Greensboro, North Carolina

Sprawling on the rolling hills of the Piedmont Region, between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Atlantic Sea, approximately 40 minutes east of Winston-Salem in central North Carolina, is the picturesque City of Greensboro. Two hundred seventy thousand citizens have made permanent residences here, making it the third largest city in the state of North Carolina. Greensboro is part of the Piedmont Triad, a metropolitan area encompassing Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point.

Greensboro started as a paper town. When it was settled in 1808, it was planned to replace Martinville as county seat. The site where it stands now was chosen for its location at the geographic center of the county. Its original name was Greensborough, named for Revolutionary War hero and patriot, Nathanael Greene.

Greensboro eventually evolved into a center of textile, tobacco, and furniture industries. When the economy hit these industries hard, Greensboro reinvented itself. It is now the seat of a diverse kind of new industries including aviation, data center, life sciences, and biotechnology, and CNN has named it one of the best places to launch startups. This well-regarded city is also a past recipient of National Civic League's "All-America Award" from the National Civic League and DOE's "Clean Cities Hall of Fame".

Welcome to the city of Greensboro, where you will be able to make just about anything happen. It has something to appeal to everyone's senses. People of any age or any profession will surely find the city exciting and vivacious to their own liking.

Greensboro History

Saura and Keyauwee Indians had already planted roots in the Piedmont region of North Carolina centuries long before the Scotch-Irish, Germans and Quakers from Wales and England established a settlement there in 1740. On March 17, 1781, General Nathanael Greene deployed over 4,000 rebels in the three battle lines at the Guilford Court House to avert invasion by British troops under Lord Cornwallis. While General Greene did not win the battle, his rebel forces were able to weaken Cornwallis' army, which eventually led to their surrender at Yorktown seven months later.

25 years after this historic event, the citizens of Guilford County elected to replace their county seat of Martinville with a more centrally located city. After determining the exact geographic center of the county, county officials purchased 42 acres of land from Ralph Gorrell for $98 in 1808, mapped it out, and named it Greensborough (for Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene). That same year, Greensborough became the new county seat.

The town's first buildings were court houses. Soon, residences, three saloons and five stores grew around the courthouse square. Growth was slow at first, but the seeds that would shape the town's future as center of textile manufacturing, transportation, and insurance industries were already sown by the time Civil War struck. One defining event took place in n 1828, when Henry Humphreys operated the first steam-powered textile mill in North Carolina. The mill was built north of the courthouse square, initiating a large-scale cotton industry. By 1833, the town had 75 mills in production, and textile products were exported to neighboring cities and states.

The 1830s also saw development in areas of education. In 1833, the Methodists opened the first college in Greensboro. Called the Greensboro Female College, it was also the first state-chartered college for women in the North Carolina. Another first was the New Garden Boarding School (now called the Guilford College). Established in 1837 by the Quakers, New Garden was the first co-educational school in the state of North Carolina. Three more colleges would be established in the next 36 years, expanding the city's educational opportunities.

In the 1840s, Governor John Motley Morehead requested the state government to curve its east-west railroad link miles north to make the track pass through Greensboro, his hometown. The railroad system led to the rise of Greensboro as transportation hub of the state. Hence the city nickname, "The Gate".

The Civil War put a halt to Greensboro's first phase of development. After the Civil War, Greensboro emerged, eager to move on and welcomed industrialists from other parts of the country. In 1892, Moses and Caesar Cone opened a textile-finishing plant. Called Cone Mills, it would become one of the largest makers of flannels, denims, and overalls in the world. By the end of the century, Greensboro had become the center of textile industry in the south. In the 1920s, insurance joined textile and transportation as Greensboro's top industries.

About Greensboro, North Carolina

Art and culture come to life in many forms in the City of Greensboro. All year round, there is theatrical entertainment. Local and regional theaters stage productions by local performing arts groups such as The Livestock Players, the Greensboro Ballet, Greensboro Opera Company, and the Choral Society of Greensboro. At the Barn Dinner Theatre, audiences get to enjoy Broadway-style plays and excellent dinner. Another popular venue for Broadway shows and musical productions is the Community Theater of Greensboro, which is housed in the Greensboro Cultural Center.

Greensboro's music scene is just as vibrant. November, April, and July bring musicals from the Razz-Ma-Tazz Musical Revue, the Music Center, the Choral Society of Greensboro, and the Philharmonia of Greensboro. The City Arts is the main venue for these performances. At local Clubs and in the historic Carolina Theatre, residents and visitors to the city get to enjoy topnotch jazz performances from nationally recognized musicians. Summer brings over 100 musical performances, as professional and amateur artists from all over the world gather at the Eastern Musical Festival. Spectators get to enjoy different types of musical shows, from solo recitals to chamber music. The event also includes the Fringe Festival, which showcase all kinds of experimental and avant-garde performances.

Historical landmarks and museums as well as reenactments commemorate different landmark events from Greensboro's past. At the Greensboro Historical Museum, visitors get to see the evolution and development of Guilford County. Special collections in the museum include memorabilia of some of Greensboro's most notable figures --- American writer O. Henry, Edward Murrow, and First Lady Dolley Madison. The International Civil Rights Museum, on the other hand, focuses on events concerning the triumphs and lows of the American Civil Rights Movement.

As for dining and shopping, Greensboro has much to offer. On city's southwestern section, the Four Seasons Town Center offers over 200 shops and restaurants. The three-level, 1.3-million square feet regional mall houses national retailers like JC Penney and Dillard's, and it also has local boutiques and galleries. On the northern section of downtown Greensboro is the State Street Section, a quiet neighborhood of shops, boutiques, and restaurants housed in restored 1920s buildings. On Elm Street in downtown Greensboro are more varieties of art galleries, clubs, antique shops, restaurants, and cafes. The Old Downtown Greensborough evokes turn-of-the-century shopping; all the antique stores here are housed in 1900s storefronts.

North Carolina's regional cuisine - barbecue, hushpuppies, and coleslaw - can be enjoyed in the many eateries around metropolitan Greensboro. Upscale restaurants offering a variety of international orethnic cuisines are also plenty.

About Guilford County, North Carolina

Guilford County, the center of Piedmont North Carolina, sits midway between mountain ranges and sea. Its county seat is Greensboro, a city of two hundred seventy thousand inhabitants. It was named for Francis North, the 1st Earl of Guilford, who served as British Prime Minister from 1770 to 1782. The county is divided into 11 cities and 18 townships; it is part of the Piedmont Triad metropolitan area.

Guilford County is a typical Piedmont region. It is laid out over creeks and rivers, low rolling hills and broad-backed ridges. Two of the largest rivers of North Carolina -- Dan of Roanoke and Haw River of Cape Fear - begin their journey here. Primary crops in the county are cotton, tobacco, and wheat.

History: The settlement of the Piedmont Region began in the 1740s. The first settlers were mostly European missionaries: German Lutherans built communities in the east; British Quakers settled in the east and west; and Scotch-Irish Presbyterians in the central parts of the region. These settlers would later shape not only the denominational landscape of Guilford County, but also build some of the first schools and colleges in the county.

Educational Institutions: Education has always been a hallmark of Guilford County. Some of the oldest and largest educational institutions in North Carolina are located here. Guilford College, a liberal arts school in Greensboro, has been running for over 200 years. Originally called New Garden Boarding School, it was founded in 1837 by Quakers, the first co-educational institution in the state. Greenboro College (now the co-educational University of North Carolina at Greensboro) first opened its doors in 1891 as a college for women, the first of its kind in North Carolina.

Oldest Churches: As a county founded by missionaries, Guilford County is also home to some of the oldest churches in North Carolina. The Frieden's Church was originally built in 1745 as a union church for Reformed and Lutheran congregations. The Alamance Presbyterian Church was founded by Scots-Irish and German immigrants in 1762. The Clapp Brick Church is a German Reformed Church built in 1770. The Low's Lutheran Church, another church built for Lutheran and Reformed congregations, was built in 1771.