Published: Feb 22, 2012 02:00 AM
Modified: Feb 21, 2012 11:02 AM
Folks remember the first streets in Cary:Esther Ivey:
In 1890, there were only three streets and a lane, all dirt. We had Academy Street and Chatham Street, which was then called Front Street. Cedar Street was called Railroad Street. And what is now Hillsboro Street was called Back Street, and later called Quewhiffle. The Lane came off Front Street, and was a block long. There were woods from the Lane about halfway up to Park Street. (West) Chatham Street dead-ended into Academy Street. We went down Academy Street and Cedar Street to go to Raleigh. The street wound around and crossed the railroad at least four or five times.John Yarborough:
I remember pretty vividly the day they first put down asphalt on Academy Street, in 1942 or '43. I got the tar all over me, and I got a big whipping by Mama because of how difficult it was to get the tar off.C.Y. Jordan:
In the 1930s, the only paved street in Cary was Chatham Street, and it was paved because it was Highway Number 1 and 64 that ran from New York to Florida. Hillsboro Street was also Highway 70 which went from Raleigh to Durham. Chapel Hill Road was U.S. 54. Even with four highways, Number 1, 64, 70 and 54, there wasn't near as much traffic as there is today. There was a caution light at Academy. That was the only light in town.Robert Heater:
In the 1950s and before, at the corner of Dry and Harrison the street was red clay. The dust would be terrible, so we'd collect old motor oil and spray it all along the streets. We'd punch a bunch of holes in the can and walk up and down sprinkling it out to hold the dust down. Some of that stuff would get an inch or so thick, and was real hard. You had to take care to clean your feet good before going in the house or you were in trouble.Clyde Evans Jr.:
I cut the trees out for a section of High House Road. At one time, there was an old stagecoach going through here. Highway 1 came to Cary and stopped, then it proceeded on as dirt. A dirt road would get bumpy like a washboard. People were selected to take care of the roads. My father would take care of five miles of road with a team of mules. He would drag the road with scrapers to smooth out the bumps. A drag had a wooden frame and blades on the front that was pulled down the road.Bertha Pleasants Daniel:
In the 1920s, Kildaire Farm Road was dirt, and we called it a washboard, just as rough as could be. When Kerr Scott was governor, he was the "good roads governor." He put electrification and roads throughout the rural areas in North Carolina. One summer they did curb and gutter. We ate red dirt for a whole season, seeped in under the windows. Seemed like it took them forever.
Cary's Heritage is taken from the book, "Just a Horse-Stopping Place, an Oral History of Cary, North Carolina."