Angier's Heritage

It all started with the railroad. 

The year was 1899, and good lumber was abundant in this area due to the vast sweep of towering pines that spread across Wake and Harnett Counties, pines that were perfect for saw timber. Col. Johnathan Cicero Angier, who was married to a niece of Washington Duke, owned and operated a lumber plant in Cary and wanted to build a railroad along the pine ridge from Apex to Harnett County to haul lumber and logs. With financial backing likely from the Dukes, he built the railroad to a farm owned by Jake Williams in the northeastern part of Harnett County. Eventually, a station house was also erected on this farm for the train crew to stay overnight as they made daily round trips to Apex.

To honor the man who had brought the railroad to the area, the station house was named Angier. In July 1899, Jake Williams secured a surveyor to map and plot the land surrounding his home and the new depot. Streets were laid off and named, and Angier began to evolve. The town received its charter in 1901.

In the years that followed, the rail line was extended and named Durham and Southern Railroad, and it transported cotton, tobacco, turpentine, and other goods to and from Raleigh and Dunn. But progress and modern life eventually made transporting goods by rail through Angier expensive and unnecessary, and the Durham and Southern Railroad had its last run from Apex to Dunn on July 5, 1979. Though the tracks have long been removed, the Depot still stands proudly today in the center of town as a symbol of its history, and the surrounding Depot Square is now the hub of all town activities, from festivals and outdoor concerts, to outdoor movies and many other family-friendly events throughout the year.

In addition to the Depot, Angier has another iconic symbol of its history, the crepe myrtle tree. During the 1930s, to enhance the beauty and charm of the town, the Angier Woman's Club planted crepe myrtles along the roadways leading into town from all directions, resulting in an explosion of vibrant color around town every summer. Angier adopted the slogan "The Town of Crepe Myrtles," and the Crepe Myrtle Festival is held each year in September to celebrate the colorful blooms, bringing people from all round to enjoy food, crafts, entertainment, and fun.

--Gathered from "The Beginning and End of the Railroad," p.86, Community Yearbook 2017, The Daily Record.