Old Salem Museums & Gardens

Old Salem Museums & Gardens

If it’s authenticity and living history you seek, look no further than Old Salem Museums & Gardens. Carefully preserved buildings and homes of this Moravian settlement engage visitors in the experience of daily life as it existed in 18th and 19th century North Carolina.


Tools and trades of tinsmiths, cobblers, bakers and gunsmiths—as plied before the Civil War—are happily shared by friendly and knowledgeable interpreters. Quaff a beverage at Salem Tavern (where George Washington slept for two nights in 1791), and shop for ginger cookies, sugar cakes, and fresh breads made in Moravian beehive brick ovens using original recipes.

Take part in holiday candlelight tours, then step into The Home Moravian Church, established in 1771, or St. Philips Church, the oldest standing African-American house of worship in North Carolina, built in 1823.

Old Salem is also home to The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA)—the only facility that exclusively researches and exhibits the textiles, silver, furniture, paintings and other decorative arts made and used throughout the Southeast U.S. in the early 19th century.

The historic Salem College is the longest running women’s college in the U.S., and its Single Sisters’ House, built in 1785, is the oldest building in the country dedicated to women’s higher education.

More than 100,000 visitors come annually to the community of Old Salem Museums & Gardens, a fascinating opportunity to stroll, relax, learn, shop and eat.

Also read Old Salem's Charm: The Three Museums & Gardens , Attractions in Winston Salem

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