A Day in the Past in the Town of Apex

In 2015, Money Magazine voted the Town of Apex as the number one place to live in America. This may be the reason why Apex is known as the “Peak of Good Living,” but how did our town get its start?

The Town of Apex was officially founded in 1873. Although our town was voted the number one place to live, our “peak” actually comes from somewhere else. Our town is situated along the Chatham Railroad, and the town was given the name “Apex” because it is located at the highest point of the railroad. This explains where we get the nickname “Peak City;” our town is literally a city at the peak!

Since Apex was one of the first towns to make an appearance near the capital of Raleigh, with the help of the Chatham Railroad, Apex became very active as a center for both shopping and trade. Apex’s location, found in the middle of a large pine forest, also made Apex a large shipping point for many wood based products such as lumber and turpentine. In addition to wood, Apex was also very known for its excellent tobacco crop yield, causing many tobacco farmers from different locations to migrate here.

In 1905 a fire broke out in our town and destroyed a large number of our commercial buildings, which were originally made from wooden framework. A second fire broke out in 1911 and burned down most of the business district. These two fires pushed  Apex residents to replace their wooden frame buildings with brick buildings that were more fire resistant. These brick buildings are the same buildings one can see while passing through Downtown Apex. One can also see the same train station that operated on the Chatham Railroad when Apex was first founded.

For nearly 150 years, our town has stood tall. When Apex High School opened in 1920, we were one of the first schools established in the area besides Cary High School. In 1960 the Research Triangle Park was created, and with the many attractions of new technology, our town began to boom and has flourished ever since. After all these years, our town remains successful– Apex lived up to its title of the “Peak of Good Living.”

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