Prosperity & Challenges

While the Town’s economy boomed during the early 1900s, several events shortly thereafter forced the Town into a recess. World War I drew men to war and families to bigger cities for improved employment opportunities. Alford, who had stirred up economic momentum, died in 1923. In 1924, the Bank of Holly Springs failed, the first bank in the state to go belly up before the great Depression of 1929. The Town lay fallow through World War II, seemingly forgotten in the southern corner of the state’s capital county.

One of the oldest commercial structures in Wake County, which now houses Dewar’s Antiques, was built during the Town’s early years and stands as a testament to the community’s turn-of-the-century prosperity. The two-and-a-half story building edges Main Street in the heart of downtown and displays the gable-front form most commonly used for frame commercial buildings in the late 19th century.

Another downtown commercial structure developed at the turn of the century that remains today is the Seagraves Drugstore building. Initially a general mercantile, the building was later used as a dress shop and an auto parts store. The Town purchased and renovated the two-story brick building in 2003 and currently uses it as a police station. During the renovations, the Town preserved much of the original old-growth heart pine flooring and reused other original wood pieces to construct a conference table and bookcases.

In the latter half of the 20th century, progress returned to Holly Springs. In the 1960s, the Town installed streetlights and constructed a public water system. A sewer plant was completed in 1985, attracting Warp Technologies, a textile company, to Town. With the addition of Warp Technologies, Holly Springs’ tax base doubled from $8 to $16 million. The Town used the boost in revenue to expand utilities, in turn attracting further development, including the Sunset Ridge golf course community. Thus began another era of growth and prosperity that remains strong today.

Next: The Town Today