To many, Old Salem Museum and Gardens is the soul of Winston-Salem. This special place is a living history museum with historic buildings, costumed interpreters, and heirloom gardens, It is also home to the acclaimed Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA).
Thoughtfully restored over the past 50+ years, Old Salem is more than a historical attraction – it’s a privately funded local gem full of heritage and heart. Among the beautiful 18th-century architectural details and award-winning gardens, there is the lingering presence of a progressive, peaceful Moravian culture that made Winston-Salem a town of many firsts including the first documented Celebration of Peace (Fourth of July celebration); the country’s oldest continuously operating private educational institute for women (Salem Academy & College); the state’s first brewery and distillery (Single Brothers House), as well as home to the oldest standing African American church in North Carolina (St. Philips Moravian Church).
It is also the first place Harrison and I were introduced as husband and wife. But I digress.
Old Salem is one of the first places you should take out-of-town guests. Or visit if you’re new to town. Buy a ticket and be a tourist for the afternoon, or better yet, become a member and visit anytime. Eat your weight in Moravian sugar cake at Winkler’s Bakery.
Breathe in the smell of fresh beeswax candles. Learn the art of seed saving and swapping in the spring; learn how to press fresh North Carolina apples into cider in the fall. In the summer, bring your picnic blankets for live music and pickup organic goods at the Cobblestone Farmers Market.
And in the winter, take a stroll back in time for month-long Christmas Time celebrations among the glow of Moravian stars.
No matter the season, just make it a point to go. And for all you Townies like us who love this historic place, consider making an investment its future.
This weekend, visit for FREE!
August 11, 12, & 13, 2016
(corner of Academy and Main Street)
In celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the founding of Salem, NC, enjoy a concert each night on Salem Square followed by a magical light show that tells the story of Salem. Bring your family and a picnic blanket and experience the story of Salem in a most unique way.
Illuminate Salem is FREE and open to the public, but the donation of nonperishable food items for Sunnyside Ministry is encouraged.
250th Anniversary Community Day
Saturday, August 13, 2016
9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Enjoy a FREE visit to Old Salem Museums & Gardens including….
Open buildings for self-guided tours (FREE) / Festive food vendors on Main Street near the Horton Center / Hear music played on the historic 1800 David Tannenberg Organ / Learn about the history of African Americans in Salem in the St. Philips Heritage Center / Play a historic game of hoops & sticks / Visit the Summer Garden and learn about 18th century daily life, plus loads more.
There is no charge to attend this special event, but the donation of nonperishable food items for Sunnyside Ministry is encouraged.