photograph by Joey Seawell

When surveyors reached the spot, after climbing through wild thickets and woods, they must have been confused. Here? It was 1807, and they’d set out to find the center of Guilford County. It just happened to be in a swamp. Greensboro, the county seat, was instead established a mile south.

Nearly 100 years later, wealthy businessman Basil J. Fisher announced his plan for the land that had been cast aside: a beautiful park surrounded by houses. By 1910, Fisher Park was the most prestigious place to live in the city — one stretch of North Elm Street inspired locals to call it the “Gold Coast.”

Soon, more modest houses popped up, too, and young families settled in. But the heart of this haven has always been the shaded, grassy area at its center: the city’s first public park. The core of Greensboro, gifted to its people. Today, the history here feels lived-in and well-loved. The homes, the park, the new restaurants and breweries — all are reminders of the beauty of community.


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Katie Schanze is the assistant editor and digital editor of Our State.