Long Branch Trail

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A new Greenway is coming to the city!  And this one runs right through downtown.

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The old industrial side of town that has been crumbling for years is finally getting a new life, and this trail will help to connect everything together. The old tobacco factories are being converted into loft apartments, businesses, research labs and classrooms for the local medical school. It’s getting hard to believe this whole area was nearly abandoned just a decade or so ago.

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It was a chilly, foggy Sunday afternoon that we ventured out and walked along what would soon be the busy new trail. The Greenway will run along some old railroad tracks that are no longer in use, and include many bridges.

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Click here to see what this area looked like back in the summer, right as construction started. I kind of liked the overgrown look of what it used to be, but I am also excited to see what it changes into.

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The Former Tobacco Town

Winston-Salem is a city built by tobacco. A man named RJ Reynolds started the first tobacco factory here in the early 1890s and before long, he had built factories all over the city and Winston-Salem was providing the USA with 25 percent of the overall tobacco consumed. They created the very popular Camel cigarette, which gave Winston-Salem the nickname Camel City, as well as the brands Winston and Salem, named after the city of course. This made RJ Reynolds the richest man in the state, and made Winston-Salem grow to the size it is now.

However, within the last few decades, sales decreased and what was left of the Reynolds tobacco business moved to Atlanta, leaving the old factories deserted and abandoned. 
That was until the city just recently began renovating the old buildings and turning them into lofts and and office spaces as a way to try and bring new business into the city. I just love the way old factories look and I am so excited to see them restored and not torn down!  

The main factory is tucked away behind fencing, but I would so love to wander around and explore it!




They’ve finished many of the buildings already and created space for research labs.  I used to work just a few blocks away from here. I would love to be able to work here in this area again in one of the new research places.



Isn’t this ironic?  Times sure have changed!


It would be so neat to live in these lofts, with the fancy catwalk across the road and plenty of shops and restaurants withing walking distance. But as much as I like the city, I think I prefer having a house with a yard.
 


I couldn’t figure out why all of a sudden the colors seemed to look to nice when I was taking these, and then I realized it was my new lens!  I barely had to edit these at all.  I am super happy with my new lens and I’ll write a little review on it soon.






Winston-Salem would not be the city it is today if it weren’t for Mr. Reynolds and his tobacco business. Before his death he gave money to start two hospitals and a school among many other things. I like to think it was his way of making up for all the toxic chemicals he sold people for so many years….

I am excited to see how they restore all these buildings, and I especially can’t wait to be able to go inside them!