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Zebulon, North Carolina
Zebulon, North Carolina 01.jpg
"The Town of Friendly People"
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
Counties Wake, Johnston, Nash (Partial), Franklin (Partial)
Incorporated 1907
Named for Zebulon Baird Vance
 • Total 4.94 sq mi (12.80 km2)
 • Land 4.92 sq mi (12.74 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.06 km2)
322 ft (98 m)
 • Total 4,433
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,203.13/sq mi (464.50/km2)
Demonym(s) Zebulonian
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code 919
FIPS code 37-76220
GNIS feature ID 0997745

Zebulon is the easternmost town in Wake County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 4,433 at the 2010 census. Zebulon is part of the Research Triangle metropolitan region. Five County Stadium, home to the Carolina Mudcats minor league baseball team, is located in the town.


Carolina Mudcats at Five County Stadium
Five County Stadium in Zebulon

In 1906 the Raleigh and Pamlico Sound Railroad Company decided to bring the railroad through the Whitley and Horton family farms in eastern Wake County. Edgar B. Barbee and Falconer B. Arendell organized the Zebulon Company for development that same year. The company received its charter on February 15, 1906. Shortly thereafter, they began to divide up their 49 acres (20 ha) into lots, blocks, streets and avenues. On February 16, 1907, the town was officially recognized as Zebulon, North Carolina. The town was named after Zebulon Baird Vance, the Governor of North Carolina during the American Civil War. The first election was held in May 1907, and the first elected mayor was Thomas J. Horton.

In 1997 Zebulon annexed the neighboring community of Wakefield, increasing the total area inside the corporate limits to 2,115 acres (8.56 km2) and the population to 3,908. The population had grown to 4,433 by 2010.

There are three properties in Zebulon listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Wakelon School, Bennett Bunn Plantation, and the George and Neva Barbee House.


Zebulon is located at 35°49′32″N 78°19′0″W / 35.82556°N 78.31667°W / 35.82556; -78.31667 (35.825523, -78.316675).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.2 square miles (10.8 km2), of which 4.1 square miles (10.7 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.06 km2), or 0.57%, is water.

Zebulon 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 situates Zebulon about three hours by car west of Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, and four hours east of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Zebulon is located on an elevated portion of land between the Little River and Moccasin Creek.


Zebulon 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.
1910 482
1920 953 97.7%
1930 860 −9.8%
1940 1,070 24.4%
1950 1,378 28.8%
1960 1,534 11.3%
1970 1,839 19.9%
1980 2,055 11.7%
1990 3,173 54.4%
2000 4,046 27.5%
2010 4,433 9.6%
2019 (est.) 5,917 33.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Zebulon racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 2,554 37.0%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 2,741 39.71%
Native American 29 0.42%
Asian 78 1.13%
Other/Mixed 364 5.27%
Hispanic or Latino 1,137 16.47%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 6,903 people, 1,884 households, and 1,274 families residing in the town.

Parks and recreation

  • Little River Park – natural park situated along the Little River with a dam and waterfall; picnic areas and hiking trails
  • Zebulon Community Park – 47 acres (190,000 m2) and includes two basketball courts, athletic fields, walking trails, championship disc golf course, picnic shelters, playground, and fitness stations
  • Whitley Park – picnic areas, two playgrounds, tennis courts, benches and various shelters
  • Gill Street Park – basketball courts, playgrounds, and picnic areas
  • Zebulon Elementary School Park – two baseball fields, picnic shelter, soccer field, playground, grass volleyball court
  • Wakelon Elementary School Park – two multipurpose fields, picnic shelter



  • Air: Zebulon is served by Raleigh-Durham International Airport, which is located in northwestern Wake County off I-40 and I-540.
  • Interstate highway: Zebulon is located halfway between I-95 and I-40. I-95 is accessible by driving east on US 64. I-40 is accessible by driving west on US 64/264 (Knightdale Bypass) to the I-440 beltline and heading south.
  • Zebulon is not served directly by passenger trains. Amtrak has stops in Raleigh, Rocky Mount and Selma.
  • Local bus: The Triangle Transit Authority operates buses that serve the region and connect to municipal bus systems in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.


  • US 64 and US 264 split in Zebulon. East of Zebulon they provide access to the Outer Banks, US 64 via Rocky Mount, and US 264 via Wilson. West of Zebulon the two roads remain merged as the Knightdale Bypass which connects eastern Wake County to Raleigh. There is also a Business US 64 which connects Zebulon, Wendell, and Knightdale and represents several former alignments of US 64. Interstate 540 also connects 64 Business, 264 Bypass, I-440 and I-40.
  • NC 96 is a primary north–south highway through the town. It connects Zebulon to Rolesville to the north and Selma to the south.
  • NC 39 is another north–south highway that connects Selma to Louisburg and Henderson. It passes to the east of Zebulon near Five County Stadium.
  • NC 97 is a former alignment of US 64. It parallels US 64 and connects several small unincorporated communities along its route.


Zebulon's largest employer is GlaxoSmithKline, which operates a facility in the town and employs over 1,500 people. Other major employers in the town are US Food Services Inc., Nomacorc LLC, Nomaco, Inc., and Devil Dog. In addition to these businesses, WakeMed operates the Zebulon/Wendell Outpatient and Skilled Nursing Facility, a satellite facility for the hospital's primary location in Raleigh. In rural areas of the town, agriculture is still an important aspect of the local economy with products such as cotton, tobacco, wheat, corn and soybeans being grown. Zebulon is also home to a booming coat making industry, relying heavily on tourists to support this business.


Primary and secondary education

Zebulon is home to four public schools: Wakelon Elementary School, Zebulon Elementary School, and Zebulon Middle School. High school students attend nearby East Wake High School in Wendell.

There is one charter school, East Wake Academy, and one private school, Heritage Christian Academy.

Higher education

Higher education is provided by Wake Technical Community College or by other educational institutions in Wake County and surrounding areas. These institutions teach medicine, law, religion, the arts, and nursing to name a few. Institutions such as North Carolina State University, Shaw University and Meredith College, East Carolina University, UNC Chapel Hill, Duke University, Campbell University, Peace College and St. Augustine's College


The Wake County Public Library System operates a branch facility in Zebulon.

Notable people

  • Clifton Daniel, editor of the New York Times and son-in-law of President Harry Truman
  • Nick Driver, singer-songwriter
  • Marty Gearheart, member of the West Virginia House of Delegates
  • Jim Pearce, former MLB player for the Washington Senators and Cincinnati Redlegs
  • Johnny Perry, professional strongman competitor
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