Knightdale, North Carolina
—  Town  —
Location of Knightdale, North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°47′26″N 78°29′31″W / 35.79056, -78.49194Coordinates: 35°47′26″N 78°29′31″W / 35.79056, -78.49194
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Wake
Incorporated 1927
 • Mayor Russell Killen
 • Total 2.7 sq mi (6.9 km2)
 • Land 2.7 sq mi (6.9 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 315 ft (96 m)
Population (2009)
 • Total 15,748
 • Density 2,222.7/sq mi (858.2/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 27545
Area code(s) 919
FIPS code 37-36080[1]
GNIS feature ID 1021061[2]

Knightdale is a town and suburb of Raleigh, North Carolina in Wake County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 5,958 at the 2000 census, and estimated at 9,843 in January 2008.[3] With the population boom experienced in the North Carolina Research Triangle area in the past two decades, Knightdale is a suburb of Raleigh, bordering that city at the Neuse River. The estimated population of the Raleigh-Durham-Cary Combined Statistical Area (CSA) was 1,565,223 as of July 1, 2006, with the Raleigh-Cary Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) portion estimated at 994,571 residents.[4]


Early history[]

In 1700, the Lords Proprietor of the Carolina Colony hired John Lawson to explore the area. He began his 1,000-mile (1,600 km) trek near present day Charleston, South Carolina and according to his diary, Lawson passed through the area sometime in February of 1701. He wrote about a meeting with the Tuscarora Native American tribe on the banks of the Neuse River and with the help of an interpreter, Lawson made peace with the Tuscarora.

After receiving the report from Lawson, the King of England began to approtion these lands to willing settlers. In 1730, John Hinton settled in what would one day be called Knightdale in an area near the Neuse River, not far from where Hodge Road and Old Faison Road now intersect.

As more settlers arrived, the colonial government appointed Hinton to be the Justice of the Peace for Craven County. Eventually, Johnston County was carved out of Craven County in the 1750s and Wake County carved out of Johnston County in 1771.

When the American Revolution began, Hinton switched his allegiance to the colonials. He became a military leader and played a key role in the first battle of the American Revolution fought on North Carolina soil, the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge. Hinton owned seven plantations in the Knightdale area, of which three are still intact: The Oaks, Midway, and Beaver Dam.

19th Century[]

After independence, the population of the area began to increase with farmers growing products such as tobacco and cotton. Although slavery was not prominent in Knightdale like locations in the Deep South, it was still visible in the area. There are unmarked grave plots for slaves throughout Knightdale. Although documentation of grave sites has been lost, the burials remain a significant part of the local landscape.

During the Civil War, the Confederate and Union armies were present in the area. The Clay Hill and Midway Plantations saw the greatest damage and after the War had ended, the residents began to rebuild. During this time, nearby Raleigh experienced a population boom. As a result, local leaders redrew the map of Wake County and divided it into townships. The area that became Knightdale was located in St. Matthew's Township, where it still is today.

Knightdale came about as people began to assimilate within the St. Matthew's Township and for many years the area was a crossroads served only by a post office. By the end of the 19th century, locals decided there was a need to a establish a town. Henry Haywood Knight donated some of his land holdings in the area to the Norfolk and Southern Railroad Company in order to entice the company to build a railroad that would provide freight and passenger service. Although Knight did not live to see the railroad arrive in Knightdale, not long after his death in 1904, the railroad finally came to the community that would bear his name.

20th Century[]

After the railroad and depot were built, the area began to develop quickly. Norfolk and Southern moved families into the community to take care of the railroad, and many of the older homes that exist today in Knightdale were built specifically for the use of railroad workers and their families. The first railroad stationmaster's house can still be seen along the tracks on Railroad Street.

As the community continued to grow, Knightdale received its articles of official incorporation from the North Carolina Legislature on March 9, 1927, with the first Mayor being Bennett L. Wall.

On February 7, 1940, a fire broke out in the center of town. The townspeople turned out to help extinguish the fire, but the fire was not brought under control until firefighters arrived from Raleigh with an adequate water supply. Several businesses and homes were destroyed and the townspeople rebuilt the historic downtown area.

Home Depot hardware store on US 64 in Knightdale.

After World War II, the population of Knightdale grew at a steady pace thanks to the Baby Boom. The corner drugstore, the bank, and the barber shop located on First Avenue served as places of business, as well as places for social gatherings. Movies were often shown on the wall of the old bank building, which is located at the intersection of First Avenue and Main Street. In 1952 a municipal water system was installed.

Beginning in the 1960s the majority of new businesses in Knightdale began locating along US 64. With the addition of the Mingo Creek sewer outfall in the late 1980s, development on the south side of US 64 began. Subdivisions such as Parkside, Planter's Walk and Mingo Creek subdivisions were built, rapidly increasing the town's population. Between 1990 and 2000 Knightdale's population increased from 1,700 to more than 6,000 residents, making it the seventh fastest growing town in North Carolina.[5]

Frankie Muniz, a popular television and film actor, grew up in Knightdale. He started his acting career performing the role of Tiny Tim in "A Christmas Carol" for three years. Nominations for his performances include "The Hollywood Reporter Young Star Award", as well as "The Young Artist of Hollywood Award". Frankie is quite a good golfer and has been playing since his grandfather taught him at the age of 5. He currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Law and government[]

Knightdale 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.

The current Mayor is Russell Killen and current town council members include Mike Chalk (Mayor Pro Tem), Jeff Edins, Terrence Gleason, Tim Poirier and James Roberson. The immediate past Mayor is Doug Boyd. Prior to that Jeanne Bonds [6] was the first female Mayor of the Town. Other previous Mayors include Joe Bryan, Billy Wilder.[7]


Knightdale is located at 35°47′26″N 78°29′31″W / 35.79056, -78.49194 (35.790549, -78.491982)[8].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.7 square miles (6.9 km²), all of it land.

Knightdale 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 Knightdale about three hours west of Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, by car and four hours east of the Great Smoky Mountains of the Appalachian range.


Knightdale 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 5,958 people, 2,172 households, and 1,626 families residing in the town. The population density was 4,222.7 people per square mile (858.4/km²). There were 2,352 housing units at an average density of 877.4 per square mile (338.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 67.86% White, 26.84% African American, 0.35% Native American, 1.46% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.03% from other races, and 1.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.69% of the population.

There were 2,172 households out of which 47.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.6% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.1% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the town the population was spread out with 31.7% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 40.7% from 25 to 44, 15.9% from 45 to 64, and 5.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 87.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $56,021, and the median income for a family was $62,073. Males had a median income of $41,149 versus $30,325 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,340. About 4.3% of families and 4.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.7% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.


Secondary and primary education[]

Knightdale's Public school system is administered by the Wake County Public School System, the 19th largest school district in the country. The five public schools located in Knightdale are Forestville Elementary, Hodge Road Elementary, Knightdale Elementary, Lockhart Elementary and Knightdale High School.

Higher education[]

Knightdale is served by several institutions located throughout Wake County. Some of these schools include North Carolina State University, Meredith College, Shaw University, Saint Augustine's College and Wake Technical Community College.


The Wake County Public Library System operates a branch facility, the East Regional Library, in Knightdale.[9]

Parks and recreation[]

Knightdale is served by two parks and two community centers. The Eugene F. Harper Memorial Park is located downtown next to the Harper Park Community Center. The Knightdale Recreation Center is attached to Forestville Elementary's gym. The Knightdale Environmental Park is a trail system that is located in the southern portion of Knightdale.[10]



  • Air: Knightdale is served by Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), which is located in northwestern Wake county.
  • Interstate Highway: Knightdale's closest Interstate is I-540, located 2 miles (3.2 km) southwest of the town.
  • Knightdale is not served directly by passenger trains. Amtrak serves nearby Raleigh.
  • Local Bus: The Triangle Transit Authority operates buses that serve the region and connect to municipal bus systems in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.


Knightdale is located off of a recently completed portion of I-540 that connects the town to North Raleigh, RDU, the Research Triangle Park, Apex, and Morrisville. The Knightdale Bypass is a six-lane freeway that bypasses the town to ease traffic in eastern Wake County. US 64 and US 264 have been rerouted onto the Knightdale Bypass which traverses from Raleigh's Inner Loop (Interstate 440) to the US 64/264 freeway near Zebulon. An interchange with the eastern segment of Raleigh's Outer Loop I-540 opened in January 2007. This interchange makes the Knightdale Bypass a key connector between Raleigh's two loops. US 64 and US 264's previous alignment has been given the designation Business US 64. It travels through the town of Knightdale, ending in the east near Zebulon and in the west at I-440 in Raleigh.


External links[]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Knightdale, North Carolina. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.