U.S. 1A, the old routing of U.S. 1 through downtown Wake Forest, runs for 5 miles from an intersection with U.S. 1 north to the Franklin County Line.
U.S. 1A was originally routed along Wake Forest Road, which before it was U.S. 1A was designated as the main U.S. 1. This disappeared around 1963, with the opening of the Beltline. The current U.S. 1A was designated when the U.S. 1 bypass around Wake Forest and Youngsville was built in 1953. There is also a U.S. 1A in Franklinton that was completed around this time, so for about ten years there were three different 1A's within 25 miles of each other. Today only the northern two remain.
U.S. 1A goes past two former locations of Wake Forest College. The first served as the college's only building at its founding in 1834. The second location, in the center of Wake Forest, was constructed beginning in the 1880s and served as the campus for the college until its move to Winston-Salem in 1956. Today, the original building is a historic site, and the newer campus a few blocks to the south is the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
The college pre-dated the town of Wake Forest, and the original name of the town was the "Town of Wake Forest College". The name was shortened in 1890 to its current name.