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.
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.
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.
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.