Winston-Salem is the fourth largest city in North Carolina and is located in the Piedmont Triad area of the state. It has a population of over 235,000 people with great diversity. The economy of Winston-Salem has been around for more than 100 years and continues to produce some of the biggest names in retail today like Hanes, Krispy Kreme, Lending Tree and others. Winston-Salem was incorporated on March 1, 1913.
It all began when two farmers made an agreement on land that would become known as ‘Old Town’ where Winston-Salem is now located. They agreed to share the cost of building a new town square after one farmer’s crops were destroyed by hail from a storm passing through. At this time they needed a name for their new town and after much debate Winston was selected. Later, the ‘Salem’ name was added in remembrance of where many citizens came from Salem Massachusetts .
Winston-Salem can attribute much of its success to the influence of Hanes and Reynolds families who helped shape the city’s early history. Businessmen from both families have built and led some of Winston-Salem’s most successful businesses including Hanes, American Safety Razor (now known as American Tobacco), Pilot Life Insurance, Standard Publishing Company and others. The two companies even teamed up in 1989 to build a new research center that was voted ‘The Most Beautiful New Office Building’ by Modern Steel Construction Magazine.
The growth in population has steadily increased over the years with large increases seen after World War II when Reynolds employed nearly 6,000 people at a time during its peak production periods for cigarettes. More recently, a decrease in jobs
Winston-Salem is home to Wake Forest University which has put the city on the map with graduates like Billy Graham who eventually brought his message to the masses through television and radio, PGA great Arnold Palmer and fashion designers Lily Pulitzer and Vera Bradley just to name a few.
The first ever Girl Scout troop started in Winston-Salem in 1917 by Juliette Gordon Low as part of her dream for all girls to have an opportunity at an education. The Girl Scouts have been educating girls for over 100 years now across America and celebrate their founding every year here in our city with a parade.
Winston Salem is a very special place to live in and visit with many attractions for all ages, mainly attributed to it’s forward thinking citizens who have made great strides in culture, education and the arts over the years. We hope you enjoy this tribute to the city of Winston-Salem!
There is also a rich history of motorsports in the area where R. J. Reynolds brought stock car racing to Winston-Salem in 1947 with the first race being held on July 4th of that year at Bowman Gray Stadium which is still located here today and hosts many NASCAR races annually including the prestigious “Winston” Cup event each May, now known as The Sprint All Star Race. This opens a variety of tourism opportunities for our city and has added to our cultural diversity as well!
Additionally, the “Winston” Cup is also held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway which opened in 1960 and is one of only a handful of places around where you can witness 300+ MPH speeds. This too has made a significant impact on our city as a destination for many racing enthusiasts who visit or move here each year.
We hope this gives you an insight into Winston-Salem’s rich history and culture, we would love to have you visit soon so that we may share it with you!