City directories can be useful resources for researchers, whether statisticians, genealogists, or general historians. The best directories tell an individual’s occupation, spouse, place of business or residence, and neighbors. In addition, accompanying advertisements bring to life the time period, showing the latest inventions, services, and fashion styles. Often early directories make for lively reading.
The Moravian Church community of Salem, North Carolina, and the neighboring county seat of Winston were described in the 1860’s and ’70’s by several directories of varying detail, which we present here. The directory of 1879-80 especially gives an in-depth description of Salem, Winston, and nearby Greensboro, along with listings (beginning page 141) for surrounding communities of Belew’s Creek Mill, Bethania, Five Forks (Stokes County), Flat Branch, Friedberg, Kernersville, Lewisville (Louisville), Mount Tabor, Old Richmond, Old Town (Bethabara), Salem Chapel, Sedge Garden, Tobaccoville, Vienna, Walkertown, White Road, Brick Church, Brown’s Summit, Center, Colfax, Company Mills, Deep River, Freeman Mills, Friendship, Gibsonville, Gilmer’s Store, High Point, Hillsdale, Jamestown, Liberty (Store), McLeansville, Monticello, New Garden, Oak Ridge, Pleasant Garden, Shaw’s Mill, Summerfield, and Westminster.
Accompanying these directories is a map showing the streets of Salem and Winston, circa 1876.
In addition, an 1878 Guidebook to Northwestern North Carolina gives, as the title page states, several historical sketches of the Moravians, plus a “description of the country and its industrial pursuits.” The territory covered by the guidebook includes Forsyth County, Stokes County, Surry County, Wilkes County, Alleghany County, Ashe County, Watauga County, Caldwell County, Catawba County, Burke County, Mitchell County, Alexander County, Iredell County, Yadkin County, Davie County, Davidson County, Rowan County, Guilford County, Rockingham County, and Caswell County.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
March 22, 2010