In 1752 the Moravians, German-speaking Protestants, purchased 100,000 acres in the heart of what is now Forsyth County, and in 1753 the first Moravian brethren arrived to carve a settlement out of the wilderness. The new settlement was named Bethabara (now a park operated by the City of Winston-Salem) and it gave the Moravians a foothold from which to establish other settlements in the 100,000 tract. The Moravians were careful planners and they established the towns of Bethania (founded 1759) and Salem (founded 1766) with town squares and a grid pattern of streets based on plans from towns in Germany with which they were familiar. With a characteristic sense of German practicality and planning, the towns were not only planned, but also regulated as to building types, placement and uses.
National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination (1987)