Joel Lane House Museum – Raleigh, North Carolina - Atlas Obscura
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Raleigh, North Carolina

Joel Lane House Museum

Eighteenth century house of the mysterious "Father of Raleigh." 

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.

Know Before You Go

The Joel Lane House is closed on Sunday and Monday. It is open from 10:00 AM- 2:00 PM on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday but from 12:00 PM- 4:00 PM on Saturday. It is located on the corner of Hargett St. and St. Mary's St. The house is easy to not notice but is well worth a visit.