Grand Highland Estates gets its name from the land. Located on a ridge – “high land” – the drive into the community offers stunning long-range views of the surrounding land and valleys. The impressive stone entrance with double gates and heavy landscaping complements the land and creates a “grand” sense of arrival and place.

Honoring History

The land that is now Grand Highland Estates was once a thriving dairy farm owned by Douglas Darch and his wife, Helen. Originally from Ohio, Douglas and Helen purchased a small farm in the rolling countryside of Wake Forest in 1951.

At that time, Northern Wake County was home to several dairy farms. It wasn’t unusual to drive through the back roads and see cows dotting the landscape. This was the perfect place for the Darch’s new business and home.

Douglas had degrees in Dairy Husbandry, Agronomy, and Agricultural Economics from Ohio State University and a strong work ethic. Starting out small, with 15 heifers, he worked hard and built a very successful dairy business.

Over the years, Douglas played an active role in the dairy industry. He was an advocate for local and North Carolina farmers. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of the NC Milk Commission by the Governor, and the NC Dairy Foundation. He also served as Chairman of the NC Farm Bureau, President of the Pine State Milk Producers Association, on the Board of Directors of Southern States Cooperative, and the American Dairymen’s Association.

Douglas and Helen raised 6 children on the farm. They were very involved in their community and church. They were well-known and respected and made a positive impact in the community and in the lives of those they touched along the way.

The Darch children inherited the family farm. No longer a working farm, the land was beckoning for new life.

New life begins at Grand Highland Estates

When Developers Henry MacNair and Will MacNair decided to purchase the Darch land, they wanted to create a grand gated luxury home community that preserved the natural beauty of the land while honoring its rich history. The old farm, with its rolling topography, beautiful vistas, and perfect blend of pasture land and mature hardwoods, dictated the land plan. Following the ridge with the entrance road and working with the natural contours of the land, the land was disturbed as little as possible.

To honor the history of the land, Henry envisioned combining rustic elements of the past with luxury elements of the present. This is evidenced from the wagon wheels incorporated in the grand stone gated entrance. Naming one of the streets in the community “Legacy Ridge Lane” is another reminder of the history of the land and those who came before.

“Our commitment to create a community that preserves the land’s natural beauty, honors its rich history, and provides beautiful homesites for luxury estate homes – all inside a grand gated entrance – is evident at Grand Highland Estates. We invite you to come see for yourself.”