Old Salem Blog

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  • 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.


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    On this day: March 21, 1791

    “Our little school girls had a lovefeast with their two teachers, whose birthdays follow each other closely.” - Salem Diary, March 21, 1791.

    Source: Records of the Moravians in North Carolina, Volume V: 1784-1792


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    March 16, 1817:

    The house-fathers met in the little Saal, and a number of points were discussed relative to better precautions against fire.

    - Salem Board Minutes, Records of the Moravians in North Carolina

    (Pictured: fire buckets in the Single Brothers’ House)


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    March 13, 1794:

    “We wish that more politeness and willing service might be shown to  visitors, especially in the Tavern where the service should be of the best; the Tavern servant should always be at hand, when visitors of distinction arrive, to take their horses, unsaddle them, and carry to their rooms the saddlebags, portmanteau, or what ever they bring with them.”

    - Salem Board Minutes, Records of the Moravians in North Carolina Vol. VI: 1798-1808


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    The Single Sisters’ Choir in Salem

    Each woman or older girl was required to pay for her room, board, clothing and other personal needs. In addition, the Single Sisters earned money by providing services to the community: operating a laundry, weaving linen, sewing leather gloves, nursing the sick, teaching girls, and from 1805, running a girls’ boarding school.

    The Single Sisters’ hard work, much of it manual labor, helped to anchor Salem’s economy. After the sisters had paid the last installment on the mortgage for their choir house in 1820, their profits helped to support mission projects, the financially struggling Boys’ School, and other Moravian enterprises.

    - Old Salem, the Official Guide Book


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    March 6, 1782:

    “Today and the next day French engineers were here. They came from the army, stationed at Charlotte in Virginia. They looked around the town with interest, and busied themselves drawing its location.”

    - Salem Diary, 1782, Records of the Moravians in North Carolina Volume IV.  

    🎨: View of the Corner of Academy and Main Street, 1846-1849
    Henry Jacob Van Vleck (1823-1906), Salem, North Carolina
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    Old Salem Museums & Gardens (5268)
    Anne P. and Thomas A. Gray Moravian Decorative Arts Purchase Fund


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    March 5, 1779:

    “In the morning there was a thick fog, such as we have had for several mornings. The sun forced the fog down, and it was  a clear, warm day. The trees are blooming as never before, but the weather has caused many bad colds and several of the Single Brethren have had to go to bed. Not one swallow has been seen as yet.”

    Source: Salem Diary, 1779, Records of the Moravians in North Carolina Volume III


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    The Diary of the Congregation in Salem for the Leap Year 1780:

    August 2:

    “As we are to have a visit from the Assembly the necessary preparations should be made, for example the potter should make a quantity of of chocolate cups, bowls, and plates, and we should provide knives and forks.”

    Source: Records of the Moravians in North Carolina Volume IV: 1780-1783

    Old Salem Museums & Gardens, in conjunction with Mars Chocolate North America, will again present “Chocolate-Dipped History: Celebrating Coffee, Tea, and AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate,” on Saturday, March 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Old Salem. Details at oldsalem.org/chocolate


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    By the time the Vogler Family began living in this house in 1819, changes were taking place in the relationship between Salem’s European Americans and African Americans, changes that began to undermine the biracial tolerance that had existed in the 18th century.  The Vogler family was quite influential with the enslaved population in and around Salem. In John’s household in the 1850s was a young enslaved woman named Bethy. After her baptism at the African church in 1851, she was a baptism sponsor of over a dozen enslaved children before she left the church in 1865. Elias Vogler, John Vogler’s only son, was superintendent on the Sunday school at the African Moravian church from 1866 until 1871.


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The Moravians didn’t have Tamiflu , but pap—a mixture of bread soaked in wine or milk and sweetened with sugar or honey—was often fed to sick people and invalids with utensils called pap boats like these. #oldsalemobjects ...

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The Salem Tavern Museum bar. Did you know bars are called bars because they used to have...bars? ...

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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