Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Old Salem offers a look back at N.C. cultural background


By Dathan Kazsuk | November 22, 2016
Twitter: @TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: @trianglearoundtown

Known as a living museum, Old Salem is a restored Moravian community on the outskirts of downtown Winston-Salem. The village was originally settled by the Moravian Church, who started construction of the buildings as far back as 1766. Some of the highlights of this old village includes such places as the Salem Tavern, where General George Washington stayed while passing through North Carolina; the Single Brothers' house and the T. Bagge Merchant shop.

While taking a stroll down the half-mile main street of Old Salem you can't help but get thrown back in time while viewing the aged buildings and early Germanic architecture. The village is also the site of Home Moravian Church, a functioning congregation as well as Salem College and Academy.

Tickets to view the inside of several of the buildings at Old Salem can be purchased at the Old Salem's Visitor Center. Tickets aren't required to walk along the streets of Old Salem, and can lead to some great photo opportunities as well as learning a thing or two about times of the past.

The Tavern Smokehouse once rested here behind the Salem Tavern.

Tavern Smokehouse
For centuries the smokehouse was a common sight in backyards during this time. Smokehouses such as the one that once stood here played a vital role in providing meat year-round to the patrons of Salem. Typically a small, enclosed, windowless structure with a central fire pit inside, smokehouses would suspend meat from poles for curing. Usually packed in salt for anywhere up to six weeks before hung over the fire for one or two weeks to complete the curing process.


The Tavern offers lunch, supper and Sunday Brunch.

The Tavern
The Tavern in old Salem was built in 1816 as an annex to the historic 1784 Tavern in Salem. The restaurant is a family-operated establishment which features dishes inspired by Moravian families living in the 19th century.

The J. Blum house was built in 1815.

J. Blum House
Part of your admission to Old Salem includes the J. Blum House. This house was constructed in 1815, while partially being restored in 1980. John Christian Blum built this house, which became Salem’s first print shop. In addition to local papers printed here, Blum also printed the Farmers and Planters Almanac back in 1828. The house was originally only a story and a half tall, but was later built up to two stories by his sons after Blum’s death.


Samuel Shultz tried many occupations after giving up as a cobbler.

Samuel Shultz House
Named after Samuel Shultz, the Shultz house is a two-and-a-half story building equipped with a full cellar. Shultz was a shoemaker and operated his shop from his home until 1827 when he decided to build a new shop north of his home. After leaving the cobbler’s bench, he tried other occupations such as raising silkworms and becoming a hard liquor dispenser.

The John Vogler house is one of many you can explore when visiting Old Salem.

John Vogler House
Constructed in 1819 this structured housed John Vogler and his wife, Christina Spach. Active in community services in the town, Vogler was a silversmith and along with his wife had three children. Once inside the house, one can view the private living space along with John’s shop, bake oven and smithy.


The T. Bagge Merchant offers many gifts and crafts from local vendors.

T. Bagge Merchant
Built in 1775 the T. Bagge Merchant was a store to serve the entire community of Salem. The shop, still open today gives visitors an opportunity to buy
crafts some select vendors. It also offers educational toys and books for children.

The Single Brothers operated a brewery back in the day ... we wonder if they crafted any IPAs.

Single Brothers’ House
It was common for Moravian men to live by the choir system, in which unmarried men lived together in the same building. The Single Brothers lived, worshipped and ate in this building. They also had a plantation and garden, while operating a bakery, brewery, distillery, tannery and a slaughterhouse.

Old Salem has many private residence homes, including the Bello House.

Belo Home
This home was constructed in 1849 by one of the wealthiest residents in Salem. Edward Belo ran his mercantile business on the first floor and lived on the second floor.


The old gun shop lies quiet on the streets of Old Salem.

Timothy Vogler Gun Shop
The gunsmith shop displays fine artistry of gunsmithing, including a working forge for metal work, woodworking and tooling. Vogler lived in a house adjacent to his shop. The gun shop was constructed in 1831 and restored in 2002.

The Vierling House is close to the old Moravian church and graveyard.

Vierling House & Garden
Dr. Samuel Vierling lived here with his wife Martha Miksch Vierling and their children. Veering was trained in Berlin, and was called across the sea to Salem in 1790 to become the town’s physician. His apothecary was located inside the house.

Old Salem's Visitor Center is located at 900 Old Salem Road in Winston-Salem. Tickets range from $25-$28 and can be purchased by going here