Winston-Salem, NC Areas Served
The community of Winston Salem sits in the Upper Piedmont plateau region of North Carolina. Directly to the west is the Appalachian Mountains and to the east you will find the Atlantic Coastal Plains. The area is rich with history and has now grown into a city of more than 250,000 residents.
Salem came first. The town originated back in 1753 when the first settlers arrived. The town was founded by a Bishop Spangenberg of the Moravian Church. This church is one of the oldest Protestant denominations in the world. Since 1772 Salem has held a world famous event. Every Easter morning they hold a sunrise service in the Moravian Graveyard and the event attracts thousands of worshipers every year. In fact, the town was all Moravian until the Civil War when other folks could finally settle in town. The town of Winston didn’t come about for another century, or 1856. Named after a Revolutionary War hero, Joseph Winston, it was a sleepy county seat until the railroad come in 1868.
That same year a Thomas Brown established a tobacco warehouse in Winston. The first factory was built a few feet away from the warehouse by Pleasant Hanes. In 1875 Richard Reynolds built his factory next to Hanes. Into the 1880s you could find 40 tobacco factories in Winston. Reynolds and Hanes competed for 25 years, absorbing many of those other factories. Hanes finally sold out to Reynolds in 1990 to begin a second career, that being in textiles. The US Post Office began referring to the two towns as Winston Salem. In 1899 they established one post office and the towns were officially incorporated as one town in 1913. The Reynolds Company played a huge role in the history of the city. By 1940 60% of the city workforce worked for Reynolds tobacco or Hanes textile factories. Reynolds imported so much French cigarette paper and Turkish tobacco that the city was designated as an official port of entry even though it was 200 miles inland! In 1929 the Reynolds Building skyscraper went up and became the model for the Empire State Building two years later. Today you will find corporate headquarters for not only Reynolds and Hanes but also Lowes, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Blue Rhino propane exchange to name but a few. Also in town is the campus of Wake Forest University and the Wake Forest Medical Center. Public and private investments have also created the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter in downtown Winston Salem. This district features innovative ventures into business, biomedical research and engineering, information technology and digital media. It also has apartment style living and community events. The community and surrounding area has much to offer with many historical venues and attractions and with the thriving economy there are plenty of shopping opportunities, dining out and nightlife. The Hanes Mall is one of the largest shopping areas in North Carolina.
A quick 20 minute drive to the southeast down the Interstate and you’ll find yourself in High Point, North Carolina, a very interesting city. With a current population of over 111,000 residents it also has a very unique history. A history that has earned it the title of “Furniture Capital of the World”. The name of the city came from the fact that it is located on the highest point on the railroad between Charlotte and Goldsboro. English and German immigrants started settling there in 1856. Because of its location it grew quickly. It was incorporated in 1859 and was a manufacturing center for woodworking, textiles and tobacco. The first furniture factory opened in 1889. By the turn of the century there were over 40 furniture manufacturers. Bankruptcies, the Great Depression and most recently Global competition from the likes of China have changed the industry. Now High Point is known for the largest furniture Market in the world. Twice a year close to 100,000 retailers descend on the city to see the furniture on display at the market to put in their annual orders. Outside of the furniture industry you’ll find a handful of other corporate offices as well as High Point University.
Also 20 miles from Winston Salem but more directly south is the smaller city of Thomasville. With a population currently of about 27,000, the town dates back to 1852. John Warwick Thomas, a state senator and owner of 384 acres, invested in the railroad to encourage it to come through the area. When it did he built its first store. It was incorporated in 1857 and became known as the “Chair City”. With furniture coming out of High Point several factories were built in Thomasville to produce chairs. You also can’t miss the 30 foot tall chair that stands right downtown next to the oldest train depot in the state.
Considering itself to be the heart of the Piedmont Triad is Kernersville. A city of 24,000 residents it is only ten miles due east from Winston Salem. A town dating back to an Irishman settling down in the spot in 1756. In 1791 George Washington ate at Dobson’s Tavern. It was finally incorporated in 1873. A lot of the surrounding farm ground has been sold and now developed into large middle to upper class housing developments. Also in recent years they have seen the addition of quite a few shopping centers.
Now over 20,000 residents call Clemmons home. Located ten miles southeast of Winston Salem, right down Interstate 40. Originally called Clemmonsville, the village was first founded in 1802 and finally incorporated in 1986. Its steady and consistent growth is attributed to its close proximity to Winston Salem. A wonderful recreational feature is just south of town, that being Tanglewood Park located on the Yadkin River. The park is known for its Festival of Lights, the Tanglewood Park Arboretum and Rose Garden and two golf courses, one being designed by Robert Trent Jones.
Lexington sits 20 miles due south of Winston Salem and has become a bedroom community for not only this city but also for Greensboro, High Point and even Charlotte. The current population is around 20,000 residents. The town dates back to 1775 when it was first settled by Europeans. Until the late 1990s Lexington was dominated by the textile and furniture industries, much like its neighbors. Diversification has brought in other manufacturers such as PPG Industries with paint, Jeld-Wen with windows and doors, Kaufman Trailers and Diebold with banking technology. With the Yadkin Valley Wine Country close and also calling themselves the Barbeque Capital of the World you’ll find plenty to do in Lexington.
Nine years ago Lewisville celebrated its 150th anniversary, even though it wasn’t incorporated until 1991. It was incorporated at that time to protect a concerted effort by the community to maintain its small town charm. The town is built around the original town square. This included some aggressive commercial bans such as no drive- through restaurants. Lewisville is only 10 miles straight west of Winston Salem and currently has a population of around 14,000 residents. Its history takes you back into the 1700s when the township was originally settled. The community has developed a fierce pride in knowing that you and your family are safe and embrace a calming peace of mind. A very nice small town!