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.”
Friends Day is September 11 in all Locations
Mast Store’s Friends Day returns on September 11 with new partners and old friends alike. This day of giving recognizes organizations that work in each of our hometowns to activate volunteers around beautiful community assets which contribute to residents’ quality of life and the economic viability of the region. Mast will donate 10% of the day's sales to our partners.Read More
11 Must Haves for Back to School
It’s difficult to believe, but it’s back-to-school time already. We know back-to-school shopping is going to be particularly difficult this year because of shortages, but this is a time to think creatively to find substitutes and perhaps items that students didn’t know they needed for school.Read More
America, Made out of Many
The Fourth of July is the perfect time not only to celebrate but also to reflect on what makes us American. We’re a unique people – to say the least – and among the best of our traits is that we’re a diverse people represented by the familiar but too often forgotten motto, “E pluribus unum.” Out of many, one.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.