North Carolina-Forsyth County-April 23

North Carolina People, Places, and Things-April 23

I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.

In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special.

Forsyth County is home to Winston-Salem and a whole lot more. The county was formed in 1849 and was carved out of Stokes County.

Map below of Forsyth County outlined in red.


Forsyth County began as a Moravian settlement in 1753 when Bishop August Gottlieb Spangenberg acquired a hundred-thousand acre tract of land from Lord Granville, one of the lord proprietors of North Carolina. It was on a portion of this expansive tract in 1766 that the Moravians established Salem.

At the same time, a similar Southern industrial center was being formed just to the north of Salem. Winston, a more secular city was officially established in 1851 in honor of a prominent Revolutionary war hero and legislator, Major Joseph Winston. But it was not until after the Civil War that the city of Winston was catapulted to national prominence as a bustling industrial center. Thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit of business tycoons such as R. J. Reynolds and the Hanes family, Winston continued to grow in popularity, industrial and financial importance, ultimately emerging as a national leader in tobacco and textile manufacturing.

Photo of an early Hanes Textile plant.

hanes textiles

The county seat today of Forsyth County is Winston-Salem, NC. It is place that didn’t receive it’s hyphened  name until 1913. In 1913 it was clear there was more to be gained from uniting the region than from remaining apart. And just as they did with the factories that fueled them, the cities merged enabling them to efficiently pool resources and streamline bureaucracy. So in 1913 the side by side cities of Winston and Salem merged.

Today it is one of North Carolina most vibrant cities.

wisnton salem skyline

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