In 2009, Fuquay-Varina celebrated our 100 year anniversary. While our Centennial year was a great celebration, the truth is that we celebrate our history everyday here in Fuquay-Varina. We have a lot to celebrate. Our town has an incredibly rich history.
In the spring of 1858, a French veteran of the Revolutionary War named William Fuquay settled here. William’s grandson Stephen, and his grandson David Crockett, uncovered a mineral spring while plowing a field. Originally the water was used for drinking water, but Stephen soon came to the conclusion that the mineral water flowing from the spring had distinct healing properties and the spring soon established this reputation.
Squire Ballentine, a Civil War veteran, lived just south of the spring and during his tour of duty, he received letters from one of many southern ladies who wrote to the troops to improve their morale. Originally signing her name “Varina,” Virginia Avery would later fall in love with and marry Ballentine who became a school teacher. He continued to call her Varina throughout their life together. It is not known for sure why Avery signed her name “Varina,” but quite possibly it was to honor Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ wife who was name “Varina.” When Ballentine became the first postmaster at the new post office one mile south of the Fuquay Mineral Spring in 1880, he named it “Varina” in her honor.
Over the past ten years, our Town Board of Commissioners has made extensive efforts in preserving our two historical downtowns through two streetscape projects. Fuquay-Varina Downtown Revitalization has partnered with the town in revitalization efforts and continues to work with local merchants to manage downtown events. As a result of this collaboration, the town has been named a North Carolina Main Street Community. In our historic districts, new businesses are thriving and citizens are enjoying new commerce. You can learn about our town’s history in one of three museums, the Centennial Museum, Ballentine School, or our town’s first Post Office or visit the Fuquay Mineral Spring, for which the town get’s the first part of its name. The park is one of the most beautiful in southern Wake County and a great way to spend a morning or afternoon. In Historic Varina, the second part of our namesake, you can see the restored Varina Depot (now Aviator Tap House) which pays tribute to the railroads strong history in our town’s past.
In Fuquay-Varina, we also celebrate our present. Our local economy is strong and diverse. Over the past 10 years, our town population has been one of the fastest growing in North Carolina, more than doubling in size. The Town now services a population of approximately 24,000. Homes are affordably priced; we have several large employers and have welcomed a host of national retailers. Surrounded by outstanding universities, excellent public schools and within a stone’s throw of the main campus of Wake Technical Community College, Fuquay-Varina is providing a highly educated workforce in an ever-evolving world. The Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce plays an important part in our thriving business community. The Fuquay-Varina Economic Development Commission is performing a critical role in attracting industrial development to our town. The town’s amenities and proximity to Raleigh, Research Triangle Park, Chapel Hill, Durham and Fayetteville make Fuquay-Varina uniquely appealing to residents and businesses alike.
Fuquay-Varina has something for everyone. The Town owns and manages 17 parks with more than 200 acres of land and facilities. The Community Center currently offers a full range of recreational programming including fitness and wellness programs, cultural programs that include arts, dance and crafts, senior activities, teen programs and other special interest programs. The Town also offers a full complement of recreational sports programming for ages 4-18. To view offerings or register online, visit www.fvparks.org. The Fuquay-Varina Police and Fire Departments make the Explorer’s program available to youth interested in learning more about their professions.
Each year, we encourage families to help celebrate our collective success at the Celebrate Fuquay-Varina festival held the first Saturday in June. The Town hosts an Easter Egg Hunt the Saturday before Easter, we gather 15,000 friends together at South Park on the 3rd of July to celebrate Independence Day and we congregate in downtown every year on the first Thursday in December for a Christmas Tree Lighting. These annual events give us all something to look forward to, be proud of and help us foster a strong sense of community.
We are a community that stands together by volunteering to help one another. We invite you to explore one of the many organizations working to make our community better. They include the Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce, Fuquay Cruisers, Fuquay-Varina Downtown Revitalization, Fuquay-Varina Friends of the Museum, Fuquay-Varina Garden Club, Fuquay-Varina Jr. Woman’s Club, Fuquay-Varina Kiwanis, Fuquay-Varina Lions Club, Fuquay-Varina Quester’s, Fuquay-Varina Rotary Club, Fuquay-Varina Woman’s Club, Military Missions in Action and many more just waiting for you to get involved and make a difference in Fuquay-Varina.
Fuquay-Varina’s town government is working hard to provide important services in a customer friendly manner that improves the quality of life for all of our citizens. Our Town Board of Commissioners, town staff and Interim Town Manager,k, are committed to helping each of you by working hard to meet the needs and challenges or our community. As Mayor of Fuquay-Varina, I look forward to hearing from you. My email address is and my home phone number is 919-552-6415. I am very proud of what our community is achieving as a result of working together.
John W. Byrne