Friday, July 9, 2010

A Winston-Salem wagon works

On October 23, 1890, Samuel Jacob Nissen, son of successful Waughtown wagon maker John Phillip Nissen, purchased a large lot on the corner of East Third St and Depot St (now called Patterson Avenue) and erected the building originally called the S. J. Nissen Carriage Repository and Repair Shop. The goal was to build and repair wagons for the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Wagon building was an extremely important industry in the development of Winston-Salem, and S. J. Nissen built wagons at this factory from 1895 through 1929. At this time it finally became clear that trucks were replacing horses forever, and Nissen closed his factory and sold the building. As can be seen in Jon's photo from July 3rd, 2010, the 1895 building is exceptionally intact and exceptionally well-preserved. This reflects good stewardship by the post-1929 owners, in particular the Kester Machinery Company (1941 to 1970). The Romanesque medieval fortress architectural features are all original. The blog could go on and on about this interesting building, but interested readers would do better to consult the 2006 National Register of Historic Places registration form for this building, which you can obtain by copying the following and inserting it into your browser (sorry, I can't figure out how to make it work directly):

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