Protecting historically important places while promoting their use and conservation for the education, pleasure and enrichment of residents.
The Town of Holly Springs became a participating member of the Wake County Historic Preservation Program in 1992. In 2007, Vision Holly Springs, the town’s comprehensive plan, established policies on community character and local historic resources to protect, preserve and manage cultural and historical resources.
Beginning in 2017, the town contracted with Capital Area Preservation to provide historic resource evaluations and services. Today, when town staff become aware of the potential development of a property that contains a structure with historical significance, staff consult with Capital Area Preservation in an effort to determine if the structure or elements of the structure can or should be salvaged.
The Town of Holly Springs also works actively to promote community awareness of town history. Efforts include:
signs identifying properties with historic significance
events such as the annual Founder’s Day at the Holly Springs Farmers Market
street names referencing the town’s founders and history, such as Bennet Knoll Parkway and GB Alford Highway
The town recently purchased a historic residence at 2329 Avent Ferry Road. The two-story home was spared from destruction during the Civil War as a former occupant is said to have taken in a wounded Union officer and nursed him back to health during the encampment of Union troops in the area in 1865.
When tailor Archibald Leslie came to Holly Springs in 1817, he purchased land for a home and set plans in motion to build a general mercantile store. By 1840, construction of the 38-room mansion was under way. Archibald and his wife Isabelle Rogers were well-known locally as socialites enjoying life in the antebellum South through the onset of the Civil War in the mid-1860s.
At the end of the Civil War for a two-week period, the home was occupied as the headquarters for Major General Jefferson C. Davis of the Union’s 14th U.S. Army Corp of Georgia. With her husband and son off fighting the war, Mrs. Leslie was alone and in charge of the home, as well as a nearby general store and turpentine distillery. Local lore tells that Mrs. Leslie, a true southern belle, allowed the officers into her home while “expecting them to act as gentlemen.” Her charm prevented her home from the fate of so many others.
In 1876, Col. George B. Alford acquired and built additions to the home. He also built a general merchandise store on Main Street, which is now Dewar’s Antiques & Florist Shop. This National Registry of Historical Places home is a true example of the grandeur of the old South.
The Holly Springs Masonic Lodge #115 on Raleigh Street was completed in the early 1850s. The utilitarian Greek Revival-influenced building is one of the oldest lodge and school buildings in Wake County.
The lodge was the location of the earliest school in Holly Springs, as well as the first school available to female students in town. Upstairs, visitors still can view graffiti scribbled on exposed pine walls by students who attended school in the building. Holly Springs masons, who began meeting in the lodge around 1852, still meet in this lodge today.
The 1913 Samuel Bartley Holleman House, a two-and-a-half-story, Queen Anne-Colonial Revival transition house, stands at the northeast corner of Avent Ferry Road and New Hill Holleman Road at Holleman’s Crossroads. The property is outside town limits in western Wake County, within the Holly Springs future planning jurisdiction. Outbuildings include a well house, pump house, engine house, smokehouse, and washhouse, also built in 1913.
Samuel Bartley Holleman (1861-1927) built the house at Enno, a crossroads community known in the mid-nineteenth century. He ran a store, cotton gin, sawmill, and planer at the turn of the twentieth century.