International Airport, which is located in northwestern Wake county on I-40.
- Interstate highway: I-87 is the closest Interstate to Wendell and is located west of the town.
- Wendell was served by a passenger line between Raleigh and Wilson with stops in Knightdale, Zebulon, and Wendell, North Carolina, but was terminated in 1943. Wendell is not served directly by passenger trains. The nearest Amtrak stations are in Raleigh and Selma.
- Local bus: The Triangle Transit Authority operates buses that serve the region and connect to municipal bus systems in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.
- The main highway in Wendell is US 64 which allows access to Raleigh and the North Carolina coast.
- Other highways in the area include US 264, NC 97, and NC 231.
Parks and recreation
The town is served by three recreational parks and facilities. They include Wendell Park, Wendell Community Center, and J. Ashley Wall Town Square.
- Greg Ellis (born 1975), NFL defensive end and 2007 Pro Bowl selection
- George J. Laurer (1925–2019), inventor of the Universal Product Code
- Ron and Amy Shirley, reality television stars of Lizard Lick Towing
- Gregory Walcott (1928–2015), actor
Notable annual town events
- Harvest Festival: occurs annually in October
- International Food and Music Festival: occurs annually in September
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wendell, North Carolina.|
- "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Wendell town, North Carolina". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
- Pleasants, George S. Building a Town: Wendell, North Carolina. Virginia Beach, VA: Donning, 2003. Print.
- About Wendell
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Wendell town, North Carolina". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- Parks and Recreation