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.”
Check Your Closets and Share the Warmth
There is a Japanese proverb that says, “One kind word can warm three winter months.” If a kind word can be so powerful, what can a kind action do? Colder weather is on the way, so coats, hats, and gloves are needed to be ready for it. During the month of November, Mast Store and Columbia Sportswear are partnering for the fifteenth time to Share the Warmth Coat Collection in our home communitiesRead More
Food for Kids is Food for Thought (and Action)
The U. S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as “the lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.” Merrell Footwear, an active lifestyle brand, joins the Mast Store for the eleventh year in 2019 to provide Food for Kids (October 21-November 3), a cause that supports funding the weekend food efforts in each of Mast Store’s home communities.Read More
Saving the Last of the Harvest
Fall finally made it, and with that, it’s time to pick over the tomatoes, beans, peppers, and whatever else you might have lingering in your gardens one last time. You’ll want to savor what you can as it’s fresh off the vine, but what do you do with the excess? We have a few ideas.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.