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Mount Airy/Surry County

Surry County was formed in 1771. It was named for the county of Surrey in England, birthplace of William Tryon, Governor of North Carolina from 1765 to 1771.

Surry County is located both within the Piedmont region of central North Carolina and in the Appalachian Mountains region of western North Carolina.

The highest point in Surry County is Fisher Peak in the Blue Ridge; it rises to 3,570 feet (1,088 m) above sea level. However, the best-known peak in Surry County is not the highest. That honor goes to Pilot Mountain, an isolated monadnock and a North Carolina landmark. Pilot Mountain sharply rises some 2,421 feet (738 m) above the surrounding countryside, and can be seen for miles.

Mount Airy was settled in the 1750s as a stagecoach stop on the road between Winston-Salem and Galax, Virginia. It was named for a nearby plantation. Mount Airy was incorporated in 1885, and is located along the Ararat River.

Mount Airy was the birthplace and childhood home of American actor Andy Griffith, and is widely believed to be the inspiration for the fictional community Mayberry, the setting of The Andy Griffith Show.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County

Forsyth County began as a Moravian settlement in 1753 when Bishop August Gottlieb Spangenberg acquired a hundred-thousand acre tract of land from Lord Granville, one of the lord proprietors of North Carolina.

The Moravians called their land Wachovia after the Austrian estate of Count Nicholas Lewis von Zinzendorf, an early protector of the Moravian Church.

After the two settlements of Bethabara and Bethania were established, the Town of Salem was begun in 1766 as the central town in Wachovia. Salem grew rapidly both as a religious center and as a center for crafts and trades.

In 1849, the North Carolina Legislature created the new county of Forsyth out of part of Stokes County. In 1851, the town of Winston was named as the County seat. The courthouse square was laid one mile north of Salem Square with plans for the streets of the two towns to run together.

Winston-Salem is the county seat and largest city of Forsyth County and the fifth-largest city in North Carolina.

Winston-Salem is the second largest municipality in the Piedmont Triad region and is home to the tallest office buildings in the region, such as 100 North Main Street. It is called the “Twin City” for its dual heritage. and “City of the Arts” for its dedication to fine arts and theater.