In 2001, the City of Winston-Salem approved the establishment of a historic marker program. The program is administered by the Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission (HRC), which determines marker recipients each year. Since the first markers were presented in 2002, this program has placed over 20 markers around the city. The markers commemorate a wide variety of properties, which range from National Register Historic Districts like West Salem to non-designated historic areas such Happy Hill and the African-American West End Area. Sites of local historical significance such as The Pond and Odd Fellows Cemetery have been recognized. Individual buildings such as schools, industrial buildings, private residences, and others have also been awarded markers. Each of the sites chosen to receive a marker holds special significance for the City of Winston-Salem.
Each year the HRC, through its Historic Marker Committee, consults both a Priority List [pdf/252kb/9p] of properties as well as submissions received from the public, when deciding which sites to recognize with markers. Depending on funding, two to three sites may be chosen each year for the marker program. Designated properties, such as those on the National Register or listed as national or local landmarks, are included on the HRC’s Priority List. The primary focus of the Priority List is to investigate sites with predominantly a public orientation and those with which the public may be unaware. In addition, citizens may submit applications for sites not officially designated nationally or locally, but which are tied to an historical/cultural event or an individual or organization of historic significance. Applications for historic markers are due each year by October 31st. See the Historic Marker Program Deadline page for more information.
Sites receiving markers are chosen by February of each year and one marker is usually selected for an unveiling ceremony that occurs during Historic Preservation Month each May. The historic marker program has gained significant popularity since its introduction in 2002, drawing attention to important local sites that may not have received recognition otherwise. Residents of Winston-Salem can find pride in sites of well-known local history and discover previously long-forgotten stories from our community’s past. The City of Winston-Salem’s Historic Marker Program seeks to highlight the full range of endlessly interesting local history that our city has to offer.
If you have questions about the program, please contact Michelle McCullough by phone at (336) 747-7063 or by e-mail at email@example.com.