Voices of a City: Early Greensborough

1808 – 1890

Greensboro is a pleasant looking village. … The houses are generally of wood, & white, with long porches or verandahs in front & rear.
Presbyterian minister J. Henry Smith, 1859

Greensboro was founded in 1808 after voters spoke out for a new county seat, one in the center of Guilford County.

Named in honor of Revolutionary War Gen. Nathanael Greene, the town remained small in population and size for many years. It was a community of familiar faces, with modest cabins and grand homes lining dusty streets. A place where conversations buzzed along those dusty streets and circulated into workplaces, churches, classrooms and the newspaper.

After 1865 Greensborough gained a nickname as the City of Flowers and a reputation for resisting change. By century’s end, spirited voices and rumbling manufacturing plants sent the city, now spelled Greensboro, toward a new era.

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