The Story of Fuquay-Varina
Fuquay-Varina, first known as “Piney Woods,” acquired her unusual names from the fates of history. Among the early land grant families were the Burts, Joneses and Rowlands, but it was a French veteran of the Revolutionary War named William Fuquay who moved his family to the exact site, purchasing 1000 acres of Jones Land in 1805.
While plowing a field, circa 1858, William’s son Stephen or grandson David Crockett uncovered a mineral spring. “Taking the waters” became an attraction for people with all types of physical ailments, leading to the annual celebrations at the spring on Easter Monday and the Fourth of July. Conveniently, the early timber rail provided a ready means of transportation while hotels, catering to long term visitors, surrounded the spring.
During the “War for Southern Independence,” a young soldier named Ballentine, born just south of the spring, received morale-boosting letters signed with the pen name “Varina.” He later looked up the Fayetteville lady, married her and brought her to live at his homeplace. Continuing to call her Varina, he named his post office and mercantile establishment across from the mineral spring for her. When two timber rail lines crossed nearby, “Varina Station” was born.
In the early 1900’s tobacco farmers, fleeing the Granville wilt devastating their crops, began migrating into Southern Wake County. Their “golden weed” fostered a large commercial tobacco market. Railroads flourished and traffic flowed along Main Street in Fuquay Springs and around the Broad Street station, now known simply as Varina.
Fuquay Springs, incorporated in 1909, joined the neighboring community of Varina in 1964 as one municipality.
Below are some of the pictures of early Fuquay Varina that I’ve collected over the years. Most were collected during the years that I owned Lazy Lion Used Books on South Main Street.
If you have any pictures of either early Fuquay Springs or early Varina that you would like to share, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.