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"PRESERVING OUR PAST...ENHANCING OUR FUTURE"NISSEN HOUSE Restoration Project
The Lewisville Historical Society is restoring the home of industrial pioneer GEORGE ELIAS NISSEN of the NISSEN WAGON WORKS Family.
Built circa 1876, the house was relocated on January 1, 2009 from its original location at 6570 Shallowford Road to 213 Arrowleaf Drive to prevent demolition of the home.
The three-story structure featuring Italianate & Greek Revival architecture remains on original Nissen property located in the heart of Lewisville. It is one of the few surviving examples of these 19th century architectural styles in Forsyth County and North Carolina. The house has eight large rooms and eight fireplaces, with many original materials still intact.
George Elias Nissen (1839-1913), owner of large tracts of land, a saw mill and grist mill in the Lewisville Township in the 1870s-1880s, was the son of John Philip Nissen, founder of the Nissen Wagon Works in 1834. Nissen Wagon Works was one of the most important early industries in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. The Nissen family set innovative standards in the early business community, dating back to the late 1770s in the Moravian settlement of Salem, where Tycho Nissen (George Nissen's great-grandfather) was the town wagon maker.
In the 1870 and 1880 census, George Nissen was living in the Lewisville Township with his family. He owned a total of 1,700 acres of land in that township, the largest acreage among 85 landowners. The Laugenour-Nissen Sawmill was located on the property which is today's Lewisville Town Square, owned and operated by Nissen and his brother-in-law, Lewis Laugenour. Nissen's grist mill in Lewisville was the 4th largest industry in Forsyth County in 1870, with J.P. Nissen Wagon Works ranked as the 3rd largest industry. In 1880, George Nissen was the census enumerator in the Lewisville Township.
Nissen Wagons were known for their superior quality and sound workmanship, and were instrumental in the development of the textile and tobacco industries in Piedmont North Carolina, transporting raw materials and manufactured products.
George Nissen operated the family wagon business from 1874-1910 as the George E. Nissen Wagon Works. The business was located on a 600 acre tract of land in the Waughtown area of Forsyth County, producing thousands of hand built wagons during his leadership of the company. Nissen Wagon Works manufactured wagons for 91 years (1834-1925), selling wagons throughout the United States and abroad.
In 1925, brother William M. Nissen sold the Nissen Wagon Works business for one million dollars and built the eighteen-story Nissen Building on 4th Street in Winston-Salem, the first air conditioned office building in North Carolina. Today, the Nissen Building is restored as a residential structure and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
"The mission of the Historic George Elias Nissen House is to be an educational, cultural, social & historic resource, serving Lewisville, the Piedmont Triad & beyond."
EDUCATIONAL ... student field trips supporting North Carolina & American history studies ... adult lifelong learning classes & experiences ... public access archives for regional historical studies
CULTURAL ...gallery exhibitions for artists & craftsmen ... performing arts venues for drama, music & dance ... instructional classes in visual & performing arts for all ages
SOCIAL ... 19th century rooms with decorative fireplaces to host meetings & receptions for professional, community & family gatherings
HISTORIC ... 18th & 19th century historic sites located in the heart of Lewisville: the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road, Nissen Wagon Museum & George Elias Nissen House ... a destination for tourists traveling the North Carolina Daniel Boone Heritage Trails & the Yadkin Valley wine region
To date, the Nissen House Preservation Project has received valuable funding & support for restoration from numerous citizens, Nissen Family members & the following organizations:
Town of Lewisville
Lewisville Historical Society
Lewisville Civic Club
Lewisville-Clemmons Chamber of Commerce
Lewisville Business & Professional Association
Marion Stedman Covington Foundation
Historic Preservation Foundation of NC
National Trust for Historic Preservation
John W. & Anna H. Hanes Foundation
Preserve Historic Forsyth
LEWISVILLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY, INC.
is a registered 501 (C) 3 organization.
ALL contributions are tax-deductible as the law permits
Thank You for Your Generous Support !
NISSEN HOUSE FUND
c/o Lewisville Historical Society, Inc.
P.O. Box 242
Lewisville, NC 27023
Consider becoming a
"Friend of the Nissen House" !!!
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