Winston-Salem is at a crossroads, really. Let’s remember a time when travel was via oxen cart, horseback, or on foot. A map was an important tool, and the one drawn by Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson’s father, documenting the Great Wagon Road was one of the first based upon first-person surveys.
Salem, founded in 1766, was the southern terminus of the Great Wagon Road. Travel in the 1700s was arduous, but you could say that this Road was a super highway of its time. It connected Philadelphia and the Moravian settlements of Bethlehem and Nazareth in Pennsylvania to the southern outpost in Salem. People were flowing south and goods from North Carolina were headed north.
Textiles became a vital part of the economy in Salem in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The Single Sisters Choir had a successful business weaving linen and sewing leather gloves, which were needed for everyday life in Salem and the excess could be sold to other settlers. Soon, bigger mills and automated weaving looms found a home in Salem processing both wool and cotton.
In the late 1800s, tobacco warehouses and processing plants began cropping up. It was a central place for farmers to bring their crops for sale and manufacturing. These warehouses and plants grew into an empire and set Winston-Salem, as the town became known in 1913, up as a center for manufacturing and finance.
As time passes, many things change. Tobacco fell out of favor and much of the textile business has moved away, but that hasn’t squelched Winston-Salem’s will to survive and excel. With the same industriousness of the turn of the 20th century, Winston-Salem is fueling its drive toward the future with a past rooted in the arts and a determination to find a better way to do things. When innovation and arts come together, they create a synergy that is exhilarating and a city that is vibrant, alive, and welcoming.
The Mast Store in Winston-Salem is in a building that was once the largest retailer in town. Today, we hope you’ll find an experience that hearkens back to “the best place to get it.”
We Are Not Alone
“In nature, nothing exists alone.” — Rachel Carson, 1962Read More
Our world is changing. Maybe there was a boat leaving Middle Earth that we missed. But you don’t need Galadriel to tell you that mankind is having an effect on the planet. And despite chilling warnings and obvious struggles around us as Nature fights to survive humanity, we continue to pollute and punish the earth and, as a direct result, ourselves.
Old-Fashioned Spring Cleaning
No one deep-cleaned like my grandma. She would gather her good old reliables, her trusted cleaning supplies she’d used since they were invented probably, and with her patented elbow grease and will power, she’d refresh, restore, and renew the whole house in one day.Read More
Prepping Your Garden for Spring Planting
I’ve been planning my 2019 garden “grow-list” since summer. Been mulling over varieties I loved, waffling on giving poor-show plants a second chance or not, and basically mapping out 2019 in my garden-crowded head … and dreaming. Because that’s what we gardeners do. Dream. A lot.Read More
The location of the Mast Store in Winston-Salem has a history going back before its opening in 1928 by the Brown-Rogers-Dixson Hardware Co. In fact, Mr. Brown, was in on the ground floor of the Twin City’s growth. His idea that hardware might be an important need to address eventually led to the opening of the city’s largest retail space.
*Photo courtesy of the Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection.