Core Initiatives

Old Salem has organized its mission-centric efforts into the following core initiatives that when combined, produce a vibrant, inclusive, heritage site.

Learning in Place takes the historic ideals of education and invites partnerships with educational institutions (elementary through colleges and universities) to create place-based learning opportunities for students and for adult professionals seeking curriculum-based and continuing education courses taught within the historical context of the subject.
Hidden town project
Old Salem Museums & Gardens has a groundbreaking initiative called the Hidden Town Project to research and reveal the history of a community of enslaved and free African Descent who once lived in Salem, North Carolina. These histories involve the complicated use of slavery and enslaved people to build the town and their contribution to the mercantile prosperity of Salem. The Hidden Town Project tracks the effects and legacy of enslaved people from the inception of Salem in 1766 through the Jim Crow Era and into the 21st Century. 
Seeds with Stories is an initiative aimed at highlighting the histories of Old Salem’s Historic Plant Collection in ways that are engaging to visitors. Old Salem’s restored landscapes and gardens have always been rooted in the reintroduction of historically appropriate trees, shrubs, herbs, flowers, grains, and vegetables. This effort has resulted in a significant collection of heritage plants and seeds. The histories behind these species are significant. By learning and participating in these seeds’ stories they become part of our own story. 
Old Salem Museums and Gardens is dedicated to achieving the highest possible degree of access for all visitors. Old Salem is considering a wide spectrum of needs including cognitive impairments, autism spectrum awareness, sensory limitations, language processing abilities and mobility restrictions. The long-term goal is to transform the Old Salem experience into one that deeply engages our visitors of all ages, no matter the physical or cognitive challenges.