By 1940 America began to recover from the Great Depression. In that same year a new family moved to Oak View. J. Gregory Poole, a Raleigh businessman, purchased the farm as a home for his family. The Pooles made lots of important changes before moving in. They introduced electricity and running water to the farm. They added indoor bathrooms and a new wing to the main house that included a modern indoor kitchen with electric appliances and this family room.
During the 1940s the U.S. entered another major world conflict called World War II. America joined with Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, Canada, and Australia to fight Germany, Italy, and Japan. The war effort was so large that nearly every family was affected by it. Millions of men joined the armed services to fight while millions of women took their place in the work force at home. Nearly every product, from gasoline to sugar, was rationed in order for everyone to receive a small share.
Television wasn’t available yet and most Americans listened to the news on a radio. The Pooles may have heard President Franklin D. Roosevelt share updates about the war on a radio in this room, or listened to popular holiday songs such as “White Christmas” or “I’ll be Home for Christmas.” These songs, still popular today, struck a chord with Americans at a time when many families were separated from each other due to the war.
During World War II live trees were in short supply, so it became patriotic to purchase an artificial tree. Many ornaments sold in the US before the war had been imported from Germany, but after 1939 these imports stopped. Some families threw away their German-made ornaments all together. Oak View received electric power in 1940, so the family’s tree may have been lit by electric lights similar to those seen here.
In 1944 the Pooles sold Oak View. Two more families, the Bryans and the Joneses, would live here before Wake County purchased the land in 1982. The County originally planned to raze all of the farm buildings and construct an office park. However, local historians and a few Wake County Commissioners convinced the County to preserve the buildings and turn a section of the land into a public park. Thanks to their efforts, Historic Oak View County Park opened in 1995.
This concludes our tour of Christmas at Oak View Farm. If you would like to tour the rest of the property, you can find information about accessing our self-guided property tour in our brochure. Thanks for visiting and Happy Holidays!