About Joel Lane Museum House

Where Raleigh's History Began

Currently owned by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of North Carolina, the Joel Lane House was built circa 1769, in what was then a very rural part of North Carolina. This restored-to-period plantation manor house was once deemed “the best house in 100 miles”. Joel Lane, a local statesman, politician, slaveholder, landowner, and Patriot, is called “The Father of Raleigh” because he sold 1,000 acres of his land to the State in 1792, on which to build the new capital.

Today, we make it our mission to bring American history to life by providing a rich understanding of regional North Carolina history and the life and times of those who lived in Piedmont North Carolina in the 18th century, with particular emphasis on the Lane family and the 43 enslaved people who lived and labored here. We accomplish this through dynamic storytelling and hands-on experiences, to share history in a meaningful, personal way with visitors of all ages.

Plan a visit to this important historic site, and be transported back in time! Guided tours begin in the Visitors Center at 160 South Saint Mary’s Street, Raleigh, NC 27603.