Wakefield Barn

The Historic

the History

Now surrounded by recent development, the barn at Wakefield is the last reminder of a once flourishing dairy operation. Just after the Great Depression, John Sprunt Hill, founder of Durham Bank and Trust (later CCB and SunTrust), bought the Wakefield Plantation property. He also amassed nearly 2,000 acres on the Neuse River, much of it through foreclosure. It was then fashionable for men who had grown rich through banking, tobacco or other means to build a showplace farm. Mr. Hill’s intention was to do just that, as well as improving the land, advancing agricultural practices and employing some of those left in dire straights by the Depression. S.O. Rich designed all the buildings at Wakefield with the exception of the manor house (torn down in the 1980’s.) The buildings are constructed of timber cut on the farm.           

The barn, built around 1934, is an impressive four story structure of 8,000 square feet surmounted by a steeply pitched, bell shaped roof. Two silos, fifty feet tall, are constructed of terra cotta tiles, an anomaly this far south. The first floor of the barn contains stalls. Directly above is a voluminous three-story hayloft, a magnificent clear span constructed of laminated timbers. Also around this time, a bull barn and a maternity barn were constructed. The maternity barn now holds offices and luxury suites for the Brides and Grooms Parties.

Dairy operations came to an end in the 1960’s. Ed Richards, then owner of North Hills, Inc., acquired the farm and in the 1970’s converted the dairy barn to horse stabling as well as restoring some of the other buildings. After passing through several owners, the barns and twelve acres of land were purchased by Steve and Mary Schilling. Mary’s efforts resulted in the designation of the Wakefield Dairy Complex as a Wake County Historic Landmark and in a listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Your wedding is likely the biggest formal event you will plan in your life and can often be overwhelming when it comes to knowing proper etiquette. We have spent years studying wedding do’s and don’ts and we are here to give you answers to every question like “how do I address a Doctor’s invitation?” or “how do I talk to my soon to be mother-in-law about what to wear to the wedding?”  We are here to hold your hand through it all.

Your wedding day is a momentous occasion that you will cherish for a lifetime. Allowing someone else to handle the planning, details, and overall design of your wedding day is a big decision. CHAD BIGGS EVENT PLANNING & DESIGN knows just how important this is and feels privileged to work with couples to create a joyous celebration that genuinely represents them.We have a true LOVE affair with weddings and our clients’ ideas become our passions. We have planned and designed some of the most beautiful weddings and our experience and expertise will put any couple at ease.

As a boutique wedding planning and design firm, we take a personal approach to every event. CHAD BIGGS EVENT PLANNING & DESIGN wants to get to know you, your interests, and most importantly, your love story. Creativity is where we thrive. We have the ability to transform your vision into a unique design that represents you as a couple. Whether it is a rustic outdoor wedding, an extravagant ballroom wedding, or the simple elegance of a beachside reception, you can be sure it will be something you and your guests have not seen before. 

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