Germanton was established in 1790 and is the oldest community in Stokes County. The town's original 23 acres (93,000 m2) were part of a 700-acre (2.8 km2) tract that was granted to Jacob Lash by the Earl of Granville in 1762. The 23 acres were deeded from brothers Michael and Henry Frey. German was the first language of Moravian settlers. American Revolutionary War Major Joseph Winston and later U.S. Congressman was a famous Germanton resident with a plantation nearby.
Coal was mined in the Germanton area but was of low quality.