Old Salem, North Carolina

This weekend, I was able to escape for a short time, about five hours to be exact, into the colonial era. Old Salem is a Moravian community (established 1766) located in Winston – Salem. This is one of the best spots to visit if you’re interested in history. But, this is no usual colonial town. I was amazed to find how different the community really compared to Williamsburg or Sturbridge. Old Salem was very much a planned community. They believed in equal education and is home of the oldest woman’s college, Salem Academy and College.

It was wonderful. I started at the Vierling House, the town physician, were I got a more in depth look at herbal medications and surgical techniques. It also helped that one of the guides was so amazing handsome with his light blue eyes and light colored hair. *sighs* Hey, I’m only human!

I also got to learn a lot about cooking techniques including roasting meat by placing hot embers on the lid of a roasting pot and how they create and store meat pies for winter. The bakery is a must go! They bake everything they sell, each loaf and cookie a master piece. And the Salem Tavern Restaurant has to be the best! It has wonderful, wonderful food and atmosphere. Though, the tables are placed tightly together, but it’s so worth it. Highly recommend the gingerbread with lemon ice cream for dessert.

I loved the Single Brother’s House. This large building served as a home and spiritual center for the unmarried men in Old Salem. As you walk through its halls, it showcases the various trades the young men could learn including carpentry, working with tin and pewter, and tanning.

Now, I have to mention also the Salem Tavern (not the Restaurant, but the historical building itself) was once were President George Washington stayed. It was fascinating to tour the rooms and picture him writing his address to the town during his stay.

What was most inspiring for my WIP was the Log Church, the exhibit of the African American congregation. Here you stepped into the lives of several people who are buried in the church’s graveyard. It helped me to understand and build one of my characters’ histories, even explain some of the traumas that occurred during his life.

To finish the day, I stopped by the Brick Church graveyard. As I read the interruptive sign, a feral black cat came strolling up to me. He stopped in front of me, letting me pat his smooth fur. Once he had his fill of love, he paused by the graveyard gate, gazed into the yard, and then disappeared by the Log Church. I know of the legends of black cat crossing your path, but to me this was a good sign – perhaps even lucky (I can hope).

It was an amazing day! And I will definitely be returning one day! But, for now, it’s time to move onto Monday and onto my homework, writing, and Meet an Author Monday.

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10 thoughts on “Old Salem, North Carolina

  1. What a wonderful weekend, Kelsey! Thanks so much for sharing the photos. I think you’ll need to find a way to make that light-blue-eyed guide a character in one of your books. 🙂


    1. Inspiration has just struck for a new character! Oo, this will make things interesting! (I love stiring the pot – LOL.) Thanks, Lisa! 😀


  2. Thanks for sharing your travels with us, Kelsey! I really like the concept of getting all single men living in one house in town–makes ’em much more accessible! Why can’t we have something like that today? I’ll tell you why–that house would STINK! I’m thinking the Single Brother’s House has morphed into match.com in modern day? 😉


  3. Oh what a great way to do research! I wantttttt!!!!!!!!! Wait…I write science fiction. Though I could take a trip to incorporate that somehow??? Or Roswell..one of the two.


  4. It’s so cool you got to enjoy yourself AND do some background research. What an atmospheric step back in time. Too bad your tour guide wan’t placed tightly together w/ you at lunch. 😉

    Happy studying!


  5. Thanks for sharing Kelsey!! One question…where is the picture of this handsome tour guide???? LOL
    I will have to put Old Salem on my places to visit before I die…:D


  6. I love road trips – they are such a great way to learn about new things. Thanks for sharing Old Salem with us.


  7. I wish my stories were set in real places so I could go on research trips like this 🙂 It must be such a good way to get your head into the characters and setting.


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