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.”
FOOD FOR KIDS 2018 MARKS TEN-YEAR PARTNERSHIP WITH MERRELL FOOTWEAR
"Have you eaten?" That's the secret code for love and care in many families, but it's a question of real consequence for more people than many realize. That's why Mast Store is partnering with Merrell Footwear and local food agencies to turn the answer to that question
into a resounding "yes" in our communities, especially for one of the most vulnerable populations, our children.
On the Cutting Edge
Do you carry a knife? What kind is it – traditional, like a “grandpa” pocket knife, or more modern with open assist and a clip? If you spend much time in the Mast Store knife shop, you’ll find that a simple question can open the door to a million and one possibilities. Purchasing a knife is a personal experience, much like choosing a purse for a woman or a wallet for a man. When you visit the Knife Shop at the Original Mast Store in Valle Crucis or the knife collections in any Mast Store location, you’ll want to consider the answers to three basic questions: What is your budget? How will you be using your knife? Do you prefer a folding or a fixed blade?Read More
Tastes of the Season: Fall Farmers' Markets
Fall is here! The bridge between summer and fall is full of delicious possibilities: the last heirloom tomatoes and sweet corn linger, pears and sweet potatoes start to arrive, and more apples than you can name can all be found at your local farmers’ market.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.