About, Hours, & Contact

Old Salem Museums & Gardens is a historic site and museum combating food insecurity and exploring the stories of people, including Moravian, Black, and Indigenous peoples, in the American South. As one of America’s most comprehensive history attractions, our museums—the Historic Town of Salem, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), and the Gardens at Old Salem—engage visitors in an educational and memorable historical experience. The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) contains the finest collection of its kind in the nation, featuring architecture, furniture, ceramics, metalwork, needlework, paintings, prints, and other decorative arts made and used in the early American South.

Our Mission

Old Salem Museums & Gardens shares the rich, authentic, and diverse cultural history of the early South–with special emphasis on the Moravians in North Carolina, enslaved and free people of African descent, and Indigenous peoples of the Southern Woodland, through the preservation and interpretation of material culture, architecture, and cultural landscapes.

Institutional History

In 1950, a group of dedicated volunteers established Old Salem, Inc. as a way to begin preserving and restoring the town and gardens of Salem for future generations. As Old Salem grew, more buildings were restored and new facilities were added–including the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) and St. Phillips Moravian Church. In addition to having two National Historic Landmark buildings, the Salem Tavern and the Single Brother’s House, Old Salem was designated as a National Historic Landmark (NHL) District in 1966. The dedicated staff at Old Salem have worked since the 1990s to expand the historic district and engage community stakeholders in order to share a more authentic and diverse history of Salem and the early South. In 2016 the National Park Service approved an expansion of the NHL district, including changes to the boundaries, additional time periods of significance, and additional resources that allow us to share a more comprehensive history of Salem and the neighboring freedmen’s community of Happy Hill.


Hours

Select Venues (Visitors Center, Horton Center (MESDA), Winkler Bakery, Seed Saving Lab, Boys’ School, Miksch House & Garden, Muddy Creek Café, Salem Stitches, Potter’s Workshop at T. Bagge, Moravian Book & Gift, E.A. Vogler Coffee & Confections, Carpentry in the Miksch Yard)

Wednesday – Saturday
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.*

* Closed from December 24, 2021 to 2022. Reopens on Wednesday, February 2, 2022.

Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts

Wednesday – Saturday
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

* Closed from December 24, 2021 to February 1, 2022. Reopens on Wednesday, February 2, 2022. Research visits and tours will be by appointment only during the month of January.

Winkler Bakery

Wednesday – Saturday
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

* Closed from December 24, 2021 to February 1, 2022. Reopens on Wednesday, February 2, 2022.

Muddy Creek Cafe

* Closed from December 24, 2021 to February 1, 2022. Reopens on Wednesday, February 2, 2022.

Wednesday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. starting February, 2022

Salem Stitches

* Closed until February, 2022
Thursday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. starting February, 2022

Salem Pathways

Available 24/7 from your mobile device


Tickets

Tickets for visiting Old Salem can be purchased on-site only at the Visitors Center, the Horton Center, and Moravian Book & Gift. Tickets give visitors access to all open buildings, including the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) Self-Guided Galleries. 

Ticket prices (General Admission)

$20 per adult, $12 per student (undergraduate students must show a college ID), plus tax; free entry for children 0-3 years old. 

Ticket price (MESDA only)

Tickets to enter MESDA’s Self-Guided Galleries only are $10 per person, plus tax. 


Location

Visitors Center

900 Old Salem Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Historic District

600 South Main Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA)

924 South Main Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101


Before sending us an email through this form, please check our Frequently Asked Questions page for information on hours, tickets, photography and pet policy, and more.

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