The town of Salem is founded. A weaver named Gottfried Praezel set up a hand loom in Salem’s First House.
The Cotton Gin was invented. This increased the supply of cotton for spinning and weaving.
Peter’s Creek Dam
Across from Peter’s Creek a Dam was constructed by Van Nieman Zevely, a cabinet maker. Water powered, wool carding machine was installed for custom carding.
Salem Manufacturing Company
Francis Levan Fries and thirty Moravian businessmen collected around $50,000 and organized the Salem Manufacturing Company.
Observed by Francis Fries, construction begins on the Salem frames. It’s equipped with spinning and an engine purchased from Baltimore, MD. Manufacturing Company.
Francis Fries Leaves
Francis Fries leaves the Company to start Salem Woolen Mill uptown.
Salem Manufacturing Company Ups and Downs
Lack of experience, unskilled labor and local competition made local banks reluctant to loan additional funds causing the Salem manufacturing company to fall on hard times.
Directors of the Salem Manufacturing Company place the Mill for sale.
A train of new owners including John Morehead, former North Carolina Governor, purchased the property and sold it a year later to his son-in-law, Rufus Patterson. This was then sold to Robert Gray and Peter Wilson.
Francis and Henry Fries of F. and H. Fries Company acquired the failing Salem Manufacturing Company (sans supplies).
Wachovia Flour Mills
The Salem Manufacturing Company then becomes the Wachovia Flour Mills.
They design a Gas Plant to power a lighting system for the mill.
The Corliss Steam Engine was installed.
Arista Cotton Mill
The son of Francis Fries, Francis H. Fries supervised the construction of the Arista Cotton Mill. This was a spinning and weaving mill located one block west of the original Fries Salem Woolen and cotton factory and next door to the Wachovia Flour Mills. It’s also known as one of the first southern factories to use electric lighting. The mill employed around one hundred and fifty workers. The total cost for the structure and equipment was about $125,000. Originally equipped with 3,312 spindles that amount doubled in five years and 180 looms were added to manufacture the chambray cloth for the work clothing.
Wachovia Flour Mills
Sanborn Fire Insurance maps indicate that Wachovia Flour Mills used the Façade addition for wheat and corn storage and that the west elevation extension included a grain elevator and offices. The main block of the 1880 Arista Mill is a three-story building. First floor was used for weaving, second for carding, third for spinning. The one story building west of the stair tower originally housed the engine and boiler.
Two-story brick transforming station was built.
Long one story brick weaving room was added near the south elevation of the main block.
Arista Mills Company
Arista Mills Company is formed. The merger between the mills.
A shed roofed dye house addition was constructed on the south elevation.
Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corporation used the complex.
Western Electric Company
Robert Brawley and Archibald Craig, two lawyers, own and lease the complex to the Western Electric Company.
Lentz Transfer and Storage Company used the buildings as warehouse space.
The Lentz warehouse was growing and was in need of more space. They contacted the Roy Joyner Wrecking Company, recognized the historic property and contacted the Director of Restoration in Old Salem. Old Salem representatives visited the President of Lentz Warehouse, Sam Sanders, who decided to hold off plans until they found an alternative solution for the building and his needs for more efficient storage space. Old Salem went to the town for support to save the historic Mill. with plans of tearing down the buildings. Mr. Joyner.
Listed as Historic Places
The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Brown Mortgage and Investment Company
Announced in the Winston-Salem Journal the building was purchased by Brown Mortgage and Investment Company of Chicago, IL and Addison Brown of Roaring Gap and Naples, Florida. They invested to have a multi-million dollar historic restoration.
The Brookstown Inn Rehabilitation started as an adaptive reuse project that included an inn, office, and restaurant.
Cotton Mill Company restaurant
The Cotton Mill Company restaurant opened its doors.
November 2, 1981 – Landmark Destination date (in Forsyth County)
Brookstown Inn Opens
The Brookstown Inn opened 41 rooms and Darryls Restaurant.
Remodeled 1880 Arista mill
They remodeled the 1880 Arista mill making it 71 rooms.
Winston-Salem’s Historic Marker Program
Salem Cotton Manufacturing Company and Arista Cotton Mill were placed at the mill as a part of the Winston-Salem’s Historic Marker Program.
Renovations of the Main Building of the Historic Brookstown Inn began.