north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program
 

 
 
 

ID:

Marker Text:

Essay:
(Text of marker follows:)

      This simple provincial house was built before 1820. For some years it was the home of Dr. Calvin Jones, a founder of the North Carolina Medical Society, major-general in the War of 1812 and Grand Master of the Masonic Order in North Carolina. He was for 30 years a trustee of the University of North Carolina.

     In 1832 Dr. Jones sold his home and plantation at Wake Forest to the Baptist State Convention. On February 3, 1834, Wake Forest Institute, as it was called until 1838, was opened in the building with an enrollment of 16 students. The dwelling house was used as the residence of the first President of the College, Samuel Wait, and for classroom purposes. The carriage house was used as a chapel. The seven “good substantial log cabins” were used as dormitories.

     The house, now on its fourth site, was moved from its original location in the center of the campus in 1835 to make way for “The College Building,” and later to a third location on Wingate Street. It is now restored to the 1830 period.
     
Essay:

      The building known as the Wake Forest College Birthplace, a simple provincial house built before 1820, was the home of Dr. Calvin Jones, a founder of the Medical Society of North Carolina, major-general in the War of 1812, and Grand Master of the Masonic Order in North Carolina. He was for thirty years a trustee of the University of North Carolina.

     In 1832 Jones sold his home and plantation at Wake Forest to the Baptist State Convention. On February 3, 1834, Wake Forest Institute, as it was called until 1838, was opened in the building with an enrollment of sixteen students. By the end of the first academic year, seventy-two students were in attendance. The dwelling house was used as the residence of the first president of the college, Samuel Wait, and for classrooms. The carriage house was used as a chapel. The seven “good substantial log cabins,” all formerly slave cabins—well-made but without windows, were used as dormitories.

     The house, now on its fourth site, was moved from its original location in the center of campus in 1835 to make way for “The College Building,” and later to a third location on Wingate Street. Offering generous funding, in 1946 the trustees of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation invited Wake Forest to move to Winston Salem. The State Baptist Convention accepted the offer and construction began in that city in 1951. The Wake Forest College campus was sold to the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1956. The Calvin Jones House Society, later the Wake Forest Birthplace Society, was organized to save the Calvin Jones house. Funds were raised by the Society and the Wake Forest Garden Club to move the house to its current location on North Main Street and to restore it to its 1830s appearance. It is now operated as part of the Wake Forest College Birthplace Museum, “a lasting monument to the founders of Wake Forest College and the thousands of students who attended classes and graduated from the institution when it nestled in the ‘Forest of Wake.’”


References:
Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003)
Wake Weekly, February 24, 1994.
(Raleigh) Spectator, June 27, 1991
(Raleigh) News and Observer, July 31, 2003


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north carolina highway historical marker program


Calvin Jones House

© 2008 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources