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.”
What's in a Land Trust?
Land trusts are non-profit organizations that work with landowners and other associations to help save our land heritage, create open spaces, protect wetlands and wildlife habitats, and provide recreational opportunities for everyone. On June 4, all Mast Store locations will host representatives from a community land trust partner. To support the important work that they do, each store will donate 20% of that day’s sales to its partner conservancy.Read More
It's Wedding Season
Weddings are big events bringing together members of two families to celebrate their union into one bigger family. There’s usually a ceremony, probably some drama, good food, maybe a little drink, and stacks of gifts. We’ve pulled together several thoughtful gifts that are perfect for any couple requesting your presence at their nuptials.Read More
Workin' for Livin'
If you’re a child of the ‘80s, you might remember “Workin’ for a Livin’,” a song by Huey Lewis and the News that paid tribute to the work-a-day folks that keep our lives moving forward. The same sentiment can be applied to the work of land trusts – they are workin’ for OUR livin’.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.