shell shaped Shell gas station in Winston-Salem

Three Things to See in Winston-Salem

One of the things we really love about house sitting as a method of travel is that it allows us to see much more of an area than if we were just travelling full time. Our latest jaunt? We made a quick dash to Winston-Salem, North Carolina – home of the original Krispy Kreme Doughnut, the last remaining shell-shaped Shell gas station, and lots of old stuff…among other things.

With Winston-Salem being only an hour away we decided to do a day-trip, but not a whole day trip, more like a Gilligan Island-like three hour tour…only we spent about five hours there. And there was no boat. Or water. Anyway, here’s a look at our Winston-Salem bucket list:

#1.) Körner’s Folly House

Okay, technically it’s just outside of Winston-Salem. This house was originally built and owned by Jules Körner and is a unique building for so many reasons. Each room was basically to showcase Jules’ decorating and design skills – be it the room itself, or the decor and furniture (which he designed). At one point we were reminded of how people built things back in the 1800’s too. They didn’t have rooms with high ceilings because they were a lot shorter then, so why add that extra cost of higher ceilings? And staircases were narrow and steep.

Korner Folly House, Winston-Salem, NC with
Big People, Little World? Both Shelly and Al are too big for this place!

Pretty sure a lot of things in this house wouldn’t pass today’s building codes! But the house has a lot of history and is going through a major restoration, which your entrance fee helps fund. So it’s win-win!

If you like old stuff, this is THE place for you. So. Much. Old. Stuff. Kidding aside, there’s some history too for the history buff.

Korner Folly House, Winston-Salem, NC with
Lots of…stuff…Al could possibly write another book; Sell All the Körner’s Stuff

And speaking of history, next on our bucket list was to visit the last remaining shell-shaped gas station in America. Getting there was kind of fun and adventurous. Little did we know there are two highway 40’s in Winston-Salem. So when our desired exit never appeared we had to break out the GPS. So with a little detour, we made it our next destination.

#2.) The Shell-Shaped Shell Gas Station

This was cool. So there’s this Shell gas station in Winston-Salem that’s in the shape of…get this…a shell. How fun, right! Naturally, my wife Shelly had to make a pit-stop and take numerous photos of the shell-shaped station. Inside, there appeared to be a little museum, but I guess because we went midweek in March it wasn’t open yet, or possibly just that day. So me and Shell had to remain outside the Shell. Too bad, we were pretty…pumped, as you can see in the slideshow.

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From there it was off to the old part of town to check out…

#3.) Old Salem Village

This is a neat little pioneer village where the original town was located. It’s a historic site and tours are offered, but we decided to walk it ourselves because, well, seen one pioneer village seen em all, ya know! But at the end of the village is the old and quite unique cemetery which was cool (meaning neat) and chilling (meaning eerie, but not in a bad way). The cemetery is still active too, and not just with ghosts. In fact, there are vacancies as you can see:

old salem village cemetery

But this pic does bring up some questions…

  1. Why would remains be removed?
  2. How is this vacancy advertised? For rent or For sale?

From the cemetery we ventured to the tavern for some food and ale where I had an amazing 300 year old chicken pot pie with mashed potatoes and green beans. Okay, the pie itself wasn’t 300 years old, just the recipe. And there’s one thing I rarely pass up here, and that’s a chance to eat green beans. I love those things! Shelly had a pot-roast sandwich. It was lacking enthusiasm if you ask me. Mine was WAY better…just look at my plate! If it wasn’t socially unacceptable I’d have licked my plate clean.

While there we overheard a story about Winston-Salem’s baseball team. As you can see, Winston-Salem is hyphenated using a dash. So the team name is called the Winston-Salem “Dash” (or The Dash). And to “dash” is to run; be it to first, second, third, or home. Even more clever, right? Try that double-entendre with The Winston-Salem Hyphens! I would have loved to have seen a game. The ballpark of this minor league team of the Chicago White Sox looked like a great atmosphere for a game – better than our Toronto Blue Jays’ SkyDome (yes, I still refuse to call it the Rogers Centre).

There were a few other things we could have done in Winston-Salem, but we ticked off the three things on our to-do list and it was time to get back to the pets. Maybe on our next dash we can check out the Dash.

Now go sell all your stuff and be a tourist!


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