Johann Michael Seiz Jr.

Born: 6 March, 1765
Died: 17 May 1792
Residences: Broadbay, N.E.; Bethania, NC

 

Johann Michael Seiz Junior was born on March 6th 1765 in Broadbay, Maine. He moved to Bethabara in 1769 with his father in November of 1769 along with about 300 other Moravians who chose to relocate.[1]
He initially learned the linen weaving trade in 1782, however two year later he began an apprenticeship under Christian Triebel to learn the carpenter trade.[2] At some point between 1784 and 1785 he switched to masonry, learning under Johann Gottlob Krause. He completed this apprenticeship under Krause, along with Abraham Hauser, successfully and in 1785 was regarded as a journeyman mason.[3]
Lime was always an issue in Salem, North Carolina. The town was built far from the nearest source of the vital building material. In response to this, Seiz, Krause, and Abraham Loesch, went to the far side of the mountains to burn lime. This seems to have been an act of frustration as several buildings under construction at the time had been delayed by the lack of lime. This had been a problem for buildings such as the Salem Tavern and the First Houses of Salem, and was presently a problem for their current project, The Single Sisters House.[4]
Seiz worked on and off jobs in Salem during 1787. Krause was the master mason in town and commanded much of the attention of the workers. However Seiz also aided in laying stone for the Lick-Boner House and the Traugott Bagge House. However there was a drought in work for the other masons in Salem, so in October of 1787 they were offered alternative work by the community diaconate. Abraham Loesch, Rudolf Strehle, and Seiz were offered the job of breaking and stacking rocks with permission to sell them to customers over the summer building season.
In April of 1788 Seiz took over the old Hege plantation and married Catherine Hauser. The Aufseher Collegium mentions that he spent the rest of his days as a farmer.[5]
While his contributions were small, Johann Michael Seiz Jr. was a mason who helped form the backbone of the Salem community. His work allowed for men like Johann Krause to design and construct buildings that reflect the styles and forms that Salem has become known for.

 

 

[1] Ibid, 8 November 1769.

[2] Ibid. 25 Feb 1784

[3] Ibid. 25 October 1785

[4] Ibid. 30 Oct 1786

[5] Aufseher Collegium Minutes, 24 April 1788, Moravian Archives, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.