is a town in Wake
counties in the U.S. state
of North Carolina
. Located almost entirely in Wake County, it is the second largest municipality in that county and the third largest municipality in The Triangle
. The town's population was 94,536 at the 2000 census
, but the Census Bureau
estimates that its population had grown to 121,796 by 2007, making it the largest town and seventh largest municipality statewide. According to CNN
, Cary is the 5th fastest growing city in the United States
Cary is located at (35.778919, -78.800208). It is situated at the heart of North Carolina's Research Triangle
Region. It is edged on the north and east by Raleigh, on the north and west by Research Triangle Park and Morrisville
, on the south by Apex
and Holly Springs
, and on the west by the Jordan Lake
area. The majority of Cary is in western Wake County, with a small part in Chatham County
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 43.5 mi² (112.6 km²). 42.1 mi² (109.0 km²) of it is land and 1.4 mi² (3.6 km²) of it (3.17%) is water. More recent Cary records show that as of 2007 the town has a total area of 52.79 mi².
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 placed Bradford's Ordinary on 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 surrounding the railroad junction in 1854 and named his development Cary after Samuel Fenton Cary (a former Ohio congressman and prohibitionist he admired). Page became a railroad agent and a town developer. He laid out the first streets in Cary and built a sawmill, a general store and a post office (Page became the first Postmaster). In 1868, Page built a hotel to serve railroad passengers coming through Cary. Cary was incorporated on April 6, 1871, with Page becoming the first mayor. In 1879, the Raleigh and Augusta Air-Line Railroad (later the Seaboard, now CSX Transportation) arrived in Cary from the southwest, creating Fetner Junction just north of downtown and spurring further growth.
In the early years Cary adopted zoning and other ordinances on an ad-hoc basis to control growth and give the city structure. Beginning in 1971, the town created a 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 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. Adams named a section of Kildaire Farms "Farmington Woods" in their honor. The local government has placed a high value on creating an aesthetically pleasing town.
| Historical populations
|| 1,496 (31%)
|| 3,356 (124%)
|| 7,640 (128%)
|| 21,763 (185%)
|| 43,858 (102%)
|| 94,536 (116%)
|| 125,460 (33%)
As of the census of 2000, there were 94,536 people, 34,906 households, 25,132 families residing in the town. The population density was 867.2/km² (2,246.0/mi²). There were 36,863 housing units at an average density of 338.2/km² (875.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 82.17% White, 6.15% African American, 0.27% Native American, 8.08% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.47% from other races, and 1.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.28% of the population.
There were 34,906 households out of which 41.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.3% were married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.0% were non-families. 21.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.18.
In the town the population was spread out with 29.1% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 38.6% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 5.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 99.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $75,122, and the median income for a family was $88,074. Males had a median income of $62,012 versus $38,819 for females. The per capita income for the town was $32,974. About 2.1% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.8% of those under age 18 and 3.5% of those age 65 or over. According to the Census Bureau's 2006 estimates, median incomes had risen to $80,986 (household) and $96,602 (family).
In terms of higher education, 68.0% of adult residents in Cary ages 25 and older) hold an associate degree or higher, and 60.7% of adults possess a baccalaureate degree or higher. Cary has the most Ph.D.s
per capita in the U.S. for towns larger than 75,000 people. Cary has one of the lowest crime rates in the state for cities of its size. The home ownership rate (owner-occupied housing units to total units) is 72.8%.
In 2001, Town of Cary was declared the fourth safest of 327 large cities in the nation in the 8th Annual Morgan Quitno Safest (And Most Dangerous) City Award.
The town's reputation as a bedroom community for transplants from outside the South has led to backronyms for its name such as "Containment Area for Relocated Yankees." Data from the 2000 Census shows 29.2% of Cary residents are native to North Carolina. 55.2% were born in other states. Additionally, 15.6% of the town population were born outside the United States.
Cary has a council-manager government; the mayor and council members serve a term of four years, with half of the council seats being up for election each odd-numbered year. Four of the six council seats are elected by district; the remaining two seats are at-large representatives.
The current town council consists of Mayor Harold Weinbrecht and Representatives Jennifer Robinson (District A), Don Frantz (District B), Jack W. Smith (District C), Gale Adcock (District D), Erv Portman (at-large), and Julie Aberg Robison (at-large).
On October 9, 2007, Harold Weinbrecht defeated then-mayor Ernie McAlister. Citizen concern over the impact rapid growth was having on the town, especially on roads, schools, and the environment, led to McAlister's ouster.
From 1871 to Present
Read left to right.
|| Years |
| A. F. Page
|| J. H. Adams
|| R. J. Harrison
|| John Nugeer
|| 1897 |
| E. C. Hayes
|| A.R. McGarrity
|| R. J. Harrison
|| H. B. Jordan
|| 1903 |
| N. C. Hines
|| J. M. Templeton, Jr.
|| G. S. Leacock
|| T. H. Taylor
|| 1916 |
| W. G. Crowder
|| E. P. Bradshaw
|| W. H. Atkins
|| G. H. Jordan
|| 1925 |
| E. P. Bradshaw
|| Dr. F. R. Yarborough
|| A. N. Jackson
|| H. H. Waddell
|| 1929-33 |
| Dr. J. P. Hunter
|| M. T. Jones
|| T. W. Addicks
|| L. L. Raines
|| 1935-37 |
| R. W. Mayton
|| Robert G. Setzer
|| H. Waldo Rood
|| Dr. W. H. Justice
|| 1961-62 |
| James Hogarth
|| Dr. E. B. Davis
|| Joseph R. Veasey
|| Fred G. Bond
|| 1971-83 |
| Harold D. Ritter
|| Koka E. Booth
|| Glen Lang
|| Ernie McAlister
|| 2003-2007 |
| Harold Weinbrecht
Largest Employer in Cary:
- SAS Institute - Largest privately-held software company in the world
Businesses based in Cary:
Primary and secondary education
History of Cary Elementary and Cary High Schools
Established in the late 1800s.
Public transit within the town is provided by C-Tran
There are three fixed-routes: North-South, East-West and the Maynard Loop. There is also a door-to-door service for the elderly (55+) and riders with disabilities. Triangle Transit
operates fixed-route buses that serve the metropolitan region and connect to the local municipal transit systems in Raleigh
and Chapel Hill
's Silver Star
, Carolinian and Piedmont
passenger trains stop at the Cary Amtrak station
. They offer service to Charlotte
, New York City
, and intermediate points.
The League of American Bicyclists
has designated Cary one of the fourteen recipients of the first Bicycle-Friendly Community
awards for "providing safe accommodation and facilities for bicyclists and encouraging residents to bike for transportation and recreation". Cary Bicycle Plan
Cary Greenways and Trails
maintains a network of sidewalks and paved trails connecting neighborhoods and parks throughout town. These greenways place strict requirements on environmental conditions to preserve a park-like atmosphere. In addition, standard sidewalks and paths exist throughout the city.
The Raleigh-Durham International Airport
, located northwest of downtown Raleigh via Interstate-40 between Raleigh
, serves the city and the greater Research Triangle metropolitan region. It is a focus city for American Airlines and a hub for American Eagle Airlines.
Freeways and primary routes
- Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park
- Page-Walker Hotel
- WakeMed Soccer Park, where the Carolina RailHawks play.
- William B. Umstead State Park Cary's North Harrison Avenue ends at the Reedy Creek Entrance.
- USA Baseball National Training Complex, 4 Baseball Fields including Stadium Center Field with seating for 1,754
- Thomas Brooks Park, 4 Baseball/Softball Fields (lighted), Batting Cage, 2 Basketball Slabs (lighted), 2 Soccer Fields
- Sk-8 Skate Park, 12,000 square-foot outdoor street course made up of rails, banks, grind ledges, quarter-pipes and half-pipes from 3 to 9 feet tall with pro shop, concession area, restrooms, covered viewing area
- Fred G. Bond Metro Park, 310 Acre Park with Bond Lake, Boathouse, Ropes Course, Trails, Athletic Fields
- The Cary Ice House, Indoor Year Round Rink offering Hockey and Figure Skating
- Triangle Aquatic Center, 72,000 sq. feet, the largest public aquatic facility in North Carolina, 3 Pools including competition pool with 1,000 seat seating, cafe, swim shop
- Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, Unique stand of Eastern Hemlock Trees located at 2616 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary, NC
- Cary Tennis Park, 30 Championship Hard Tennis Courts with Stadium Court, 1 Teaching Court, Pro Shop, Snack Bar, Locker Rooms, All Courts Lighted
- Lochmere Swim & Tennis Club, 10 Lighted Tennis Courts, Clubhouse
- Kildaire Farms Sports & Fitness Club, 7 Lighted Clay Courts, 6 Lighted Hard Courts, Proshop
- Lochmere Golf Club, 18 Holes
- Prestonwood Country Club, 54 Holes of Championship Golf, 6 Clay Tennis Courts, 9 Hard Courts, Swimming Pool, Clubhouse
- McGregor Downs Country Club, 18 Holes, 8 Clay Tennis Courts, 3 Hard Courts, Swimming Pool, Clubhouse
- SAS Championships, Champions Tour, 2.1 Million Purse, Every September, Prestonwood Country Club
Honors & Awards
- Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival
- Cary Road Race, Every April includes a 10K, 5K, and 1 Mile Fun Run
- Run for Life, includes a 5K and 1 Mile Run
- 2008 Division I Women’s Soccer College Cup
- 2009 Division I Women’s Basketball Regional
- 2009 Division I Men’s Soccer College Cup
- 2010 Division I Women’s Soccer College Cup
- 2010 Division II Baseball Championship
- 2011 Division III Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships
- 2012 Division III Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships
Cary has four sister cities
, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI)
Residents (former and current)
- Former Cary citizen Walter Hines Page was a U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom.
- Cary resident Marshall Brain is the founder of the HowStuffWorks website. He is also a published author and a futurist who believes that robots will have taken over unskilled jobs by 2050.
- Cary resident David Potorti became a peace activist following the death of his brother James in the World Trade Center attack of 2001. He is a founding member of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.
- Cary resident Deborah Gonzales is a novelist who writes under the names Sabrina Jeffries, Deborah Martin and Deborah Nicholas.
- Cary residents Aaron Ward and Jesse Boulerice are former Carolina Hurricanes players who have made their homes here.
- Cary resident Kay Yow is the head coach of the women's basketball team at North Carolina State University.