It’s not everyday that I get to step back in history and catch an accurate glance into the past. It’s a fascinating experience and reminds me how thankful I am to not live there. I’m spoiled to my creature comforts of electricity and indoor plumbing. Old Salem Museums and Gardens pulled me directly into the 18th century as soon as I stepped through the door.
Built by Moravian missionaries in 1766, all of the buildings are original. There are no reconstructions on the grounds and all buildings have been restored to their original state (meaning no electricity.) We arrived on a gloomy day near dusk and were guided into the Tavern. Located on the outskirts of town to keep from influencing the villagers with travelers, this was the place were all strangers had to check in when they arrived at the village. Women were not allowed in the public rooms and we were quickly swept out the back door to the kitchen.
Detached from the tavern, this was where the women spent most of their time. Think it takes a while to get your morning jolt of caffeine? Be glad you didn’t live in 1766. Roasting the beans and preparing a cup of Joe took over half a day. We learned traditional methods of cooking and were served cake and freshly roasted coffee. It was a reminder of why I love my microwave!
After a tasty treat we journeyed to the Single Brothers House, a home for all the single men of the village. Here they were taught a trade and stayed, living, eating, and worshiping, until they married.
While in this home we met several of the tradesmen who provide goods for the town. They make all their pottery, clothing and utensils in the village. I was impressed with their dedication, most of the workers in the Museum and Gardens had been there for years.
We were invited to play the original Tannenberg organ with its intricate pipe system.
The lack of lighting, except for candles, made me appreciate the benefits of electricity! My pictures became darker and darker.
This is the tailor who designs and sews the clothing for everyone who works in the village. He says that his outfit was simple to make. And to think he does it without an electric sewing machine.
Old Salem Museums and Gardens features 22 buildings and would take days to explore thoroughly. I’d love to return when the weather is warmer, the sun is shining and I have more time. I’d drag the kids along too so they could appreciate those modern day conveniences.
As part of my visit to Winston-Salem with Krispy Kreme I toured Old Salem. I was not asked to write a review but wanted to share my experiences.