Old Salem Blog

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    An Update from #OldSalemFrank

    December 14, 2017

    By now, you may have heard about how this past weekend’s winter storm and power outage caused us to cancel our beloved Salem Christmas, candlelight tours, and St. Nick photo opportunities.  Due to a power surge, we suffered a physical loss to parts of our IT infrastructure, and, because of that, Old Salem has been unable to operate at full capacity.  This has all resulted in not only an estimated gross operating loss of between $150,000 and $175,000, but also a fresh-baked product loss.  We are happy to tell you that we have partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank, and we have been able to donate all of our fresh-baked products to their clients!

    The outpouring of love and support for Old Salem over the last few days is heartwarming – and, we have to thank our local and national media outlets for covering our story.  Many of you have asked how you can help, and, in response to these requests, we have set up a special “Year-End President’s Fund.”  All of the gifts received to this fund will directly benefit our affected operations.

    Thank you for loving Old Salem and thank you for your year-end support!

    CLICK HERE TO MAKE AN ONLINE GIFT

    Franklin D. Vagnone
    President and CEO
    Old Salem Museums & Gardens
    600 S. Main Street
    Winston-Salem, NC  27101
    336-721-7346
    fvagnone@oldsalem.org

    12/14/17

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    A message from Old Salem President Franklin Vagnone:

    Dear Friends,

    As I sit in my cozy living room in the “Fourth House” on Main Street in Old Salem, the beautiful December sun is streaming through our windows. Yogi, our dog, has found the streak of sun on the carpet to lie in and I am looking out onto the landscape, calmed by the serenity of the beautiful, crisp, and snowy world of the historic district.  This afternoon affords me an opportunity to reflect on the last few days here at Old Salem.  Due to the snow storm and the power outage, and our subsequent server damage from the electricity troubles, we have been forced into canceling many of our treasured Christmas events. This past weekend we cancelled our sold-out “Candlelight Christmas Tours,” “St. Nicholas in Salem,”  and the highly anticipated “Salem Christmas Festival.” We also have had to cancel our first-ever “A Special Day with St. Nicholas,” an event for families of children with diverse abilities or special needs.

    I am so saddened to have to cancel these events, but all of our behind-the-scenes operations (ticket sales, retail processing, and administrative functions) stopped in their tracks as a result of the unforeseen weather events and related damage.  Beyond the disappointment we feel knowing that we cannot host the many families and children who love to make Old Salem a holiday tradition, we are now facing an extraordinary financial shortfall in our budget.  As is the case with most sites like ours, Christmas is the busiest of seasons.

    We ask that all of you send us good Christmas thoughts with the hope that we can quickly restore operations.  Once we are back and running, we would love to see you chatting with our amazing interpreters, eating our delicious Moravian cookies and sugar cake, and of course buying some wonderful Christmas presents in our stores.  

    Many thanks for your love and support,

    Franklin Vagnone

    President and CEO Old Salem

    12/10/17

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    If you’ve ever wanted a very easy way to support Old Salem Museums & Gardens’ education and restoration efforts (as well as community events like this weekend’s Halloween festivities) here is your chance! Thank you for your support.

    10/28/17

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    Group Tours Office Relocation

    To better serve our visitors, our Group Tours staff was recently moved to the Visitor Center to streamline check-in and ensure that scheduled group tours have the best possible start to their Old Salem experience.

    10/20/17

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    Representatives from the Cherokee Nation visit Old Salem

    This week, we were delighted to welcome representatives of the Cherokee Nation, including the Secretary of State for the Cherokee Nation Chuck Hoskin, his wife January, as well as Jack Baker, former head of the Tribal Council and board chair for the Oklahoma History.

    Their visit was part of a continuing relationship with the Moravian Archives, which is publishing “The Records of the Moravians Among the Cherokees” with funding from the Cherokee Nation.

    The group toured the historic district, including an opportunity to see the Cherokee-related artifacts at Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.

    10/13/17

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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

Throwback Thursday: Winkler Bakery c. 1920
Christian Winkler arrived in Salem in 1807 to become the town's Baker. He ran the business until 1827 when Winkler's son, William, took over the bakery. Winkler descendants resided and worked in the bakery for generations afterward, until 1926.

Thanks to hard work by our staff, our recent technical issues have been resolved and Winkler Bakery is OPEN today! We hope you'll show your love and support of Old Salem with a delicious sugar cake soon.
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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.

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