winston salem

Winston-Salem is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 185,776; in 2004 the city annexed an additional 17,483 raising the population to 223,000. It is the county seat and largest city of Forsyth County and the fourth-largest city in the state. Winston-Salem is a prominent municipality in the Piedmont Triad region and is home to one of the tallest office buildings in the region, the Wachovia Center. It is often referred to as the "Twin City" for its dual heritage, although "Camel City" is another popular nickname, referring to the city's prominent tobacco industry (after Camel cigarettes). Many locals, however, use the shortened name "Winston" in informal speech. Winston-Salem is the home of Wake Forest University, a nationally distinguished private university.

The Old Salem district and related Historic Bethabara site are the city's oldest historical attractions. Also of historical interest is Reynolda Village (which includes Reynolda Gardens and the Reynolda House Museum of American Art). Other sites of interest include the Horne Creek Historic Farm, Tanglewood Park, the SciWorks educational facility, and SECCA, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art. The city's major sports and entertainment venues are organized in a group known as the Winston-Salem Entertainment-Sports Complex.

The Winston-Salem metropolitan area (MSA) has an estimated population of 441,607 according to the 2004 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau. As of 2007, the combined statistical area (CSA) of Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point, the Piedmont Triad, has a population of 1,535,926 making it the 30th largest metropolitan area in the USA. Source: US Bureau of the Census, Estimates of the Population, Table CBSA-EST2007-02



The origin of the town of Salem dates back to January 1753, when Bishop August Gottlieb Spangenberg, on behalf of the Moravian Church, selected a settlement site in the three forks of Muddy Creek. He called this area "die Wachau" (Latin form: Wachovia) named after the Austrian estate of Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf, Wachovia Bank takes its name from this area where it was founded. The land, just short of 99,000 acres (400 km²), was subsequently purchased from John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville.

On November 17, 1753, the first settlers arrived at what would later become the town of Bethabara. This town, despite its rapid growth, was not designed to be the primary settlement on the tract. Instead, the guidance of the Lord was sought for selection of a new town by drawing lots among sites which were suitable.

The town established on the chosen site was given the name of Salem (from the Arabic word Salam for "peace") chosen for it by the Moravians' late patron, Count Zinzendorf. On 6 January, 1766, the first tree was felled for the building of Salem. Salem was a typical Moravian settlement congregation with the public buildings of the congregation grouped around a central square, today Salem Square. These included the Church, a Brethren's House and a Sisters' House for the unmarried members of the Congregation, which owned all the property in town. For many years only members of the Moravian Church were permitted to live in the settlement. This practice had ended by the American Civil War. Many of the original buildings in the settlement have been restored or rebuilt and are now part of Old Salem. Salem Square and "God's Acre", the Moravian Graveyard, are the site each Easter Morning of the world famous Moravian sunrise service. This service, sponsored by all the Moravian church parishes in the City, attracts thousands of worshippers each year and has earned the name of "the Easter City" for Winston-Salem.


In 1849 the town of Winston was founded, named after a local hero of the Revolutionary War, Joseph Winston, who was well-known in the town of Salem. Shortly thereafter both Winston and Salem were incorporated into the newly formed Forsyth County. It thrived as an industrial town, producing tobacco products, furniture and textiles. In 1851 Winston was designated the county seat, and, with plans to connect the cities of Winston and Salem, the county courthouse square was placed just one mile (1.6 km) north of Salem's square.


In 1889, the United States Post Office Department combined the mail offices for the two towns, and the towns were officially joined as "Winston-Salem" in 1913.

The Reynolds family, namesake of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, played a large role in the history and public life of Winston-Salem.

Notable early businesses

  • R. J. Reynolds established the second-largest tobacco firm in the global tobacco industry in Winston-Salem in 1874. Today, RJR is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc., also headquartered in the city.
  • Wachovia Bank and Trust was formed in 1911 by the merger of Wachovia National Bank (founded 1879) and Wachovia Loan and Trust (founded 1893). The company is today located in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • The J.A. and C.E. Bennett Marble and Granite Works was established in 1885.
  • In 1903, R. J. Reynolds advertised in the Winston Newspaper horse stud service for $15.00.
  • In 1906, the Bennett Bottling Company produced Bennett's Cola, a "Fine Carbonic Drink." The name was later changed to Winston-Salem Bottling Works in 1915.
  • In 1928, teenager Thad Garner used $600 he had saved driving the high school bus to buy a barbecue stand. Soonafter, the Garners began selling a spicy barbecue sauce that Thad's mother was making in her kitchen. This sauce became Texas Pete, one of the best-selling hot sauces in the Southeast United States.
  • In 1937 Krispy Kreme opened its first doughnut shop in Winston-Salem, in a rented building on South Main Street. The shop sold directly to customers in the historic district.
  • In 1948 Piedmont Airlines was officially formed out of the old Camel City Flying Service. The airline was based at Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem but marked its first commercial flight out of Wilmington on February 20,1948. On that morning Piedmont Airlines flight 41 departed Wilmington, NC for Cincinnati, with stops in Southern Pines, Charlotte, Asheville, Tri-Cities and Lexington. Piedmont would grow to become one of the top airlines in the country. It was purchased by USAir (now USAirways) in 1987 and the merger was complete in 1989. Piedmont's last flight was in August of that year bringing an end to one of the greatest commercial aviation successes in history. USAirways still maintains a reservations center in the city (INTRO) housed in the old Piedmont Reservations office.
  • In 1949 Matt Long opened Long Engineering Company in Winston-Salem (later to become Long Communications Group), now named OneSource Building Technologies, a leading Audio/Visual, Sound & Lighting services company.
  • In 1953 James William Bell opened Bell Brothers Cafeteria in Winston-Salem, and the location has remained the same for approximately 53 years. Now the restaurant is called Bell and Sons cafeteria and is owned and operated by James and his two sons Wayne and Randy.


Winston-Salem is located at (36.102764, -80.260491).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 109.6 square miles (283.9 km²), of which, 108.8 square miles (281.9 km²) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.0 km²) of it (0.71%) is water.

In April 2007 Winston Salem, along with several other North Carolina cities, signed legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to pre-1990 levels, in an effort to combat global warming.


Historical populations

1950 87,811
1980 131,885
1990 143,485
2000 185,776
2004 222,682

As of the census of 2000, there are 185,776 people, with a total urban population of 299,290, 76,247 households, and 46,205 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,706.7 people per square mile (659.0/km²). There are 82,593 housing units at an average density of 758.8/sq mi (293.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city is 55.57% White, 37.10% African American, 0.31% Native American, 1.13% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.29% from other races, and 1.56% from two or more races. 8.64% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 76,247 households out of which 28.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.2% are married couples living together, 16.6% have a female householder with no husband present, and 39.4% are non-families. 33.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.7% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.32 and the average family size is 2.95.

In the city the population is spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 11.7% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 88.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 84.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $37,006, and the median income for a family is $46,595. Males have a median income of $32,398 versus $26,335 for females. The per capita income for the city is $22,468. 15.2% of the population and 11.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 22.0% of those under the age of 18 and 11.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

A 2006 cost of living survey (Mercer) ranked Winston-Salem as the least expensive city in the U.S. or Europe, 124th worldwide - slightly over half as expensive as living in Moscow.


In 2008 Winston-Salem was named as the most affluent city in North Carolina (Over 200,000people). It is the location of the corporate headquarters of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc., Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T), TW Garner Food Company (makers of Texas Pete), HanesBrands, Inc., Lowes Foods Stores, Southern Community Bank and ISP Sports. The Wachovia Corporation was based in Winston-Salem until it merged with First Union Corporation in September 2001; the corporate headquarters of the combined company are now in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. Although traditionally associated with the textile, furniture, and tobacco industries, Winston-Salem is attempting to attract new businesses in the nanotech, high-tech and bio-tech fields. Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is the largest employer in Winston-Salem. Blue Rhino, the nation's largest propane exchange company and a division of Ferrellgas, is also headquartered in Winston-Salem. In December 2004, the city landed a deal with Dell, Inc. to build a computer assembly plant nearby in southeastern Forsyth County. A portion of downtown Winston-Salem has been recently designated as the Piedmont Triad Research Park for biomedical and information technology research and development. Currently, the research park is undergoing an expansion, with hopes of jumpstarting the city's economy.

Features and attractions



Winston-Salem's public school system is Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, which has most of its schools inside Winston-Salem. WS/FC Schools include 41 elementary schools, 17 middle schools and 15 high schools.


Private and parochial schools also make up a significant portion of Winston-Salem’s educational establishment.

  • Salem Academy, located in Old Salem, has been providing education to young women since 1772.
  • Until 2001 Winston-Salem was home to Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School (now in Kernersville, North Carolina), one of only 3 Catholic High Schools in North Carolina. Catholic elementary schools include St. Leo The Great and Our Lady of Mercy (which now resides on the same location as the original Bishop McGuinness). Calvary Baptist Day School(the largest christian school in the area), Redeemer Presbyterian and St. John's Lutheran are some of the private Christian schools in Winston. Forsyth Country Day School (in Lewisville, North Carolina) and Summit School are the secular private schools in the city.

Post-Secondary Institutions

Winston-Salem also has a number of universities, including:


Museums are an important portion of Winston-Salem's heritage. Most famous of Winston-Salem's museums is Old Salem Museums & Gardens, a living history museum centered on the main Moravian settlement founded in 1766. Along with the original eighteenth century buildings, Old Salem is also home to the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), a gallery of eighteenth and nineteenth century furniture, ceramics, and textiles. The Reynolda House Museum of American Art (built by the founder of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and now affiliated with Wake Forest University) is another of Winston-Salem's premiere museums. The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) is a local art museum worthy of interest. The Wake Forest University Museum of Anthropology is an excellent anthropological museum, maintained by Wake Forest University, that has many fascinating artifacts and other important pieces of history. The city also offers places oriented for children. SciWorks is an interactive museum for children, teaching basics in all areas of science, and offering fun experiments and educational tours. The Children's Museum of Winston-Salem is based on literature, incorporating classic stories and fairy tales into its permanent and traveling exhibits for younger children.


Winston-Salem is often referred to as the "City of the Arts," in part because of its history, in having the first arts council in the United States, founded in 1949, and for the local art schools and attractions. These include the North Carolina School of the Arts, The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem, the Piedmont Opera Theater, the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Stevens Center for the Performing Arts, and the Sawtooth Center for Visual Arts. There are many galleries and workshops in the city's art district centered at Sixth and Trade streets. The city plays host to the National Black Theatre Festival and the RiverRun International Film Festival. Winston-Salem is also the home of the Art-o-mat, and houses nine of them throughout the city. The city is also home to Carolina Music Ways, a grassroots arts organization focussing on the area's diverse, interconnected music traditions, including bluegrass, blues, jazz, gospel, old-time stringband, and Moravian music. Once a year is it also the home of the Heavy Rebel Weekend music festival. Winston-Salem is also home to one of the largest 'Indie' music & art scenes in the state. The Werehouse, a local hang-out, artists' residence, and theatre is the center of this growing lifestyle and artistic genre.


Reynolda Gardens is a formal garden set within a larger woodland site, originally part of the R. J. Reynolds country estate.


Winston-Salem provides a number of athletic attractions. The Warthogs are a Class A Minor-League baseball team currently affiliated with the Chicago White Sox. The team plays its home games at historic Ernie Shore Field from April to early September. Its players have included Carlos Lee, Joe Crede, Jon Garland, and Aaron Rowand, all of whom have played extensively at the major league level. The newly established Twin City Cyclones hockey team also make Winston-Salem home. They are in the Southern Professional Hockey League. Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem State University both have outstanding basketball programs. Wake Forest is an original member of the prestigious Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Among the successful NBA players who have graduated from Wake Forest are Tim Duncan, Josh Howard, Muggsy Bogues, Chris Paul, and Rodney Rogers. Wake Forest plays basketball in the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which quickly became one of the nation's toughest venues under Coach Skip Prosser. Since Coach Prosser's arrival, Wake has frequently been nationally ranked in the Top 20 and made numerous post season appearances, including a trip to the NCAA's Sweet Sixteen in 2004. Since Coach Prosser's untimely death on July 26, 2007, Prosser's longtime assistant and friend Dino Gaudio has guided the Deacons. Wake Forest University's football team plays its games at BB&T Field (formerly Groves Stadium), which seats 31,500 and is located across the street from the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Wake's football team won the ACC football championship in 2006 and played in the 2007 Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. Wake Forest also fields outstanding women's teams; its field hockey team won three consecutive national championships between 2002 and 2004. NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series racing takes place from March until August at city-owned Bowman Gray Stadium, after which the stadium is converted for football and is used by Winston-Salem State for Rams games. Besides major sports, Winston-Salem offers a variety of community and children's programs. Winston-Salem's YMCAs are a great place for exercise and athletics for both children and adults. Community recreation centers also provide cost-effective exercise and sports. Dodgeball is a recreational sport that has recently gained regional interest. Winston-Salem Parks and Recreation also maintains several community pools for which memberships are available.

The high school basketball talent in the Winston-Salem area has also traditionally been one of, if not the best, in North Carolina.


Winston-Salem is home to Hanes Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in North Carolina. The area surrounding the mall along Stratford Road, Silas Creek Parkway, and Hanes Mall Boulevard has become the city's largest shopping district. Numerous shopping centers have been built in the area, including Hanes Point Shopping Center, Hanes Commons, Pavilions, Stone's Throw Plaza, Silas Creek Crossing and Thruway Shopping Center.

Other major shopping areas are found along Peters Creek Parkway (home of Marketplace Mall), University Parkway, Jonestown Road, North Point Boulevard, Reynolda Road, and Robinhood Road.



US 52 (shared with NC 8) is the predominant north-south freeway through Winston-Salem; it passes through the heart of downtown. Business 40 is the main east-west freeway through downtown Winston-Salem, but further south, a bypass loop (built in 1993) of I-40 links many of the area's shopping districts. US 311, also a freeway, links Winston-Salem to High Point (southeast) and follows I-40 and US 52 through the Winston-Salem business district. US 421, which shares Business 40 through downtown, splits in the western part of the city onto its own freeway west (signed north) toward Wilkesboro, North Carolina and Boone, North Carolina.

The Winston Salem Northern Beltway is a proposed freeway that will loop around the city to the north, providing a route for the Future I-74 on the eastern section and the Future Auxiliary Route I-274 on the western section. The NCDOT plans for this project to begin after 2010.

By 2011, US 52 south of I-40 will be signed as Spur Route I-285. The Winston-Salem Department of Transportation also plans for the US 311 freeway to be extended north along the east side of the city to Business I-40 by 2030, according to the Long Range Plan.

Other major thoroughfares in Winston-Salem include NC 67 (Silas Creek Parkway & Reynolda Road), NC 150 (Peters Creek Parkway), U.S. Highway 158 (Stratford Road), University Parkway, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, North Point Boulevard, and Hanes Mall Boulevard.


Winston-Salem is served by Greensboro's Piedmont Triad International Airport. The airport also serves much of the surrounding Piedmont Triad area, including High Point, North Carolina.

A smaller airport, known as Smith Reynolds Airport, is located within the city limits, just northeast of downtown. It is mainly used for general aviation and charter flights. Every year, Smith Reynolds Airport hosts an air show for the general public. The Smith Reynolds Airport is home to the Winston-Salem Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol.


Amtrak runs a thruway motorcoach, twice daily in each direction, between Winston-Salem and the Amtrak station in nearby High Point. Buses depart from the Winston-Salem Transportation Center, then stop on the university campus before traveling to High Point. From the High Point station, riders can board the Crescent line, or the Carolinian or Piedmont lines. These lines run directly to local North Carolina destinations as well as cities across the Southeast, as far west as New Orleans and as far north as New York City. Chicago is also accessible by transferring in Washington, D.C.



The Winston-Salem Journal is the main daily newspaper in Winston-Salem.

The Winston-Salem Chronicle is a weekly newspaper that focuses on the African-American community.

Q-Notes, a bi-weekly newspaper serving the LGBT community and published in Charlotte is distributed to locations in Winston-Salem and via home delivery.


Winston-Salem Living Magazine is a full-color, glossy lifestyle magazine that highlights the local people and the community. Includes WSL TV.

Winston-Salem Business Magazine is a full-color magazine highlighting Winston-Salem business. The magazine is available online.

Winston-Salem Monthly magazine, published 12 times a year by Media General, celebrates "living well" in the Twin City by highlighting people, places, and events in this area.

Radio Stations

These radio stations are located in Winston-Salem, and are listed by call letters, station number, and name. Many more radio stations can be picked up in Winston-Salem that are not located in Winston-Salem.

  • WFDD, 88.5 FM, Wake Forest University (NPR Affiliate)
  • WBFJ, 89.3 FM, Your Family Station (Contemporary Christian music)
  • WSNC, 90.5 FM, Winston-Salem State University (Jazz)
  • WXRI, 91.3 FM, Southern Gospel
  • WPAW, 93.1 FM, The Wolf
  • WTQR, 104.1 FM, Country Radio
  • WSJS, 600 AM, News-Talk Radio
  • WTRU, 830 AM, The Truth (Religious)
  • WPIP, 880 AM, Berean Christian School
  • WTIX, 980 AM, Sports Talk
  • WPOL, 1340 AM, The Light Gospel Music
  • WTOB, 1380 AM, Spanish Radio
  • WSMX, 1500 AM, Religious Radio
  • WBFJ, 1550 AM, Christian Teaching & Talk Radio
  • , the Wake Forest University, online, student-run radio station

Television stations

Winston-Salem makes up part of the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point television designated market area. These stations are listed by call letters, channel number, network and city of license.

Surrounding areas

Some minor outlying areas and surrounding municipalities are:

Some nearby major cities are:

Sister cities

Winston-Salem has four sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI):

Famous residents (former and current)

Movies filmed in Winston-Salem

See also


External links

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