North Carolina Cities

Winston-Salem North Carolina

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Winston-Salem is a city located in Forsyth County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 185,776. It is the county seat of Forsyth County, North Carolina, and it is the fifth-largest city in the state.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 283.9 km² (109.6 mi²).



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 which he called "Muddy Creek du Wachau" (Wachovia, named after the Austrian estate of Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf). 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 (for "peace").


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 north of Salem's square.


In 1889, the United States Postal Service combined the mail offices for the two towns, and the towns were officially joined as "Winston-Salem" in 1913. The Reynolds family played a large role in the history and public life of Winston-Salem.


Many major companies including Krispy Kreme, R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, and Wachovia were founded in Winston-Salem. 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. Winston-Salem is also the location of the corporate headquarters of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco corporation, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc., and Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T). 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 located in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Higher Education

Winston-Salem is a home for the following schools:

Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem State University, North Carolina School of the Arts, Salem College, Piedmont Baptist College, and Winston-Salem Bible College.

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