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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Joel Lane House

by William J. McCrea, 2006

See also: Lane, JoelThis 1887 drawing is perhaps the earliest likeness of the Joel Lane House. North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library.

The Joel Lane House in Raleigh, named "Wakefield" by owner Joel Lane in honor of colonial governor William Tryon's wife, Margaret Wake, was built in the 1760s. Lane did major remodeling in the 1790s, including the addition of a front porch and alteration of the roof shape from gable to gambrel. The house is significant as the site of the first session of the Wake County Court, which convened there in 1771. Ten years later, the North Carolina General Assembly also met at Lane's Wakefield. As part of Lane's large plantation holdings known as Bloomsbury, the house originally faced east overlooking the 1,000 acres that were purchased from Lane in 1792 as the planned site of North Carolina's permanent capital, Raleigh. The house, located on West Hargett Street, has been restored to its 1790s appearance and is maintained as a historic house museum.


Elizabeth Reid Murray, Wake: Capital County of North Carolina (1983).

James Vickers, Raleigh, City of Oaks: An Illustrated History (1982).

Additional Resources:

Joel Lane House:

Joel Lane House, National Park Service:

Haywood, Marshall De Lancey. Joel Lane, pioneer and patriot. a biographical sketch, including notes about the Lane family and the colonial and revolutionary history of Wake County, North Carolina. Raleigh, N.C. Alford, Bynum & Christophers. 1900. (accessed April 22, 2013).

"Joel Lane House." N.C. Highway Historical Marker H-2, N.C. Office of Archives & History. (accessed April 22, 2013).

Joel Lane House, Learn NC:


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