Old Salem Blog

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    Old Salem Sampler

    The daughter of John Gottlieb and Martha Elizabeth Spach, Christina Spach (1792-1863) stitched this sampler when she was twelve years old. She included her initials in the center wreath, and those of her parents in the plinth. The wreath, plinth, and well are common motifs on Salem samplers as well as on samplers made at the Moravian seminaries in Pennsylvania. The exchange of teachers between Moravian communities accounts for motifs appearing on samplers from both regions.

    View pieces like this in the Dianne H. Furr Moravian Decorative Arts Gallery on your next visit to Old Salem Museums & Gardens at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.

    07/11/17

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    June 26, 1820

    “Br. Herbst sent the plan for his house through the Chairman of the Collegium. He wishes to make steps from the street to the second story, and plans a porch on the second story on the side toward the street. This has not been done on any house, and Br. Herbst must be careful not to bock the sidewalk.” - Salem Board Minutes, 1820

    📷 The Herbst House (pictured currently) is available as a
    rental preparation location for weddings held in Old Salem.

    06/26/17

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    It’s Flag Day!

    As you tour Old Salem, you may see historic flags flying from our buildings representing the time period of each. These flags are flown from Flag Day to Independence Day in the historic district.

    Pictured on the Single Brothers’ House is the First Stars and Stripes (1777-1795), also called the Betsy Ross Flag. An official flag was adopted by Congress June 14, 1777 and was the first internationally recognized flag. It has thirteen stripes alternating red and white, and thirteen stars on a blue field representing a new constellation. The layout of the stars was left to the individual maker. it was not until 1912 that the law was amended to specify the layout of the stars.

    06/14/17

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    May 31, 1791

    “At the end of this month the congregation in Salem had the pleasure of welcoming the President of the United States, George Washington, who was returning from his tour of the Southern States. We had previously been informed that he would pass through our town on his way to Virginia. Today we received word that he had left Salisbury, thirty-five miles from here, this morning, so the Brn. Marshall, Kohler, and Benzien rode out to meet him. As he approached the town several tunes were played, partly by trumpets and French horns, partly by the trombones. In his company were only his secretary, Major Jackson, and the necessary servants. As he decended from his coach he greeted those who stood around in a friendly manner, showing his good will especially to the children who were there.”

    - Salem Diary, 1791 

    05/31/17

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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.

    05/11/17

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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.


    1996
    Expanded 2016


    United States Department of the Interior
    United States of America

    05/03/17

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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.

    04/26/17

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    Ouch

    “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. 

    04/19/17

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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

    04/17/17

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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

    04/13/17

#LastDayofSummer on Salem Square.

There is much to look forward to Autumn in Old Salem this year! 🍃 🎃oldsalem.org/autumn
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With the Joinery and Pottery moving to their own dedicated spaces on Main Street, rooms of the Single Brothers' House that they once occupied have been transformed into a sick room, dormitory space, and sitting room for guests to experience life in the building for early residents in a fully immersive and hands-on way.

Visitors are encouraged to try out the beds, touch the objects, and learn more about the Single Brothers’ experience through tactile interaction with the spaces and objects.

These photos are of our first young visitors to the rooms.
...

With the Joinery and Pottery moving to their own dedicated spaces on Main Street, rooms of the Single Brothers' House that they once occupied have been transformed into a sick room, dormitory space, and sitting room for guests to experience life in the building for early residents in a fully immersive and hands-on way. Visitors are encouraged to try out the beds, touch the objects, and learn more about the Single Brothers’ experience through tactile interaction with the spaces and objects. These photos are of our first young visitors to the rooms.

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Tactile and immersive experiences... It's what we do at our Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts and throughout the historic area! ...

Southern Silver Treasures with Gary Albert

September 22, 2017, 2:00pm - September 22, 2017, 3:00pm

Join Gary Albert, MESDA's Editorial Director and Adjunct Curator of Silver and metals for a close look at some of the stories behind our silver collection.

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The Town of Salem
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.

GARDENS AT
OLD SALEM

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.

MESDA

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