In a town transformed into a city over 100,000 population in less than a decade, historic Cary landmarks also have changed. The field stone home place of Luther Maynard’s family farm became the site of the State Employees’ Credit Union on Walnut Street. For a few years this beautiful building housed the credit union until it was torn down and replaced with the modern building. The current main building of Cary Elementary school, site of the first public high school in North Carolina in 1896 and rebuilt in 1939 after a fire, is beginning a new role as an arts center resource for the Town of Cary.
Maynard Pond has gone through several transformations. It was built as a simple farm pond from a design being used at a research farm at North Carolina State College sometime in the 1950s for watering dairy cattle. Later the pond became part of the first irrigation system built in Wake County used to water tobacco plants on Luther Maynard’s farm. Since the 1960s the pond has been used as a recreation area for people from Cary area neighborhoods and long-time residents fondly remember learning to fish at the pond. Feeding ducks and geese, walking and jogging around the pond, sunbathing, and just sitting beside peaceful water were other activities of those who visited.
When the property was purchased by a developer in the 1970s, the pond became the centerpiece of a new subdivision called Coronado Village. The pond was rezoned to “Resource/Conservation” and purchased in 1989 by the Coronado Village Home Owners Association, an organization which was formed solely to preserve the pond from draining and development. The current zoning designation is “Recreation/Resource.”
The original dam and spillway structures were placed in jeopardy after suffering the effects of Hurricanes Fran in 1996 and Hurricane Floyd in 1999 when they began eroding. In May of 1999 the state (NCDENR) required CVHOA to submit a plan for repair or risk losing the Approval to Impound. CVHOA Board Members began a period of several years of working with an engineer, the Town of Cary, and the NCDENR to create a repair plan and find a way to finance the work. An agreement was made with the Town of Cary for help with financing the repair resulting in Maynard Pond’s designation as a passive stormwater detention facility for Central Cary with a one million gallon capacity.
Repair work was initiated in January of 2004 and after several stages was finally completed in summer of 2006. An Approval to Impound was issued October 9, 2006. The infrastructure is inspected annually by NCDENR and the Emergency Action Plan must be updated annually.
Maynard Pond is a spring-fed headwater of Walnut Creek which flows through Raleigh. The spring is located behind the property parcel at 503 Ralph Drive. The pond has served to water livestock and irrigate crops. It has served as a recreation area and a storm water detention facility for many years. Now such resources are being referred to as “open spaces.” We understand their value in today’s higher-density living areas and see the importance of making the effort to preserve them before they are lost.
The words of a sign posted at Cary Museum in the Page-Walker Arts and History Center advise: “It is hoped that by visiting the Page-Walker Arts and History Center and Cary Museum, one will leave not only with an understanding of how the past influenced the present, but with an awareness that choices we make today become part of tomorrow, and of our history.”
We, as Central Cary residents, are a part of this continuum.
Written by Nancy Mingis