Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The City of Salem - 1880

Winston Town Hall
My firm position is that this city being named Winston-Salem, using the dastardly DASH, was a big mistake caused by Salem's stubborn Moravian's fearful of losing their way of life. I love them, but they haven't changed much over time. Did they not loose it in spite of their stubbornness and short sightedness? The city of Winston should never have been founded to begin with. The county seat of the newly formed Forsyth County should have been the existing town of Salem.

As it turns out, I am not the only nut with this opinion. In 1849 Robert Gray, who purchased the first lot in the new town of Winston stated "I speak of Winston and Salem as one place.... Would that I could speak of them under one name," In 1876 Gray stated in a speech. "They are one in identity of interest and future.... I hail the coming day [from] which shall rise one united town."

Gray was not alone in his feelings, apparently most of the fair citizens of Salem had come to their senses. Three years following his speech, a special committee was appointed by the town boards of Winston and Salem to study consolidating the two towns. The committee recommend that the united halves be named the "City of Salem." The charter was approved by both boards and ratified by the General Assembly. Salem voters endorsed the charter overwhelmingly (appears the Moravian's had a change of heart), but people in Winston, fearing the loss of identity, turned it down almost three to one. It appears that Salem, the larger and more influential of the two had lost control of it's stepchild. See, I am not the fool you might make me out to be. We were almost Salem again!

Winston-Salem: A History
Story discovered in Frank Tursi's book Winston-Salem: A History

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