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Celebrating 250 Years of Salem

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     Welcome Sisters to Salem - August 18, 1766

    Moravian Sisters, seven of them — pay Salem a visit for the first time. They are escorted from Bethabara by Brn. Ettwein, Schropp, and Graff, and they get a first class tour of the budding town in the wilderness.

    They have a lot to see since January’s beginning: The two builders cabins, the grid system of streets that surveyor Christian Gottlieb Reuter has been laying out, the proposed site for Salem Square, the well that Mr. Rothe is digging, God’s Acre on the hill to the north above the town… .

    And of course the First House on the main street in Salem, looking very German with its half-timbered walls and tile roof.

    A room in the First House is far enough along in construction that it has been designated as Salem’s temporary worship hall. The Sisters gather there with the Brethren, and on this day, August 18, 1766, they hold the first lovefeast in Salem, thus consecrating the worship room “with childlike joy and thanksgiving, singing at the close, ‘Now thank we all our God.’”

    Ah, bliss. And then, after a full day in Salem, the Sisters return to their homes and husbands in Bethabara.

    It’s likely that among the seven Sisters to visit Salem were Gertraut Graff (left) and Johannette Maria Ettwein, accompanying their husbands.

    Source: Moravian Archives: Salem’s 250th Day by Day

    To commemorate this event in Salem’s history, we will host a Moravian Sisters’ Singstunde (Moravian song service) this Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. in the James A. Gray, Jr. Auditorium of the Old Salem Visitor Center. 

    Click here for details


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    A historic weekend in Salem

    Thank you to all for sharing in the celebration of 250 years of Salem, NC during the weekend of August 11,12, & 13! Old Salem Museums & Gardens is very grateful to our generous sponsors, hard working staff and volunteers, community partners, the creative minds behind Illuminate Salem, and, of course, all our wonderful visitors who helped to make this weekend truly historic.

    We’ll be posting more photos very soon and our celebration of 250 years is far from over! Events continue through the end of the year. Follow oldsalem.org/250 for updates.


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    An anniversary poem

    From our friends at the Flour Box Tea Room & Cafe

    Sestercentennial celebration

    Semiquincentennial jollification

    Bicenquinqagenarial solemnization

    Quarter-millennial bacchanalization

    Salem settlement illumination

    Eight-mile journey elucidation

    Historical Moravian explication

    Visual and aural illustration.

    Happy 250th Anniversary, Old Salem!


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    Illuminate Salem beings tonight!

    It all starts tonight as we light up local history for Illuminate Salem (Aug. 11, 12, & 13) presented by Flow Automotive Companies! We appreciate the hard work of Norman Coates, Brad Peterson and the Winston-Salem Light Project for turning this concept into a reality.

    Tonight’s pre-show concert, sponsored by Salemtowne Retirement Community, features Gianni Brass Ensemble beginning at 7:30 p.m. with the show following at dark.

    Complete details: http://www.oldsalem.org/events/event/illuminate-salem/


  • Moravian History Speaker Series: “Salem: City of Peace”

    Tonight in Old Salem:

    The men and women who established the town of Salem in 1771 were part of one of the most controversial and dynamic religious groups of the 18th century. Salem was an outpost of an extensive network that included towns and mission stations in Europe, the British Isle, the Caribbean, South America, and British North America. The Moravian Brethren, as they were called, included people from many nations who were united by their unique form of Christian spirituality and their goal of bringing peace to the world. Salem was intended to be “a city on a hill” that would give the world a model of Christian civilization where there was order without violence, where men and women could find happiness without exploitation. This lecture will explore the spiritual and religious foundations of Salem and the way its social structured benefited the women and men who lived there

    Speaker Craig Atwood is the Charles D. Couch Associate Professor of Moravian Theology and Ministry at Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, Penn. He is also the Director of the Center for Moravian Studies.


  • 250th Anniversary of Salem, NC - WXII 12 News

    Visit this special page from our friends at WXII 12 News as they collect all their segments on Salem’s 250th year.

    Another helpful page - if you are planning a visit to Winston-Salem during 2016, is http://visitwinstonsalem.com/salem250 for information on events, restaurants and lodging for visitors.


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    Commemorate the 250th in comfort

    Introducing Old Salem’s limited edition, 250th Anniversary of Salem, N.C., commemorative T-shirt! For a very limited time, Old Salem’s Development Office, in partnership with Camel City Goods Co., is offering 250 commemorative t-shirts, paired with a hand-numbered 5x7 commemorative mini-print, for $30.00. Made in America, the shirts are an ultra-soft 50/50 cotton/poly blend and limited amounts are available in sizes XS to XXL.  

    To purchase your shirt, please contact Tabatha at trenegar@oldsalem.org or 336-721-7352.

    These shirts will not be reproduced, so don’t miss your chance to claim your (soft) piece of local history!


  • Old Salem Turns 250 Years Old

    Click to view a clip on horticulture in Old Salem from WXII


  • From the Moravian Archives


    Exactly where was Br. Christoph Schmidt’s brickyard in Bethania? That is an interesting question that hasn’t been answered until now. Frankly, we hadn’t considered Bethania as an industrial center, but rather a farming community that provided wagoners whenever Bethabara needed goods transported to Charleston or Bethlehem.

    Shortly after the Schmidts arrived in Wachovia on November 4, 1755, he set to work making bricks in Bethabara, instead of continuing the weaving trade in which he had been trained in Europe. They were among the first Moravian couples to move to the new town of Bethania on April 10, 1760, and evidently he took his newfound trade with him, so that when bricks and roofing tiles were needed for the building of Salem in 1766 they came from Bethania.
    And then Mo and Martha Hartley, resident archaeologists at Old Salem Museums & Gardens, declared that years ago they had seen a map of Bethania with “brick house” marked on it

    That got us to searching at the Moravian Archives, and bingo! It isn’t a map but instead Christian Gottlieb Reuter’s 1763 survey booklet of the land Christoph Schmidt rented in Bethania. On Br. Schmidt’s lot “IV.h.” in Black Walnut Bottom just above Bear Creek, Br. Reuter has written “Ziegel Scheune” — brick barn. Here it is, along with town lot No. 23a, where the Schmidts lived (just below the Opizes on lot 22) and the orchard lot No. 23b, which the Schmidts also rented.

    (Brother) Br. Schmidt’s brickyard also appears on Br. Reuter’s well-known May 6, 1766, map of the Bethania Town Lot (2,000 acres). There in the bend of what is now Bethania Road just beyond the old service station in the Bottom on the left going to Bethania, Br. Reuter has placed a tiny square. We had never noticed it before. Now we know it is Br. Schmidt’s brickyard, where Salem’s first bricks and roofing tiles came from.

    Isn’t it neat what industrial enterprise you can find in farming community Bethania when you are busy celebrating the 250th anniversary of Winston-Salem.

    Okay, you Bethania history hunters, now is your chance to dig up the town’s first industrial center. (But be sure to do it under the careful supervision of (Old Salem) archaeologists Mo and Martha Hartley).

    Source: 250th Day By Day (Moravian Archives)


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    Illuminate Salem

    In celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the founding of Salem, NC, enjoy a concert each night on Salem Square followed by a magical light show that tells the story of Salem. Bring your family and a picnic blanket and experience the story of Salem in a most unique way.

    These evenings are presented with support from Flow Automotive Companies.

    Musical performances (made possible by generous support from Salemtowne Retirement Community):

    Following each musical performance, a light show created by Norman Coates of the Winston Salem Light Project will be projected on the Single Brother’s House. The twenty-minute show, which utilizes photos, video, words, and music, will tell the story of the town of Salem beginning with its founding and continuing through its 250-year history in a unique and visually stunning way.

    Illuminate Salem is FREE and open to the public, but the donation of nonperishable food items for Sunnyside Ministry is encouraged.

    This event is being held in conjunction with our 250th Anniversary Community Day on August 13.


Old Salem Museums & Gardens shared Cobblestone Farmers Market's post. ...

COMING TO MARKET THIS WEEKEND: Special Guests: Mulberry Farm!!! Back with us for this weekend with all their water buffalo goodness!! Plan to stock up for the fall! Billy Place: will have grass fed lamb (lots of ground, soup/broth bones, organs). Red thumb fingerling potatoes, okra, eggplant, peppers, zinnias and sunflowers! Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery: Back to school means back to school lunches and snacks so don't forget the cheese! We will be bringing our fresh and aged goat cheeses along with brined and marinated fetas! Chad's Chai: will have Iced Peachy Keen, Chai and Green Peace!! Fair Share Farm: will have Power mix, Micro mix, Lil gem lettuce hearts and Dragon Beans! Felsbeck Farm: will have watermelons, and the usual produce! Gnomestead Hollow Farm and Forage: will have OYSTER MUSHROOMS GALORE!!!! Golden, Pink, Blue Oyster Mushrooms.... and there's more! Comb's Tooth, Lion's Mane's Cousin, will be hittin' the dance floor! A few Shiitakes will be headin' in your door..Fermented Cobblestone Chow Chow will make you SOAR!!! Flying high, the day nigh, we'll also have Kimchi, Curry Kraut, Sauerruben, and Curtido to help ye digest that third helping of pie! Don't cry, come see us and the blue sky! :D We accept Square. Meadows Family Farm: 100% Grass-fed Angus Beef in all cuts. Free-range Heritage Berkshire Pork in all cuts. Minimally processed specialty products such as Bratwurst and BACON! Quail and Free-range chicken eggs. NOMAD Farm: will bring eggs and pastured beef with LAMB and PORK back in stock this week! Pioneer Farm: is bringing a full lineup of beef! Plum Granny Farm: will have loads of goodies from our Certified Organic fields including Garlic (a new variety this week: Metechi, which is one of our spiciest!), tons of Taters (fingerlings along with German Butterball and Bintje), boxes of little Creamer Potatoes, Garlic Braids, Tomato Fruit Boxes, Basil and Papalo (a Mexican herb that is similar to cilantro in taste). They'll also have our tasty Garlic Scape Pesto for quick and easy meals! Rail Fence Farm: will have fresh okra and tomatoes, as well as fall vegetable transplants: broccoli, cabbage, collards, brussel sprouts and Red Russian kale! Rowlands Row: will have pastured, non GMO chicken, duck and chicken eggs. They will also have okra, green beans, peppers: lunch box, padrona, shishitos, Jalapeno, jimmy nardello, eggplant, potatoes, and spaghetti squash. And if your lucky our first round of baby greens; fingers crossed! Sanders Ridge Farm: will have from the Certified organic gardens - some heirloom tomatoes (slicers, sauce/salsa, and cherry), red and yellow sweet bell peppers, Becks Big Buck and Jade okra, great big juicy carrots, spring onions, and garlic. From the vineyard we will be sampling our fun fruity Peach-mango and Pineapple wines. From the Hearth restaurant - Chef Christian's Smokey Pimento Cheese, Half dried Tomato Spread and Sundried Tomato Herb Bread!! Winstead Farm: will have delicious non-GMO pasture raised chicken, eggs, and bone broth! AND of course MUCH MORE!!!!

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We can't wait for you to see what we have planned for the new Doctor's House exhibit. Stay tuned for details... ...

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Don't miss this very special event taking place Saturday, Sept. 3 here in Old Salem.

Details at www.oldsalem.org/events/event/heritage-festival/

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A fun evening coming up ...

Our Winston-Salem Flower School is hosting a fundraiser benefiting Old Salem at Old Salem Museums & Gardens where you will design a late-summer floral arrangement! The workshop will be held on Thursday, September 8. Wine and refreshments will be provided from 6:30–7 and the workshop with us will be from 7-9. Grab your friends, your mom, your daughter, a floral entheustiast and join us for a night of fun! To learn more about the event and register, click the link below. www.oldsalem.org/events/event/winston-salem-flower-school-in-old-salem/ Photo | Traci Arney Photography

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We'd like to extend our sincere thanks to all who donated non-perishable food items during our recent Illuminate Salem and 250th Anniversary Community Day events. We've received word from partner Sunnyside Ministry that FOUR TONS of food was collected, which is enough to assist approximately 265 families experiencing food insecurity.

Thank you to all for making this historic weekend one for the whole community!

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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