Old Salem

Rex's USA Diary

A Moravian Community

Seven hours rapid driving (or as rapid as one can get in Friday evening traffic) in a south-west direction from Baltimore/Washington got a small group of Kiwis and I to the outskirts of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The next day some of us explored the restored community of Old Salem.

This community had its beginnings in Moravia, (Czechoslovakia) where a group who felt their religion was being stifled, decided to set up a community in a new land. The came to America and after some shuffling around, eventually established themselves in an area they named Wachovia near the northern border of North Carolina. They set up the religious community of Salem and some years later they sold land to other non-community settlers who established the town of Winston. The towns ultimately merged to become Winston-Salem. As a part of recent restoration work, Old Salem has become a living museum in the town. Salem, NC has nothing to do with the Salem where witches were burnt.

Reading the Old Salem sign

Karen, Rob, Bryan and I prepare to see as much of Old Salem as we can without paying any money. However nicely restored a place may be, $15 a head for a couple of hours casual sightseeing is a bit steep.

Checking heritage fencing

Fencing around the community commonly relied on the use of stacked timber. The settlement included its own pit saw mill and blacksmith shop. Rob leads off the tour, having successfully circumvented the first barrier.

A church or castle?

Somehow we ended up at the cemetery. Could this be a subtle hint to cheapskate tourists? The church (?) has a decided Scottish castle look to it.

Old Salem Dog

We were suitably impressed with the ironwork around this house. Not only did it have a dog, but there was also ...

Old Salem Cat

... a cat. We chose to let sleeping lions lie!

Old Salem garden shed

Garden areas are still maintained, this building being the implement shed and produce store.

Wachovian gentlemen

Rob and Bryan display a certain Wachovian air. They know that when in Wachovia, do as the Wachovians do. Plus they were getting hot and weary.

Horse and Carriage

Commuting in those days had a slightly different feel to it.

Look here for some history of Old Salem and Wachovia.