HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PAGE‑WALKER

Built in 1868 by Town founder Allison Francis Page, it was leased to Mrs. A.J. Clegg who operated it as a railroad hotel. In 1884, the building was sold to J.R. "Jake" and Nancy Walker who continued to provide meals and rooms to passengers who traveled the two railroads until 1916. The building was known as the Walker Hotel.

The building's architectural style, French Second Empire, was a rarity in small towns of North Carolina (in 1880, Cary's population was 316). The Hotel is the only one of its kind in Wake County outside the Raleigh city limits. It serves as a reminder of the importance of the rail industry in North Carolina towns and the prevalent travelling customs of the late 19th century.

In 1922, the building was passed on to Nancy Walker's grandchildren who rented rooms to teachers and students associated with Cary High School. It was sold to R.J. Coburn as a private residence in 1926 and in 1941 became the property of John F. Williams, a maintenance man for Durham City Schools. Mr. Williams had a travelling summer entertainment business and early residents remember painted wagons and grazing ponies on the property. Robert Strother, a Cary florist, purchased the Hotel in 1971 for his home, and vacated the building in 1980.

In 1979, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places because of its historic and architectural significance. The modern addition that respects and complements the original building won an Anthemion Award from Capital Area Preservation in 1994.


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