Tucked away in a residential neighborhood in downtown Raleigh, the Joel Lane House, built in the late 1760’s or early 1770’s, is the oldest house in Raleigh however very little is known about the man who built it.
Joel Lane is known as “the Father of Raleigh” because he sold the land to the state of North Carolina to establish the capital city and he is also known as “the Father of Wake County” because he sponsored the bill that enabled its creation. These facts withstanding- the man remains a mystery as no images of him survive, his motives are unclear, and even UNC-TV labeled him “North Carolina’s Mystery Man.”
The house is opened for tours given by costumed docents who do their best to provide some kind of story behind the mysterious life of Joel Lane - a forgotten North Carolina hero....or villain. We really have no idea.