Moravian settlers came to the Winston-Salem area in the 1700s where they ultimately established the southern province headquarters for the Moravian Church in America. The Moravian Church had its origin in ancient Bohemia and Moravia in what is today's Czech Republic. The settlers also started a school for women in 1772, which became Salem Academy and College. In 1875, Richard Joshua Reynolds moved to Winston-Salem from Virginia and started the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. The city was incorporated in 1913. Tobacco and textiles were the primary industries in the area for many years. The leaders of these industries were largely responsible for building the foundations of arts and education that are today a significant feature.
The Moravians also brought music and crafts to Winston-Salem. The first arts council in America was established in Winston-Salem. The city is now home to the National Black Theatre Festival, the North Carolina School of the Arts and Old Salem, a living history town. With its own professional symphony and opera, Winston-Salem has a variety of cultural opportunities such as the Downtown Summer Music Series, the North Caroline Shakespeare Festival, Piedmont Opera Theater, and Winston-Salem Symphony. Annual events include the Dixie Classic Fair, Greek and Hispanic Festivals, Old Salem Christmas, Piedmont Crafts Fair, and the North Carolina Chili Championship & Rubber Duck Regatta.
Situated on highway I-40 and Business 40, Winston-Salem is easily accessible from all directions. It is located about half way between Washington, DC, and Atlanta, GA, and is about 90 minutes from Charlotte/Douglas International and Raleigh-Durham International Airports. Even closer is the Piedmont Triad International Airport (30 minutes away). The city has a well-designed network of highways and parkways making it possible to reach almost any point in the city in about 15 minutes.
The city's Recreation and Parks Department operates and maintains 75 parks that include picnic areas, playgrounds, athletic fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, and fitness trails. In addition, there are two 18-hole golf courses in the city, Reynolds Park Golf Course and Winston Lake Golf Course. Over 16 miles of greenways make beautiful corridors for walking, biking, skating and jogging. Just a short distance from Winston-Salem in Forsyth County, you'll also find Tanglewood Park. Part of land claimed by Sir Walter Raleigh for Queen Elizabeth in 1584, the Park is now a beautiful outdoor recreation area that includes the famous Tanglewood Golf Course designed by Robert Trent Jones. It has hosted many PGA and Senior PGA Tour events and is one of the most challenging golf courses in the world.
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