Monday, December 5, 2011

"Old Salem, NC" the Moravian settlement - a living history museum


I finally visited the historic town of Old Salem, NC - one of the "most authentic living-history museums in the U.S."  I took my parents there on a Sunday and most of the shops and buildings were not open.  Ideally, one will visit and see the "workshops, homes, and gardens of Old Salem as the men and women carry on the daily tasks of living just as they were done in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries - crafting beautiful objects, running households and businesses, and engaging in artistic and musical pursuits."  

The founders of Old Salem were Moravians, a unique religious group that made one of their homes here in the town of Salem; "an oasis of beauty and order in the Carolina backcountry."


I am linking the photo above up with "Barn Charm #62" and the photo below I will link up with "Friday's Fences" on ... Friday. 


Some of these gorgeous buildings were actually workshops and not barns.  I LOVED the colors the exteriors were painted and the stone foundations are so beautiful!



Interestingly, this Protestant religion (Moravian) predates the Lutheran religion by fifty years.  The ordained Catholic priest, John Huss, because of the corruption he saw in the Catholic Church at the time, challenged the authorities, advocating a number of (much needed) reforms.  A few of them were:  for the people to hear the Mass in their own language, lesson the distinctions between the clergy and laity (including the right for the laity to receive both the bread and wine in Communion), and read the Bible and interpret it themselves.  Almost all of these "changes" are implemented today!

I am Catholic, but I find it quite disturbing Fr. Hess was burned at the stake.  He chose that rather than be exiled by the Catholic Church.  I don't want a religious debate, but will we humans ever learn?  In my opinion, EVERY religion equally shares the blame ... of pride... of intolerance... such a shame.


Just look at this stone wall and the sidewalks are of beautiful brick.  The roofs, well, take at look at the one below (and you can see it a bit in the above photo)...



The men and women were missionaries and lived in one big building (single men & women were separated, of course).  Often, parents were sent out to do missionary work and the children (even infants) were left behind for the community to raise ... Can you imagine?


Look at this... December 4th and there is STILL A GARDEN!!!  




The details of this town are so much fun to capture on camera and I hope to go back soon and take the tours and eat in the supposedly fantastic Old Salem Tavern!


These were the most interesting bushes.  Little purple seeds and I can't wait to see how they flower in the spring.  Does anyone know what these are?


And I wonder, is the above bamboo?  It was really tall, over 10 feet tall.  The bamboo I have seen at the zoo nearby looked differently, but I am thinking maybe there must be different types...

19 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

these are beautiful photos! the light you captured in some of them is enchanting!

Janet said...

These photos are rich with the allure of the past. I need to put this stop on my 'dream trip':) Thank-you for sharing these photos.

Ann's Art said...

You certainly know how to take photographs!...these are wonderful.

Carol Blackburn said...

Some wonderful shots, Margaret...love all the architecture, the old buildings and walkways.

George said...

A very interesting post, Margaret, and lovely photographs. Thanks for sharing this with us.

missing moments said...

You've captured some beautiful shots here! Those barns are gorgeous!

Christine said...

lovely photo's and history, I would love to visit a place like that

manicddaily said...

These are really beautiful photographs. Thanks for the history as well. K.

forgetmenot said...

What a wonderful place to visit, and your photos are quite extraordinary. Excellent shots of the church, barn, and other buildings. Have a lovely week. Mickie :)

Woody said...

I know the Moravian's had a large influence in Doylestown, PA (Moravian Tile Works) and Bethlehem, PA (Moravian College). I'm not a terribly religious person, but I believe in choice of religion should be a fundamental right.

I like the Moravian star in the first photo, they are all great!

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

Gorgeous photos!

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

They are all great photos but I was taken by the "garden" shot for some reason. Very nice.

Rose said...

I would love to visit this place...you got lovely photos of it.

Carletta said...

Love that first shot with the massive beams and wood ceiling! The hay adds just the right amount of texture contrast.
I really like the color of the barn and the stone foundation - what work that must have been.
All your shots are lovely!!

I think that last shot is perhaps some variety of ornamental grass. That's just a guess though.

Tricia @ Bluff Area Daily said...

Excellent post, Margaret, & absolutely wonderful images... I love love love stone structures, be it foundations, walls or buildings, so beautiful! Very interesting place, for sure

Thank you so much for linking this post to Barn Charm =)))

Larry said...

It's all spectacular and inspiring... thanks for your wonderful photography! Larry

Genie said...

When we lived in Asheville, we went to Old Salem many, many times. I loved it there. ALl of your pictures are beautiful, and they have taken my down memory lane today. It is such a special place. Beautiful photography. genie

lisa said...

This looks like it would be a photographer's dream visit Margaret! What a wonderful series of photographs.

Ginnie said...

In case I can never see this place with my own eyes, I am so delighted you "saw" it for me, Margaret. I knew a Moravian couple from college days (Michigan) who married and moved to Minnesota. It's so educational to learn about their roots from your post here. Thank you.