Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Old Salem

I was in Winston-Salem, NC last week (where I grew up) and briefly visited Old Salem.  It is like a small Williamsburg of restored homes and gardens.  It was a lovely day, very warm and balmy.  There were children everywhere. 

Salem was founded in 1766 by the Moravians – a Protestant group of people that began in what is now known as the Czech Republic. The Moravians were missionaries who established an earlier settlement in Bethlehem, PA before beginning "Wachovia" in the North Carolina backcountry in 1753. In the Wachovia Tract of nearly 100,000 acres, Salem was the central administrative, spiritual, craft, and professional town surrounded by five outlying congregations.  The Moravians are still a very active congregation in the area and many of their Christmas customs are followed today in the community, as well as at other major holidays.

If you have never been to Old Salem, it is worth the trip, although the restored area is not large.  You can tour some of the homes, many are privately owned but managed by a very restrictive covenants to keep them in like they were in the 1700's.  No tomatoes, no geraniums (they did have these plants back then).

Salem Tavern is a fine place to dine for lunch or dinner.  My mother and I had a wonderful lunch there.

There is a collge (Salem College) in Old Salem and a girls' boarding school (Salem Academy) on the back side of the area.  I attended them both!  There is also a toy museum and MESDA (Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts) which is one the best furniture museums in the country. Highly recommend a visit there and reserve a few hours for your visit. 

My camera was not working well that day, but here are a few more shots of the beautiful area. This is a private residence. Notice there are no storm windows are doors (they are not allowed).

This is the town square.  The large building in the background is part of the college and the buildings to the right are dorms.

Here is the current exhibit at MESDA.  Can't wait to see this!

You can tour these houses:


Enjoy your Wednesday.  Plan a visit to Old Salem!

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful community to attend boarding school. Thanks for sharing these great pictures.


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