Our city is filled with history, and on September 7th history was made once again at Hanes Park in the West End area of Winston-Salem. From 11:00 am – 2:00 pm locals gathered at Hanes Park to celebrate the Centennial of Hanes Park and the recent renovations and improvements to the park.
The improvements of Hanes Park were financed by the 2014 bonds and consisted of restoring the main entrance to the park, landscaping and seating around the tennis courts, rebuilding the parking lot, building a new softball field and storage building, and new walls, stairs and landscaping along Sunset Drive. These improvements were overseen by William Royston, director of Parks & Recreation, and Robert Prestwood, the city engineer. Miller Landscape Architecture did the design work.
The Centennial was celebrated with games, sports, music, food trucks, face painting, a history tent and more, along with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the park’s improvements. There was something for everyone to enjoy, while celebrating an iconic piece of our local history.
P.H. Hanes bought the land west of West End in 1906, including the present-day park, and established a dairy farm on the land. Thirteen years later, in 1919, Hanes relocated his farm to the West Highlands neighborhood and donated 47 acres to the City of Winston-Salem on a condition that the land be developed for recreational use within two years. Hanes’ direction was straightforward and stipulated that the land be used for a public park and educational purposes only. There were not to be any residential dwellings or businesses on the land.
In 1921, the 6 tennis courts and two baseball fields were built, followed by a track and a football field. Additional tennis courts were built inside the track. In 1923, along the park’s northwest side, R.J. Reynolds High School built their gymnasium and swimming pool. Two years later the city built Wiley Elementary School.
Over its 100 years, Hanes Park has provided thousands of citizens with benefits, from the recreational opportunities and public events to the educational ones at Reynolds High School. and now Wiley Middle School. Hanes Park is thriving. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit recently, check it out soon!