Old Salem Blog

Old Salem on Tumblr

  • photo from Tumblr

    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.


  • photo from Tumblr

    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 


  • photo from Tumblr

    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.


  • photo from Tumblr

    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.

    Expanded 2016

    United States Department of the Interior
    United States of America


  • photo from Tumblr

    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.


  • photo from Tumblr


    “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. 


  • photo from Tumblr

    “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


  • photo from Tumblr

    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


  • photo from Tumblr

    “Men were in the potter’s shop like a swarm of bees, coming, buying, and leaving. Many could get nothing, as the first to come bought it all.”
    - Salem Diary, April 11, 1777


  • photo from Tumblr

    Did you know?

    Salem was the first town in North Carolina to have trained midwives. In the late 18th/early 19th centuries, midwives delivered babies, with doctors only stepping in if there were serious problems. Dr. Jacob Bonn, Salem’s first doctor, came to America from Germany where midwives were licensed. He knew the value of proper training for midwives and made sure it was part of the tradition of the town of Salem. The first trained midwife in Salem was Dr. Bonn’s wife, Anna Maria Bonn. Dr. Vierling carried on the tradition and trained several midwives during his tenure as Salem’s doctor.

    Tomorrow (Saturday, April 8) join us for the Doctor’s House Grand Opening featuring the brand-new exhibition “The Moravian Way of Health and Healing.”


Pretty pup Jameson is enjoying is Main Street stroll today #DogsOfOldSalem #TakeYourDogToWorkDay ...

View on Facebook

🍰❤️ ...

Dessert dessert dessert! #desserts #tearoom #teatime #tealover #wsnc #yummy #yes

View on Facebook

Have a 3rd through 8th grader? Join us in the pottery as a family to craft a pot on the wheel, feel the glow as you cook in the historic kitchen using 18th-century recipes and hearth cooking techniques (which you will get to eat!), write with a quill pen and make a corn husk boy or girl doll to take home, and much more!

Two opportunities to participate in an Old Salem One-Day Family Camp - July 8 and August 5th!
➡️ www.oldsalem.org/events/event/one-day-family-camp/

View on Facebook
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