Salem is a neighborhood located inside of the city limits of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This area got its name from the original high school in this area–Salem High School. In recent years it has acquired a bad reputation due to crime that took place there. It is not as dangerous as people think, but does have problems with drugs and violent crimes which we will discuss later on. This neighborhood is within walking distance of Old Town (Winston-Salem’s downtown district). It also offers easy access to Hanes Mall Boulevard via either Edgewood Avenue or Business 40/421 . The community was established in 1910 for African Americans and has a rich history. It is home to two historically black universities, Bennett College for women and Salem college .
Salem was originally part of the Silk Hope community. The first African American post office in North Carolina was located in Salem at the time when it was a separate community from Winston-Salem. This post office served the residents of Salem as well as those who worked on nearby Reynolds tobacco farms . It also housed the only bank owned by African Americans before desegregation .
In 1914 an elementary school opened up inside of Salem that offered classes for grades 1-7, later adding 8th grade in 1930 (it would become as high school). The original location of the school was located on Gillespie Street but later a new location was built at 2401 Dunleith Avenue .
Salem is still a working class community with African American residents making up approximately 70% of the population. It also has a growing Hispanic community and non-Hispanic whites as well. In fact it has one of the largest Hispanic communities–if not THE largest–in the city of Winston Salem. The median household income for this area is $31,938 (North Carolina’s average is $48,256) which might have something to do with its affordability when compared to other neighborhoods in Winston-Salem that offer similar amenities like shopping and dining (Old Town).
Even though Salem offers affordable housing, crime can be an issue in this neighborhood. In 2014 the Winston-Salem Police Department (WSPD) reported 20 homicides, 84 rapes, 900 robberies and 1,384 aggravated assaults. All of these crimes took place inside of the city limits which means a good portion happened in Salem .
Today Salem is home to many great amenities and has the potential for growth. It offers an alternative for those who are interested in an urban lifestyle without actually living IN a city with a low-cost of living. This makes it a place where first time home buyers can get their start on the property ladder as well as young professionals looking to start families. Since it’s close to downtown its also easy access for restaurants, rentals, shopping, entertainment etc that Old Town has to offer .
Salem may not be one of Winston-Salem’s most upscale neighborhoods but it’s affordable and growing which might make it worth considering when purchasing a home within the city limits!