The area we now call Winston-Salem in North Carolina is known as the City of the Arts and is just one of the many names that refers to this lovely part of the country. Known as a center of industrial progress, furniture and tobacco, the people of this area are incredible innovators. It might not surprise you to know that they are also avid sports fans, taking pride in their teams and fields. At any time you can check online to attend a basketball, baseball, football, or hockey game. They have a special place in their hearts for their baseball, with baseball scoreboards lit with the colors of their team.
In 1753 a group of Moravian settlers arrived at a breath taking area of North Carolina and named it Bethabara. It was just a few years later that the actual decision was made for the town and they decided on Salem, a derivative of the Hebrew word shalom, which means peace. They began building their community for their fellow church members and soon there were a number of residences. The town of Winston was founded in 1849 and this was the area that focused on more industrial and retail ventures, which included building furniture and the tobacco plantations. It wasn’t until 1889 that the two towns were combined.
The well known Reynolds family had a major role in both city and political life of the Winston-Salem area. It was due to this family that much of the financial success of the area occurred. Other thriving businesses were established, including bottling, hosiery, textile and oil companies. The natural beauty of the area seemed to draw not only the residents but businesses as well.
The historic portions of Winston-Salem have always been a focus of the people. They also held the arts in such high regard that they were the first city in North Carolina to have established an arts council. The diversity of art interests play out in Winston-Salem through an incredible array of schools, galleries, performing arts centers and the many festivals that are held each year.
There was never any doubt that education is highly prized, as there are numerous public and private schools as well as universities and colleges. They have many renowned higher level educational institutions, including one of the first Black American universities in the country and women’s colleges. The people of Winston-Salem promote education side by side with their fervent love of sports. The stadiums are often filled to capacity with fans for baseball, basketball, and football as well as attendance for their swimming teams. Baseball games are often played into overtime with the baseball scoreboards following every run.
There is pride in the history of Winston-Salem, and any visitor will be awe struck at the incredible number of restored museums and architecture. There are educational tours and exhibits for young and old alike. The attendance of any sports game is a gala event, complete with music and the lights of their electronic scoreboards.
The Winston-Salem of today has been able to retain much of the majestic beauty of the North Carolina countryside. Even with the expansion of interstate highways, shopping malls and the incredible growth of the area, the residents can enjoy both scenery as well as some of the public gardens.
What started out as a small church community next to an industrial minded town has been merged into a city that offers much to the visitor and is a welcomed home for those that live there. A beautiful blend of lifestyles, balanced by the arts makes Winston-Salem an example of North Carolina’s best.