Winston-Salem Historical Facts

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Downtown Winston-Salem, Town SquareEver wondered about the history of some of the buildings in downtown Winston-Salem? There’s lots of history there, and many stories to be told, but we’d be writing a book if we told you them all. Instead, here’s some interesting facts to tickle your curiosity. Want to learn more? Search the site for more articles. More are added every week.

  • 1889: Winston and Salem consolidated their post offices and became the hyphenated city of Winston-Salem. The city officially merged in 1913.
  • 1892: The Zindendorf hotel on Glade St burned to the ground on Thanksgiving Day. The fire ended a brief dream that Winston might become a resort town.
  • 1926: The Safe Bus Company is founded by a group of private bus drivers and is believed to be the largest black-owned transit system in the world until 1972.
  • 1929: The R.J. Reynold’s office building is completed. The building was designed by architects Shreve and Lamb, who later went on to design the Empire State Building.
  • 1930: Dewey’s bakery opens its doors at 114 W. 4th St in Winston-Salem.
  • 1937: Krispy Kreme opened its first doughnut shop in Winston-Salem, in a rented building on S. Main St. The shop sold directly to customers in the historic district.
  • 1940’s: 60% of W-S workers worked either for Reynolds or in the Hanes textile factories.
  • 1983: Stevens Center for the Performing Arts opens in the old Carolina Theater.
  • 1989: A tornado produces over $25 million in F3 damage on a SW to NE track through the city, striking colonial-era neighborhoods and parts of downtown.
  • 1999: RJR and Nabisco are split into two companies, returning the RJR headquarters to Winston-Salem.

Winston-Salem Scavenger Hunt

If you go on the Winston-Salem Scavenger Hunt you can learn about all these places and more. Scavenge across the city searching for clues as you learn about Winston’s past and travel through time to places and times from the days of old. The Scavenger hunt will be in its third season this year, and will most likely take place in the Spring (as the first one, which took place in the summer, proved a tad toasty). Stay tuned to We Love Winston for details, coming soon.

About The Author:

Alex has lived in Winston-Salem since 2004. He has seen the city grow up from a time when almost no one gathered downtown, to today's thriving and bustling city with great selections of restaurants, events, concerts, and more. He's proud to be part of the Arts and Innovation movement.

When he's not sipping a draft at Foothills brewery, chowing down on a tomato pie at Mozelle's for lunch, or dancing to bluegrass at the Ramkat, you'll catch him hitting balls at Miller Park, or hiking Pilot Mountain with his wife and two pups.

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