Old Salem Blog

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    The John C. Blum House cir. 1890

    Built by John Christian Blum, the house served as Salem’s first print shop. Having been a tavern keeper with his wife, Maria, for the first five years of their marriage, they built this house and at that time Blum became the local agent for Cape Fear Bank. He suffered a catastropic fire of the bank funds that bankrupted him but his family continued to live in the house. In addition to local newspapers, in 1828 he began printing the Farmers and Planters Almanac, which is continues today as the local Blum’s Almanac. The original building was only a story and a half tall, and was raised to two stories by his sons after J. Blum’s death when they were finally able to repurchase the family homestead.

    While the home is currently closed for tours, a bright and innovative future is planned for it as it’s actual renovation will be part of historic interpretation for visitors.


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    Today a special presentation was given in Salem Square to commemorate the  new National Historic Landmark plaque recognizing the expansion of Old Salem’s acreage and time periods of significance. 

    The plaque text reads:

    This district possesses national significance as an exceptional reflection of the culture of German immigrants who established a theocratically governed, utopian town of Salem, the town maintained itself through time by adaptation, innovation, industrialization, and secularization of the town government and economy. The district is also significant as an archaeological site and as a pioneering effort to restore and preserve the buildings and landscape of the town of Salem.

    Expanded 2016

    United States Department of the Interior
    United States of America


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    April 26, 1838

    Complaints were reported about the hogs nightly rambling through the community, about the nightly noise of too many dogs, the bulls and the cows in the streets and the great number of  doves causing damage in the gardens. We wish that all this which harms the love and harmony in the community be removed. 

    Source: Records of the Moravians in North Carolina, Volume IX: 1838-1847.


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    “Of this month it may be noted that our doctor trepanned the skull of a German man, named Swing, about fifty years old, of Guilford County, who for a number of years had suffered extra-ordinary pain and has had a constant hammering and humming in his ears. This was probably the result of a blow with an axe and great fright, and sometimes he could get no rest day or night, and feared that he would lose his mind. He felt some relief from the operation, and we wish earnestly that it may serve for his entire recovery.” - Salem Diary, 1806

    This image is from the new Moravian Way of Health and Healing exhibit in the Doctor’s House. 


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    “It is well known that white lead and varnish is not a durable paint, and we wish we had something better for our new church. It was proposed to paint the well-house in the Square this year with a paint proposed in last year’s Almanac, which is not expensive and may last longer. The receipt calls for three parts of unslaked lime, two parts of ashes, one part of fine sand, mixed with linseed oil as for other paints.”

    - Salem Board Minutes, April 17, 1798


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    On this day in 1815:

    “This day was noteworthy because of the solemn celebration which the President of the United State (James Madison) recommended as a festival of thanks and joy for the priceless mercy of the much desired restoration of peace in our beloved fatherland.” - Salem Diary, April 13, 1815

    Source:  Records of the Moravians in North Carolina, Volume VII: 1809-1822.

    🎨:  Salem in Nord Carolina von der Süd West-Seite, circa 1819, Published by W.T. Neuhäuser, Niesky, Germany


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    “Men were in the potter’s shop like a swarm of bees, coming, buying, and leaving. Many could get nothing, as the first to come bought it all.”
    - Salem Diary, April 11, 1777


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    Did you know?

    Salem was the first town in North Carolina to have trained midwives. In the late 18th/early 19th centuries, midwives delivered babies, with doctors only stepping in if there were serious problems. Dr. Jacob Bonn, Salem’s first doctor, came to America from Germany where midwives were licensed. He knew the value of proper training for midwives and made sure it was part of the tradition of the town of Salem. The first trained midwife in Salem was Dr. Bonn’s wife, Anna Maria Bonn. Dr. Vierling carried on the tradition and trained several midwives during his tenure as Salem’s doctor.

    Tomorrow (Saturday, April 8) join us for the Doctor’s House Grand Opening featuring the brand-new exhibition “The Moravian Way of Health and Healing.”


  • A Moravian Easter

    A 2010 segment from NPR touches on one of Salem’s many long-standing Easter traditions. 


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    Main Street in Salem, NC cir 1890-1900.


Cross the bridge and visit us soon! ...

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Over the weekend, a new historic marker for The Brothers' Spring and The African School in Happy Hill Park. Pictured (L-R): Dr. MO Hartley, OSMG Director of Archaeology; Amatuallah Saleem, President, Happy Hill Neighborhood Association; City of W-S Mayor Allan Joines, Barbara Morris, St. Philips Moravian Church; Cheryl Harry, OSMG Director of African American Programming; City of W-S Mayor Pro-Tem Vivian Burke; John Larson, City of W-S Council. ...

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Another great bird's eye view from Wings Over Winston of Home Moravian Church ...

#WingsOverWinston (www.WingsOver.ws) This is the sanctuary building of Home Moravian Church at Old Salem Museums & Gardens in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Moravian architecture seen here is most notably defined by its round-arched windows and entrances and octagonal cupola. Note the diamond formed by smaller dark bricks at the peak of the gable. Does anyone know if there's significant meaning behind that? . #OldSalem #HomeMoravianChurch #ClockTower #MoravianArchitecture #WingsOverWinston #WOW #AerialPhotography #dtws #wsnc #myws #dtwsnc #DowntownWS #336 #CamelCity #BestOfWinston #WinstonSalem #winston #salem #CityOfArtsAndInnovation #VisitWinstonSalem Visit Winston-Salem

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Do you have a rising 3rd through 5th grader? Spots are still available for our July 24-28th Summer Adventures Camp here at Old Salem!

During the week, participants experience the early 19th century to learn about the crafts, trades, foods, skills, and life of the early Moravians in Salem. History, science, and art come alive with a variety of hands-on activities. Attendees will take part in pottery, hearth cooking, architecture, gardening, crafts, working with historic textiles, and much more.

Details: www.oldsalem.org/visit/for-kids-families/summer-adventures-at-old-salem/

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The Town of Salem

Experience early American history in the unique Moravian settlement of Salem. Original structures, gardens, tours, artifacts, hands-on workshops, fun family events and shopping.


Stroll through award-winning restorations that create a landscape reminiscent of early Salem where utility, practicality and beauty united. Tours, workshops and plants for your garden.


View history through objects and material culture. Tour a wide range of early southern artistry, craftsmanship and stories found in the world class collection of decorative arts from the early American South, 1660-1860.

Old Salem Museums and Gardens, 600 S. Main Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101 Phone: 336-721-7300 | visitwinstonsalem.com