Forsyth County

A great partnership has begun with Wings Over Winston, an aerial photography company, and the North Carolina Collection staff at the Forsyth County Public Library. We are providing historical context for selected images taken by Wings Over Winston for their Instagram account. Check it out when you have time. Follow them on Instagram or Facebook to see great views of Winston-Salem and learn about local history.



The North Carolina Room recently received a donation of five volumes of White Caps, the yearbook of The City Memorial Hospital School of Nursing.  City Hospital opened in 1914 on East Fourth Street replacing the Twin City Hospital on Brookstown Avenue.  City Hospital was renamed City Memorial Hospital in 1921. City Memorial Hospital closed in 1964 when its successor, Forsyth Memorial Hospital, later Forsyth Medical Center, opened.


City Memorial Hospital School of Nursing Yearbooks –  The White Caps

The White Caps yearbooks cover the years 1955, 1958, 1959, 1960, and 1963. Yearbooks are useful genealogy resources for pictures of relatives when no other photograph can be found. Yearbooks can also be great resources for history because they capture events of the year in which they were created.

Part of the history of Forsyth Medical Center is represented on the endpapers inside the front and back cover of the 1963 White Caps. The next year saw the closing of City Memorial Hospital (CMH) and the opening of Forsyth Memorial Hospital (FMH) that later became Forsyth Medical Center.  An image of CMH is in the front of the book and an image of FMH is in the back.


City Memorial Hospital in the front of the 1963 White Caps 


Forsyth Memorial Hospital in the back of the 1963 White Caps

Each yearbook has a theme, 1955’s was a seafaring one. Student progress is noted in the dates they received their dress uniforms and nursing caps. Students became veterans of their profession when they were issued black braids for their caps. The addition of “crew” from the USS MMH “which had gone down in action” may refer to students transferring from Martin Memorial Hospital in Mount Airy that burned in 1953.  Women’s roles in the past often included the expectation that women stopped working or attending school when they became wives and “transfers to the USS Matrimony” was the choice for some students.


1953 White Caps

In addition to individual student names and photographs, yearbooks offer a view into student life at the hospital. Nursing specialties are highlighted here.


1963 White Caps

Students served on the Judiciary Board, Student Council, as Council Chairmen, and as Publication Staff preparing for responsibilities after their student careers.


1963 White Caps

The capping ceremony was a highlight of the nursing students career. A reception with refreshments followed the ceremony.


Capping reception, 1959 White Caps

Group photograph of students inducted in to the Santa Filomena Honor Society.


1963 White Caps


Humor can always be found in all yearbooks and the 1960s is no exception. Cats are popular and all over the internet today and they seem to have been popular for this yearbook edition too!


1960 White Caps

These yearbooks are available for reference in the North Carolina Room at the Forsyth County Government Center.  If you have a White Caps yearbook from a different year that you would like to donate to the Forsyth County Public Library we would love to add it to our collection. Call 336-703-3073 for donation information.

The Forsyth County Genealogical Society will meet on Tuesday evening, June 7, 2016, in the auditorium of the Reynolda Manor Public Library, located at 2839 Fairlawn Drive, Winston-Salem, NC. Our social period begins at 6:30 PM, and the meeting will begin at 7:00 PM.

Molly Grogan Rawls, the photograph collection librarian at the Forsyth County Public Library, will present her newest Images of America book, Winston-Salem’s Historic Salem Cemetery.” Salem Cemetery is the privately owned cemetery adjacent to the Salem “God’s Acre,” and since its 1857 incorporation it has become the final resting place for many of the builders and shapers of Winston-Salem. The book not only gives the history of the cemetery but also summarizes the lives and contributions of many of the industrial pioneers, mayors, philanthropists, educators, and other leaders buried there. Readers will find themselves exclaiming, “Oh that’s who that was” or “That’s who did that” as they read the informative captions for the photographs selected from the public library’s photo archives and other sources.

Winston-Salem's Historic Salem Cemetery

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Benjamin Forsyth historical marker on from the  December 24th blog post “Forsyth’s Saga-The Life and Legacy of Benjamin Forsyth”

Attorney Jerry Rutledge will make a presentation “Benjamin Forsyth: Who was he? Why does it matter?” on Lt. Col. Benjamin Forsyth. Learn about the early years of Benjamin Forsyth, including his connections in Stokes and Forsyth Counties; the extensive military record of Benjamin Forsyth; and his death and burial in upstate New York.

Jerry Ruthledge grew up in Germanton and attended Stokes County Schools. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1966 with a BA in History. He graduated from Law School in Chapel Hill in 1969 and then served four years in the Marine Corps as a JAG officer. After working with the North Carolina Attorney General’s office in Raleigh and serving as an Assistant District Attorney in Stokes and three adjoining counties, Jerry opened his law office in Walnut Cove in 1978. Jerry’s interest in local history has led him to make three trips to upstate New York to visit Champlain, the burial place of Benjamin Forsyth.

Sponsored by the Walkertown Area Historical Society.

Free lecture. No reservations required.

Tuesday, January 19 at 6:30 pm
Walkertown Branch Library

2969 Main St. Walkertown, NC 27051

Call (336) 703-2990 for more information.
Click here for driving directions.




Interior of Walkertown Branch Library.

If you’re interested in local history, check out the the Walkertown Branch of the Forsyth County Public Library. Staff at the branch have partnered with the Walkertown Area Historical Society to create a Walkertown History Wall of people and places of Walkertown. The photographs are mounted on the wall in the reading area. The collection replaces the Community Quilt that has hung there since the branch opened in 1992. The photographs were chosen from a large group of 500 images from the archives of the historical society.

Daniel Baird hangs canvas photographs.

Daniel Baird hangs canvas photographs.

Read the Winston-Salem Journal article and watch the video published on January 2nd to learn more about the photograph wall project and information about the Library.

December 2015. The project is completed. Mike Morris (left to right), Daniel Baird, Natalia Tuchina and Wallace Baird.

December 2015. The project is completed. Mike Morris (left to right), Daniel Baird, Natalia Tuchina and Wallace Baird.