My days are spent in Winston-Salem. Nearly every day I walk through Salem.
Friday, December 31, 2010
What Did They Find Here?
When those Scots Irish and Germans got here "the country of the upper Yadkin teemed with game. Bears were so numerous it was said that a hunter could lay by two or three thousand pounds of bear grease in a season. The tale was told in the forks that nearby Bear Creek took its name from the season Daniel Boone killed 99 bears along its waters. The deer were so plentiful that an ordinary hunter could kill four or five a day; the deerskin trade was an important part of the regional economy. In 1753 more than 30,000 skins were exported from North Carolina, and thousands were used within the colony for the manufacture of leggings, breeches and moccasins." In 1755, NC Gov. Arthur Dobbs wrote to England that the "Yadkin is a large beautiful river. Where there is a ferry it is nearly 300 yards over it, [which] was at this time fordable, scarce coming to the horse's bellies." At six miles distant, he said, "I arrived at Salisbury the county seat of Rowan.
Danial Boone about 1760
The town is just laid out, the courthouse built, and 7 or 8 log houses built." Most of Salisbury's householders ran public houses, letting travelers sup at their table and drink too. In 1762, there were 16 public houses. There was also a shoe factory, a prison, a hospital and armory all here before the Revolution. Even so, it was still only an outpost in the wilderness. Salisbury was for twenty-three years the farthest west county seat in the colonies. And through this outpost the wagon road ran, and on that road the immigrants continued to travel even after the area was settled. Governor Tryon wrote to England that more than a thousand wagons passed through Salisbury in the Fall and Winter of 1765. That works out to about six immigrant wagons per day. This river area now is part of High Rock Lake.