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Knightdale, North Carolina
Location in Wake County and the state of North Carolina.
Location in Wake County and the state of North Carolina.
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Wake
Incorporated 1927
 • Total 7.71 sq mi (19.98 km2)
 • Land 7.71 sq mi (19.97 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2)
315 ft (96 m)
 • Total 11,401
 • Estimate 
 • Density 2,314.57/sq mi (893.61/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 919
FIPS code 37-36080
GNIS feature ID 1021061

Knightdale is a town in Wake County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,401. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the town's population to be 17,843 as of July 1, 2019. Knightdale's population grew 10.4% from 2010-2013, making it the second fastest-growing community in the Research Triangle region for that time period.

Named for Henry Haywood Knight, a local Wake County landowner who donated land to found a railroad depot, the town was incorporated in 1927. By the 1960s, the economic center of town migrated from the area around the rail depot to U.S. Highway 64, which ran north of downtown Knightdale. Since 1990, the community has experienced a significant population boom, getting its own high school in 2004, and a new freeway bypass in 2006. Since 2010, several new shopping centers have sprung up along Business U.S. 64 (Knightdale Boulevard), the main thoroughfare through town. A large destination park, Knightdale Station Park, opened in 2013 just to the east of the old downtown area as part of a revitalization effort, the park was expanded in 2018 to add an amphitheater. Interstate 540 passes directly through the town before its eastern terminus at Interstate 87, while Interstate 87 (in concurrency with US 64) travels along a southern freeway bypass.


Early history

In 1700, the Lords Proprietor of the Carolina Colony hired John Lawson to explore the area. He began his 1,000-mile (1,600 km) trek near present-day Charleston, South Carolina, and according to his diary, passed through the area sometime in February 1701. He wrote about a meeting with the Tuscarora Native American tribe on the banks of the Neuse River, and with the help of an interpreter, Lawson made peace with the Tuscarora.

After receiving the report from Lawson, the King of England began to apportion these lands to willing settlers. In 1730, John Hinton settled in what would one day be called Knightdale in an area near the Neuse River, not far from where Hodge Road and Old Faison Road now intersect.

As more settlers arrived, the colonial government appointed Hinton to be the Justice of the Peace for Craven County. Eventually, Johnston County was carved out of Craven County in the 1750s and Wake County was carved out of Johnston County in 1771.

When the American Revolution began, Hinton switched his allegiance to the colonials. He became a military leader and played a key role in the first battle of the American Revolution fought on North Carolina soil, the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge. Hinton owned seven plantations in the Knightdale area, of which three are still intact: The Oaks, Midway, and Beaver Dam.

19th century

After independence, the population of the area began to increase, with farmers growing products such as tobacco and cotton. Although slavery was not prominent in Knightdale like locations in the Deep South, it was still visible in the area. There are unmarked grave plots for slaves throughout Knightdale. Although documentation of grave sites has been lost, the burials remain a significant part of the local landscape.

During the Civil War, the Confederate and Union armies were present in the area. The Clay Hill and Midway plantations saw the greatest damage, and after the war had ended, the residents began to rebuild. During this time, nearby Raleigh experienced a population boom. As a result, local leaders redrew the map of Wake County and divided it into townships. The area that became Knightdale was located in St. Matthew's Township, where it still is today.

For many years the Knightdale area was a crossroads served only by a post office. By the end of the 19th century, locals decided there was a need to establish a town. Henry Haywood Knight donated some of his land holdings in the area to the Norfolk and Southern Railroad Company in order to entice the company to build a railroad that would provide freight and passenger service. Although Knight did not live to see the railroad arrive in Knightdale, not long after his death in 1904, the railroad finally came to the community that would bear his name.

20th century

After the railroad and depot were built, the area began to develop quickly. Norfolk and Southern moved families into the community to take care of the railroad, and many of the older homes that exist today in Knightdale were built specifically for the use of railroad workers and their families. The first railroad stationmaster's house can still be seen along the tracks on Railroad Street.

As the community continued to grow, Knightdale received its articles of official incorporation from the North Carolina Legislature on March 9, 1927, with the first mayor being Bennett L. Wall.

On February 7, 1940, a fire broke out in the center of town. The townspeople turned out to help extinguish the fire, but the fire was not brought under control until firefighters arrived from Raleigh with an adequate water supply. Several businesses and homes were destroyed and the townspeople rebuilt the historic downtown area.

2009-04-12 The Home Depot in Knightdale
Home Depot hardware store on US 64 in Knightdale

After World War II, the population of Knightdale grew at a steady pace, thanks to the Baby Boom. The corner drugstore, the bank, and the barber shop located on First Avenue served as places of business, as well as places for social gatherings. Movies were often shown on the wall of the old bank building, which is located at the intersection of First Avenue and Main Street. In 1952 a municipal water system was installed.

Beginning in the 1960s the majority of new businesses in Knightdale began locating along US 64. With the addition of the Mingo Creek sewer outfall in the late 1980s, development on the south side of US 64 began. Subdivisions such as Parkside, Planter's Walk and Mingo Creek subdivisions were built, rapidly increasing the town's population. Between 1990 and 2000 Knightdale's population increased from 1,700 to more than 6,000 residents, making it the seventh fastest-growing town in North Carolina.

Frankie Muniz, a popular television and film actor, grew up in Knightdale. He started his acting career performing the role of Tiny Tim in "A Christmas Carol" for three years. Nominations for his performances include the Hollywood Reporter Young Star Award and the Young Artist of Hollywood Award. He currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Beaver Dam, Henry H. and Bettie S. Knight Farm, and Midway Plantation House and Outbuildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Knightdale is located at 35°47′26″N 78°29′31″W / 35.79056°N 78.49194°W / 35.79056; -78.49194 (35.790549, -78.491982).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 6.2 square miles (16.1 km2), all of it land.

Knightdale is located in the northeast central region of North Carolina, where the North American Piedmont and Atlantic Coastal Plain regions meet. This area is known as the "fall line" because it marks the elevation inland at which waterfalls begin to appear in creeks and rivers. Its central Piedmont location and access to large highways places Knightdale a little over two hours northwest of Wrightsville Beach, NC by car and four hours east of the Great Smoky Mountains.


Knightdale enjoys a moderate subtropical climate, with moderate temperatures in the spring, fall, and winter. Summers are typically hot with high humidity. Winter highs generally range in the low 50s°F (10 to 13 °C) with lows in the low-to-mid 30s°F (-2 to 2 °C), although an occasional 60 °F (15 °C) or warmer winter day is not uncommon. Spring and fall days usually reach the low-to-mid 70s°F (low 20s°C), with lows at night in the lower 50s°F (10 to 14 °C). Summer daytime highs often reach the upper 80s to low 90s°F (29 to 35 °C). The rainiest months are July and August.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 243
1940 352 44.9%
1950 461 31.0%
1960 622 34.9%
1970 815 31.0%
1980 985 20.9%
1990 1,884 91.3%
2000 5,958 216.2%
2010 11,401 91.4%
2019 (est.) 17,843 56.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Knightdale racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 7,175 36.92%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 8,131 41.84%
Native American 78 0.4%
Asian 642 3.3%
Pacific Islander 16 0.08%
Other/Mixed 983 5.06%
Hispanic or Latino 2,410 12.4%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 19,435 people, 6,110 households, and 4,114 families residing in the town.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 11,406 people and 3,754 households in the town. The median value of owner-occupied homes in Knightdale was $174,300. The Homeownership Rate was 71.7%.

Median income for a household was $75,285 in 2011; by comparison, Median Income in North Carolina for the same time period was $46,291. Per capita income for the town was $27,938. For the period 2007-2011, about 5.9% of the population lived below the poverty line; by comparison, 16.1% of North Carolina residents lived below the poverty line.

Among adults age 25 and older, 41.2% had at a bachelor's degree or higher; 93% had earned at least a high school degree.

The population density was 1,837 people per square mile. There were 2,352 housing units at an average density of 877.4 per square mile (338.8/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 50% White, 38.3% African American, 11.4% Hispanic or Latino, 1.7% Asian, 0.6% Native American, 0.01% Pacific Islander, and 3.5% from two or more races.

There were 3,754 households, out of which the Census counted 2,760 as family households; 45.9% of households had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.0% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.47.

Knightdale's median age was 31.6 years. Largest brackets by age include 35–44 years (20.6%); 25–34 years (18.2%); 45–54 years (12.2%); 10–14 years (11.7%). Females made up 54.6% of the population, while men made up 45.4%.

Parks and recreation

Mingo Creek Greenway
Bridge that connects Knightdale's Mingo Creek Greenway to Raleigh's Neuse River Greenway.

Knightdale is served by two parks and two community centers. The Eugene F. Harper Memorial Park is located downtown next to the Harper Park Community Center. The Knightdale Recreation Center is attached to Forestville Elementary's gym. The Knightdale Environmental Park is a trail system that is located in the southern portion of Knightdale.

Knightdale Station

A new community park named "Knightdale Station" has been opened in late summer, 2013. The park construction was completed in two phases: Phase 1 included: a dog park, the "destination" playground, four playing fields (one lighted), paved trails, a picnic shelter, road improvements, parking and restroom facilities. Phase 2 will add covered shelters, tennis courts, an outdoor amphitheater The second phase should be completed in 2014.

Mingo Creek Greenway

The Mingo Creek Greenway was completed in July, 2014. The 3.5 mile, 10-foot wide trail connects Mingo Creek Park in the east to the 33-mile City of Raleigh's Neuse River Trail in the west. The two trails connect over a newly opened pedestrian bridge that spans the Neuse River.



  • Commercial air service for Knightdale is served by Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), which is located approximately 27.9 miles from town in northwestern Wake County.
  • A small general aviation known as Raleigh East Airport lies at the eastern edge of Knightdale.


  • Knightdale Amtrak's closest passenger train service is approximately 12.8 miles west of town in Raleigh.


  • The Triangle Transit Authority operates the Knightdale-Raleigh Express (KRX) which connects Knightdale commuters to municipal bus systems in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.


Knightdale Bypass Bridge
Knightdale Bypass (I-87/U.S. Hwy 64/264) bridge over the Neuse River.

Major routes through and near Knightdale include:

  • I-87, US 64 and US 264 run concurrently along the Knightdale Bypass south and east of town. Knightdale can be accessed via the Hodge Road (Exit 6), Smithfield Road (Exit 9), Wendell Falls Boulevard (Exit 11), and US 64 Business (Exit 13) interchanges.
  • Interstate 540 runs along the west side of town. Knightdale can be accessed via the US 64 Business interchange (Exit 24).
  • US 64 Business, known locally as Knightdale Boulevard, is a former alignment of US 64/US 264 and forms the main commercial district in town. It connects Knightdale to Raleigh and Wendell.


Public education

Knightdale's public schools are administered by the Wake County Public School System, the 19th largest school district in the country. Students in Knightdale attend the following schools, some of which are located in neighboring communities:

Elementary schools

  • Beaverdam Elementary
  • Forestville Elementary
  • Hodge Road Elementary
  • Knightdale Elementary
  • Lake Myra Elementary
  • Lockhart Elementary

Middle schools

  • Carnage Middle School
  • East Wake Middle School
  • Wendell Middle School

High schools

  • Knightdale High School
  • East Wake High School

Higher education

Knightdale has no post-secondary schools. Nearby institutions, all located in nearby Raleigh, include North Carolina State University, Meredith College, Shaw University, Saint Augustine's College and Wake Technical Community College. The Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is in Wake Forest, and the Southeastern Free Will Baptist College is located in nearby Wendell.


The Wake County Public Library System operates a branch facility, the East Regional Library, in Knightdale.

Notable people

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Knightdale para niños

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