Miksch Tobacco Shop restored to its 1771 appearance, with additions to 1785. Photo Frances Griffith / courtesy Old Salem Restoration, Winston-Salem, NC
In 2000, the staff and supporters of Old Salem,
Inc. will celebrate the first 50 years of a monumental undertaking
in historic preservation. Originally a trading center built from
scratch by Moravian settlers of the 100,000-acre back-country tract
they named Wachau (Wachovia), Old Salem has developed into one of
the most authentic and inviting living history towns in the United
States. The restoration preserved more than a town; a culture in
danger of becoming forgotten was saved. Step by step, historic
properties were acquired and modern intrusions removed.
Old Salem is also the home of the Museum of Early
Southern Decorative Arts, showcasing furniture, paintings,
textiles, ceramics, and silver and other metal wares in 24 period
rooms and six galleries. A trained staff of costumed interpreters
describes and demonstrates the life and work of the Moravians. They
were known for the high quality of their craftsmanship, which may
be observed today as potters, carpenters, weavers, tailors,
cobblers, and metalsmiths go about their trades. Hands-on tours are
available for students, and a one-week program called "the Five
Yesterdays" immerses school children in the life of the Moravians.
Three-week sessions called "the Salem Apprentices" give teens an
opportunity to learn trades by working directly with a tradesman.
Museum classes in various traditional crafts are held for adults,
and six Elderhostels are held yearly for seniors. Two special
celebrations are held each year on the Fourth of July and in
mid-December. Plans for new reconstruction and restoration are
Originally submitted by: Melvin L. Watt, Representative (12th District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.