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Zebulon, North Carolina
—  Town  —
Motto: "The Town of Friendly People"
Location of Zebulon, North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°49′32″N 78°19′0″W / 35.82556°N 78.316667°W / 35.82556; -78.316667
Country United States
State North Carolina
Counties Wake, Johnston
Incorporated 1907
 - Mayor Robert Matheny
 - Total 3.2 sq mi (8.4 km2)
 - Land 3.2 sq mi (8.4 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 322 ft (98 m)
Population (2008)
 - Total 4,732
 - Density 1,250.9/sq mi (483.0/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 27597
Area code(s) 919
FIPS code 37-76220[1]
GNIS feature ID 0997745[2]

Zebulon is the eastern-most town in Wake County, North Carolina, United States. In 2008, the population was estimated to be 4,732.[3] Zebulon is part of the Research Triangle metropolitan region. Five County Stadium, home to the Carolina Mudcats minor league baseball team, is located in Zebulon.



In 1906 the Raleigh and Pamlico Sound Railroad Company decided to bring the railroad through the Whitley and Horton family farms in western Wake County. Edgar B. Barbee and Falconer B. Arendell organized the Zebulon Company for development that same year. The company received its charter on February 15, 1906. Shortly thereafter, they began to divide up their forty-nine acres into lots, blocks, streets and avenues. On February 16, 1907 the town was officially recognized as Zebulon, North Carolina. The town was named after Zebulon Baird Vance, the Governor of North Carolina during the American Civil War. The first election was held in May 1907 and the first elected mayor was Thomas J. Horton.

Ninety years after its incorporation, Zebulon annexed the neighbor community of Wakefield. This most recent annexation, which took place on December 31, 1997, increased the total acreage inside the corporate limits to 2,115 acres (8.56 km2) and the population to 3,908. In the year 2000 the population has grown to 4,046.[4]

There are three properties in Zebulon listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Wakelon School, Bennett Bunn Plantation, and the George and Neva Barbee House.

The book Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver, was written about this town.

Law and government

Zebulon has a Council-manager government. Under this system the citizens elect a mayor and five council members as the town’s governing body. The Board then appoints the Town Manager who serves at the discretion of the Board. Board members are elected to four-year terms. Three of the members are elected in one year and the two remaining members and the mayor are elected two years later. The mayor, as the principal elected official of the town, provides leadership to the governing body and the community, and presides over board meetings.

As the legislative body of Zebulon, the Board’s primary responsibilities include establishing town policies and adopting an annual budget. Local municipality budgets, for each fiscal year, must be adopted by June 30 each year. The budget for the fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.[5]

Current Board members include Don Bumgarner (Mayor Pro Tem), R. Dale Beck, Beverly Wall Clark, Roy Collins and Curtis Strickland. The Town Mananger is Rick Hardin.[6][7]


Zebulon is located at 35°49′32″N 78°19′0″W / 35.82556°N 78.316667°W / 35.82556; -78.316667 (35.825523, -78.316675)[8].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.2 square miles (8.4 km²).None of the area is covered with water.

Zebulon is located in the northeast central region of North Carolina, where the North American Piedmont and Atlantic Coastal Plain regions meet. This area is known as the "fall line" because it marks the elevation inland at which waterfalls begin to appear in creeks and rivers. Its central Piedmont location situates Zebulon about three hours west of Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, by car and four hours east of the Great Smoky Mountains of the Appalachian range.

Zebulon is located on an elevated portion of land between the Little River and Moccasin Creek. [9]


Zebulon enjoys a moderate subtropical climate, with moderate temperatures in the spring, fall, and winter. Summers are typically hot with high humidity. Winter highs generally range in the low 50s°F (10 to 13 °C) with lows in the low-to-mid 30s°F (-2 to 2°C), although an occasional 60°F (15°C) or warmer winter day is not uncommon. Spring and fall days usually reach the low-to-mid 70s°F (low 20s°C), with lows at night in the lower 50s°F (10 to 14°C). Summer daytime highs often reach the upper 80s to low 90s°F (29 to 35°C). The rainiest months are July and August.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 4,046 people, 1,551 households, and 1,059 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,250.9 people per square mile (483.6/km²). There were 1,661 housing units at an average density of 513.6/sq mi (198.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 53.66% White, 39.74% African American, 0.57% Native American, 1.01% Asian, 4.00% from other races, and 1.01% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.60% of the population.

There were 1,551 households out of which 35.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.9% were married couples living together, 20.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families. 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the town the population was spread out with 28.3% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 31.9% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 85.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $36,250, and the median income for a family was $43,986. Males had a median income of $31,199 versus $24,563 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,026. About 12.8% of families and 16.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.3% of those under age 18 and 11.6% of those age 65 or over.


Zebulon's largest employer is GlaxoSmithKline, which operates a facility in the town and employs over 1,500 people. Other major employers in the town are US Food Services Inc., Nomacorc LLC, Nomaco, Inc., and Devil Dog.[10] In addition to these businesses, WakeMed operates the Zebulon/Wendell Outpatient and Skilled Nursing Facility, a satellite facility for the hospital's primary location in Raleigh. [11] In rural areas of the town, agriculture is still an important aspect of the local economy with products such as cotton, tobacco, wheat, corn and soybeans being grown.


Primary and secondary education

Zebulon is home to four public schools, one charter school, and one private school. These schools include: Wakelon Elementary School, Zebulon Elementary School, Corinth-Holders Elementary School, Zebulon Middle School, East Wake Academy and Heritage Chrisian Academy located off of Mack Todd Road. High school students attend nearby East Wake High School located in Wendell. The Wake County Public School System administers all of these schools except Corinth-Holders, which because of its location in Johnston County, is administered by the Johnston County Public School System. Heritage Christian Academy, administered by Heritage Baptist Church, is also located in Zebulon.[12]

Higher education

Higher education is provided by Wake Technical Community College or by other educational institutions in Wake County such as North Carolina State University, Shaw University and Meredith College.


The Wake County Public Library System operates a branch facility in Zebulon.[13]

Parks and recreation

  • Little River Park - natural park situated along the Little River with a dam and waterfall; picnic areas and hiking trails
  • Zebulon Community Park - 47 acres (190,000 m2) and includes two basketball courts, athletic fields, walking trails, championship disc golf course, picnic shelters, playground, and fitness stations
  • Whitley Park - picnic areas, playground, tennis courts, benches and various shelters
  • Gill Street Park - basketball courts, playgrounds, and picnic areas[14]




  • US 64 and US 264 split in Zebulon, east of Zebulon they provide access to the Outer Banks, US 64 via Rocky Mount; US 264 via Wilson. West of Zebulon the two roads remain merged as the Knightdale Bypass which connects eastern Wake County to Raleigh. There is also a Business US 64 which connects Zebulon, Wendell, and Knightdale and represents several former alignments of US 64.
  • NC 96 is a primary north-south highway through the town. It connects Zebulon to Rolesville to the north and Selma to the south.
  • NC 39 is another north-south highway that connects Selma to Louisburg and Henderson. It passes to the west of Zebulon near Five County Stadium.
  • NC 97 is a former alignment of US 64. It parallels US 64 and connects several small unincorporated communities along its route.


External links


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