Maynard Road is a major route in Cary, bringing residents to plenty of shopping centers and restaurants. But the land near Walnut Street used to be a farm, owned by the Maynard family.
Here, Robert Maynard talks about the transformation of his family’s homestead.
Robert Maynard: Amos Maynard was born in 1819 in Wake County, and died in 1887. He had eight children. His son George Houston Maynard was my father’s dad.
My dad, Luther Maynard, was born in 1895 and died in 1971. He had four children, Eloise, Wyatt, me, and Jane.
Daddy got land from his dad and he added to it. The Maynard farm was on Walnut Street and the home place stood where the Employee Credit Union is today. His land included where Cary Towne (Center) mall and Cary High School stand.
At one time Daddy had 1,200 acres. The main crops were tobacco, corn and wheat. A lot of the land was timberland and Daddy also ran a sawmill. We put tobacco in our tobacco barns six or seven days a week, even on Sunday. I was driving a tractor when I was 10 years old.
There were six big tobacco barns and a big pack house behind the home place, plus a grading room, a potato house, chicken houses and an equipment shed. Daddy’s farm backed up to the Kildaire farm.
We had one white and four black tenant farmers. We provided houses for them, and the tools, equipment and seed, and they provided the labor.
One tenant house was where the Cary High School is now, back in a grove. A second one was where the first Catholic church was, now where Barnes & Noble is, and the third was behind our old house.
Bun Ferrell was with Daddy 25 years. He had his own house in Cary. He was just like a second daddy to me. He educated all of his children.
And Tom Casket was with Daddy for years. He had his own house in Cary too. Working on shares, they were designated a specific number of acres to farm. Whatever was made off of their land was split down the middle.
Every Friday they got their draw, and at the end of the year Daddy would deduct that from whatever the crops brought and they kept the rest. Uncle Bun and Tom Casket never got a draw. They were a cut above. They managed their money very well.
After Daddy quit farming, Uncle Bun kept farming for somebody else. Tom Casket bought a farm down Holly Springs Road, across Ten Ten Road.
At one point, Daddy started selling off some of his land. He first sold land for the high school, then the piece for the first Catholic church on Walnut Street. Then he sold the land where the shopping center is. About that time, they cut in the first leg of Maynard Road from the high school to East Chatham Street. Of course, it was named for Daddy’s farm.
Daddy farmed what land was left until his last six or seven years. When he died his land went to his second wife and passed out of the Maynard family.
Cary’s Heritage was taken from the book “Just a Horse-Stopping Place, An Oral History of Cary, North Carolina.”