As the name suggests, the town of Holly Springs in southern Wake County originated at a place where freshwater trickles from deep aquifers and where 40-foot-tall holly trees have endured storms and droughts, wars and depressions, and times of peace and prosperity. In Colonial times, a small cluster of homes and businesses formed around the original holly springs in an area that once was a Tuscarora Indian hunting ground. The tiny community included a sawmill, cotton gin, and store. In later years, a few miles to the rth, Archibald Leslie purchased 180 acres at the intersection of two roads near ather freshwater spring. He opened a tailoring business and store, and began construction on a 38-room mar. Today all that remains of the Leslie estate is the main house, listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Leslie-Alford-Mims House. A short dirt trail winds through the woods to the springs.