As the name suggests, the town of Holly Springs in southern Wake County originated at a place where freshwater trickles from deep aquifers and where 40-foot-tall holly trees have endured storms and droughts, wars and depressions, and times of peace and prosperity. In Colonial times, a small cluster of homes and businesses formed around the original "holly springs" in an area that once was a Tuscarora Indian hunting ground. The tiny community included a sawmill, cotton gin, and store. In later years, a few miles to the north, Archibald Leslie purchased 180 acres at the intersection of two roads near another freshwater spring. He opened a tailoring business and store, and began construction on a 38-room manor. Today all that remains of the Leslie estate is the main house, listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Leslie-Alford-Mims House. A short dirt trail winds through the woods to the springs.
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1940s photograph Avent Ferry Road Ballentine Street Betts Bill Brooks Billy and Mary building Carolyn Williams collection Center Street Christine Adams Christine Adams-Utley collection Collins Grove Baptist Congleton collection courtesy of Lori Courtesy of North Creech daughter Dewar Doris Jones collection Earp Faye George and Kathy George Benton Alford Gerald W Hancock collection Holly Springs Baptist Holly Springs High Holly Springs Masonic Holly Springs Road Holly Springs United Ivan Ike Jerry Holland Jimmy H John Henry Jones John McNeil Kathy Huegerich collection Lee Johnson collection left to right Leslie Leslie-Alford-Mims House located Lockley Lori Stokes Main Street Mary Holt collection Mary Lee Johnson Mims Nathan and Carolyn Nathan Burns North Carolina Archives pictured Raleigh Street Seagraves Hotel second row shown Springs High School Springs Masonic Lodge Sylvian Brooks collection Texanna Town Historical collection unidentified United Methodist Church Utley Vada Fiegler collection Wake County Walls Could Talk Womble Wright collection