Who’s Waldo?

Cary’s notable history dates back to the late 19th century, when Allison Francis “Frank” Page and his wife first bought the land now known as Cary for only $2,000. Today, the town is  home to more than 140,000 people from all over the world.

As a newcomer or even a long-time resident, you may find yourself wondering about the origin of various — sometimes unconventional — names of landmarks around town.
We looked into them and compiled some answers below:


Waldo Rood Boulevard
Waldo Rood Boulevard crosses paths with Davis Drive in west Cary. Yes, the name sometimes leaves us scratching our heads, too.

H. Waldo Rood, who worked as a radio engineer, was also the mayor of Cary from 1949-1961. He helped conduct the Cary Rotary Club in 1964, and was named treasurer of the organization.

Fun Fact: As mayor, Rood had some interesting ideas. He suggested that Cary create its own fire department of volunteers under the chief of police, separate from the already-established Cary Volunteer Fire Department.

The idea provided firefighters the option to choose whether to come to town or stay where they were in the event of a fire. Rood’s proposition caused a disagreement among the townspeople and firefighters, and eventually the proposal was disassembled.

Koka Booth Amphitheatre
Koka Booth [ko-cuh booth]: Mayor of Cary from 1987-2000 and a former member of the town council.

Koka Booth Amphitheatre [ko-cuh booth am-fuh-thee-uh-ter]: A large performing arts center in Cary.

During a time when industrialization of the Research Triangle Park was booming, Koka Booth held the reins to Cary’s future and drove the town straight toward economic growth and success.

The amphitheater, previously known as the Amphitheatre at Regency Park, was dedicated to honor Booth on May 4, 2001. It is home to the North Carolina Symphony Summerfest Series, concerts and festivals. Located next to Symphony Lake, the amphitheater can hold up to 7,000 people.

Coming in 2014:

May 4: Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, with special guests The Devil Makes Three

May 21: Jack Johnson, with special guest ALO

May 24-July 12: N.C. Symphony Summerfest

June 13: Amos Lee Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song Tour, with special guests Lake Street Dive

*A full schedule can be found at boothamphitheatre.com.

Page-Walker Arts & History Center
If you look out of the front windows of this former hotel long enough, it’s likely you’ll catch a glimpse of the train headed toward the depot.

When the Pages purchased the land that became Cary, they established the town around the railroad tracks as an economic advantage. Frank Page then built a hotel next to the tracks for travelers who stopped by at night.

In 1884, Page sold the hotel property to Jacob R. Walker, and it continued to accommodate patrons until 1917. The Town of Cary bought the property in 1985 and, in partnership with the Friends of the Page-Walker Hotel, restored the hotel as an event venue, art gallery and museum for visitors, naming it the Page-Walker Arts & History Center.

Inside the museum, you can search for your Cary ancestors and view a detailed chart of the town’s transformation from 1871-2000s.

Fun Fact: Page named Cary after Samuel Fenton Cary, a national temperance leader and politician from Ohio.

Herbert C. Young Community Center
Herbert C. Young was dedicated to serving Cary, on the town council from 1965-1975 and on the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources board. In honor of his contributions, the Cary Community Center was renamed the Herbert C. Young Community Center in 2001. 

Young was also a legendary referee who officiated basketball, football and baseball at high school and collegiate levels for more than 35 years. He played football for UNC-Chapel Hill and is included in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.

The community center features meeting rooms, a kitchen for catering and classes, locker rooms, two volleyball courts, a double gymnasium and a court dedicated to legendary North Carolina State University basketball coach Kay Yow.

Fun Fact: The Herbert C. Young Community Center was Cary’s first community center; it opened in 1991.

Fred G. Bond Metro Park
Fred G. Bond would have been proud to witness the progression of Wake County’s largest municipal park.

Stretching 4.2 miles and 310 acres, the Fred G. Bond Metro Park offers a vast area of athletic fields, running paths, a lake, boat rentals, fishing areas, picnic shelters, playground, and the Sertoma Amphitheatre.

Bond, mayor from 1971-1983, was a passionate advocate for recreation and healthcare and was the influencer behind Cary’s renovated town hall and library.

Those new to Cary may not be familiar with the park’s hidden gem — the Bond Park Community Center. The community center offers athletic programs and fitness classes for all ages and even summer camp programs to keep the little ones busy.

Plan a visit: A sunny day is  perfect to spend time with  family at Bond Park. The outdoor Sertoma Amphitheatre features an abundance of free musical fun. Check out the performances this month:

May 3: John McCutcheon (folk)

May 10: Mipso (bluegrass)

May 16: Cary Town Band’s All Request Friday-Redux

May 17: SAS Showchoir, Vocal Motion with Audio Kudzu

May 30: Triangle Brass Band

Kildaire Farm Road
We call it a foodie paradise.

But back in the early 1900s Kildaire Farm was first a working 1,000-acre farm. The land was occupied by seven different families who lived and grew their own crops on the farm until the 1970s.

Kildaire Farm was also the first Planned Unit Development (PUD) of Cary in 1974. It features homes, offices, restaurants, retail stores, schools, open space, lakes and greenways. The planned development started the “small villages” movement that the town is built upon.

Along the 8-mile road or just off of it, are numerous gastronomically diverse restaurants, including:

Bocci Trattoria & Pizzeria
Chef’s Palette Restaurant & Bar
Corbett’s Burgers & Soda Bar
Genki Restaurant & Sushi Bar
Ginger Asian Cuisine
Sushi Thai Cary
Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe
Toreros Mexican Restaurant
Yuri Japanese Restaurant

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