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Celebrating 250 Years of Salem

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    September 19, 1766

    At a meeting in Bethabara on September 19, 1766, it is decided that when the company of Older Boys arrives from Pennsylvania with Charles Holder, Br. Praezel will take one boy as an apprentice in his weaver’s trade. But Br. Praezel will have to set up his loom in the First House on Main Street in Salem, because Bethabara has no room for it.

    Meanwhile, Br. Charles Colver, who was sent to Salem on September 9 to take over brickmaking from Joseph Müller, will also make Salem’s roofing tiles. That work had been done by Br. Christoph Schmidt at his brickyard in Bethania.

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

    Photo: Historic Bethabara Park, visitnc.com


  • Instagram photo by Wings Over Winston • Sep 13, 2016 at 4:16pm UTC

    The Builders’ House

    The fireplace in this Builders’ House Light Project illuminates from dusk until dawn to commemorate Salem’s 250th birthday this year. Imagine this: It’s January 6, 1766. You are one of a dozen Moravian men from Bethania and Bethabara who have set out to establish the new town of Salem. You select a site to build a shelter to live in while you construct, by hand, the entire town. You build the first house on this site in Salem and live in it with nine other men for almost seven years while you and your bretheren build the new town. This structure represents that first home in Salem which came to be known as the Builders’ House; it gave shelter to the men who built the new town from February 1766 until the formal occupation of Salem in 1772; it is true to size and location. This #LightProject #InstallationArt was created by Norman Coates and Jack Miller of @UNCSchoolOfTheArts School of Design and Production. Visit it through the end of 2016 at the corner of Brookstown Avenue and Old Salem Road.

    From Wings Over Winston


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    Today’s City of Arts and Innovation has strong roots in early Salem. The Moravians who settled the Wachovia Tract in 1753 were very innovative and forward thinking in their approach to life. A few examples of their innovation include the fact that Salem was home to one of the nation’s first public waterworks system as well as one of the first organized fire departments in the United States, and was at the forefront of innovative medicine at the time.

    Salem was the first town in the Southeast to build a municipal water system. The Salem Waterworks, built in 1778, worked by gravity. Wooden pipes were used to run water from springs located approximately one mile northwest of Salem. The springs were at a higher elevation than the town and the water built up pressure as it flowed to Salem. It was then diverted to five locations in the town: a standpipe at what is now the corner of Bank and Main Streets near the first houses; the southwest corner of Salem Square, across from the Community Store; and into the kitchens of the Single Brothers’ House, the Tavern, and the Gemein Haus, where it came out of wooden spigots.

    Medicine was an important and integral part of the Moravian lifestyle. A doctor was included as one of the first 15 men who settled the Wachovia Tract and Moravians differed from others in the American colonies in their use of a highly organized health care system that reached across all stages of life. Among
    other innovations, Dr. Vierling, who was Salem’s doctor from 1790-1817, was a pioneer in figuring out the relationship of diet to illness. He suspected that the high incidence of strokes in Salem might be related to the high consumption of salt pork. At his suggestion, the town established a central meat market so more fresh meat would be available.


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    250th Day of the 250th Year

    Members of our Development staff decided to be festive on this, the 250th day of our celebration year.


  • Baking Sugar Cake at Old Salem

    It’s time for your daily pound of bread from Winkler Bakery.


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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/


Happy #NationalCoffeeDay!

Photo of the Salem Coffee Pot by Wings Over Winston

#WingsOverWinston (www.WingsOver.ws) The Mickey Coffee Pot stands guard over the North Entrance to #historic Old Salem. At 7 feet 3 inches tall with a volume of 740 gallons, the #tin coffee pot was forged in 1858 by local #tinsmith brothers Julius & Samuel Mickey. The town of Salem was founded in 1766 by #Czech missionaries called #Moravians; the twin cities of #Winston and #Salem merged in 1913 to form the singular city of #WinstonSalem that is today renowned for arts, industry, finance and everything in between. The original dividing line between the kindred cities lies about 100 yards north of this #coffeepot. ... #WingsOverWinston #WOW #dtws #wsnc #myws #dtwsnc #downtownws #camelcity #336 #bestofwinston #oldsalem #aerialphotography #industrial #historic #coffee #visitwinstonsalem @oldsaleminc @visitwinstonsalem

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Keep an eye our for Sally if you are in the historic district! ...

Our beloved resident cat, Sally, has been missing since Sunday! She often roams around Brookstown Avenue, Old Salem, Marshall, and Cherry Street. She is declawed and has no collar. If you see Sally, please, call us at 336-725-1120. #wsnc #dtws #myws

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Why the long face? Halloween activities in Old Salem, such as the free family pumpkin carving on Saturday, October 29, will be here before you know it. For details, visit www.oldsalem.org/halloween

Thanks to our friends at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty for their continued support of these community events.

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Get your weekend off to a relaxing start this Saturday in Old Salem. ...

Yoga by the Barn

October 1, 2016, 9:00am - October 1, 2016, 10:00am

The event is free, however a donation to Old Salem Museums & Gardens is requested to participate (minimum $5 donation suggested). No registration is required. All participants have a chance to win a year-long family membership to Old Salem!ll yoga skill levels encouraged to join. Please bring your own mat. The event is free, however a donation to Old Salem Museums & Gardens is requested to participate (minimum $5 donation suggested). No registration is required. All participants have a chance to win a year-long family membership to Old Salem. While you are here, be sure to stop by the Cobblestone Farmers Market and make plans to stay for lunch at The Tavern in Old Salem or The Flour Box Tea Room and Cafe For information, contact Tabatha Renegar at trenegar@oldsalem.org or at 336-721-7352.

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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