As we all know, Fuquay-Varina used to be two independent communities. However, the details of how these towns combined to be the Fuquay-Varina we know and love today are rarely considered by those who live there or visit. Here are some little known facts about Fuquay-Varina.
Originally settled by a Frenchman named William Fuquay, the community was first known as Sippihaw, named for the Native American tribe that made the area its home. Sippihaw was primarily agricultural in industry, and flourished in this way for generations.
In the mid-19th century, William Fuquay’s grandson, Stephen Fuquay, discovered a mineral water spring on his family’s land while farming. He soon came to the conclusion that these waters had healing benefits, and soon sold the spring to the Chalybeate Springs Company, a company that went on to market the springs for tourists.
His Beloved, Varina
Meanwhile, J. D. “Squire” Ballentine had just returned from the Civil War. Having served as a schoolmaster in Sippihaw before going to war, he began to receive letters from a southern lady who wrote, in the tradition of the time, to improve the morale of the soldiers. When writing to him, she signed her name as Varina. Little did Varina know, whose name was truly Virginia Avery, that she would fall in love and eventually marry him. He continued to call her Varina throughout their marriage, so when he became the postmaster of a new community south of the springs, he named it after her. Varina was a new community named out of love.
During this time, the springs in Fuquay were thriving. Local businessman John Mills came up with the idea of offering tourists “moonlit excursions” to the springs, putting together flat rail cars with seats to carry passengers to the springs at night. Due to the rising popularity of the springs, the town flourished. Hotels, dance pavilions, and much more was rapidly constructed by the community to continue to appeal to visitors.
While the tobacco industry continued to thrive in Varina, Fuquay began to enjoy less of the popularity it had in years past. The construction of highways and automobiles was driving much more of their typical tourist traffic to the coast, leaving them in much less of a demand.
By the mid-19th century, the communities of Varina and Fuquay were extremely tight-nit. They shared community events, churches, and much more. So, by 1963, it was decided that they should be unified. That is how we have the historic community of Fuquay-Varina today!
Do You Find Fuquay-Varina’s History as Fascinating As Us? Why Not Live There!
If you’re considering a move to the Triangle area, Fuquay-Varina is an excellent community to call home. Imagine yourself enjoying the rich history, still seen in the architecture, everyday in Fuquay-Varina. As Triangle real estate experts, our team of top agents can assist you in all of your real estate needs, whether you’re buying or selling. Contact us to learn more about the area, or to simply discuss the unique real estate market of the Triangle.