Museums & Gardens a biannual magazine for friends and supporters | fall 2o13
Happy Holidays from old salem
2o12 – 2o13 board of trustees
old salem museums & gardens 6oo south main street winston-salem, north carolina 271o1 oldsalem.org | phone 336-721-735o | fax 336-721-7335
Old Salem Museums & Gardens consists of three museums: The Historic Town of Salem is a restored Moravian congregation town dating back to 1766, with costumed interpreters bringing the late-18th and early-19th centuries to life. Restored original buildings, faithful reconstructions, and historically accurate gardens and landscapes make the Historic Town of Salem one of America’s most authentic historical attractions. The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) collects, exhibits, researches, and educates the public about the decorative arts made and used by people living and working in Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, from the 17th century to the beginning of the Civil War. The Gardens of Old Salem consist of award-winning restorations that create a landscape reminiscent of early Salem where utility, practicality, and beauty are united. The gardens are authentically planted with open pollinated heirlooms that have been propagated from the museum’s heritage seed saving program.
Ms. Judy Lambeth, Chair Mr. Paul Fulton, Vice Chair Mr. F. Hudnall Christopher, Jr., Treasurer Mr. C. Edward Pleasants, Jr., Secretary Dr. Eugene W. Adcock, III Ms. Betsy Annese Dr. Anthony Atala Mr. Nicholas B. Bragg Mr. Robert J. Brown Mr. J. Haywood Davis Mr. Ted Gossett Mr. James A. Gray, III Mr. Robert E. Greene Dr. Edward G. Hill, Jr. Mrs. Ann A. Johnston Mr. Henry H. Jordan, II Mr. Stanhope A. Kelly Ms. Chris Minter-Dowd Mr. Anthony Montag Mrs. Paulette J. Morant Count Christoph Nostitz Mr. L. Glenn Orr, Jr. Ms. Margaret Beck Pritchard Mr. Thomas H. Sears, Jr. Mr. Daniel R. Taylor, Jr. Mrs. Margaret D. Townsend Mr. William R. Watson Mr. Hayes Wauford, Jr.
ex-officio members Mr. Franklin Kane Ms. Molly A. Leight Dr. Susan Pauly
This publication is produced by Old Salem Museums & Gardens, which is operated by Old Salem, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit educational corporation organized in 1950 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Old Salem Museums & Gardens logo and name are registered trademarks, and may not be used by outside parties without permission. © 2013 Old Salem Museums & Gardens Produced by Capture Public Relations & Marketing Editorial Support by Tyler Cox
Ragan Folan President & CEO Eric Hoyle Vice President Administration & CFO Tom Connors Vice President Development John Larson Vice President Restoration Robert Leath Vice President Collections & Research Paula Locklair Vice President Education
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From the President News & Notes from Old Salem Old Salem is Dipped in Chocolate History Sister Deborahâ€™s Customer Service Philosophy: People Like to be Acknowledged In the Zone: Traditional Woodworker Makes Furnishing for Boysâ€™ School Reopening Peeling Back the Layers of the Salt-Flax House Art in Clay Returns New to the Collections Reimagining the Vierling House Behind the Holidays Pillars of Our Community Calendar of Events
Cover photo: Christmas by Candlelight Tours. The photo was taken by Christine Rucker.
holiday gifts from old salem Every Purchase Benefits Old Salem Give over 2oo years of Moravian tradition this year and support Old Salem Museums & Gardens. Shop at Old Salem to discover the perfect present for friends and family as well as corporate gift giving. Find books, music, home dĂŠcor, museum exclusives, paper-thin Moravian cookies, and more at our retail stores and online at shop.oldsalem.org. In addition to crossing even the hardest to shop for people off your list, your purchase will help provide important funds to Old Salem.
shop online at shop.oldsalem.org shop by phone 877-652-7253
Letter from the President Dear Friends, The holiday season at Old Salem Museums & Gardens is a truly magical time for me, and, I know, for many others. From November 1 through December 31, the historic district is filled with holiday activities and everyday experiences that bring holiday joy. There’s something about the sights (simply but beautifully decorated homes), the sounds (holiday concerts, bustling shoppers), and the smells (freshly-baked sugar cake and Lovefeast buns being made at Winkler Bakery and hearthside cooking taking place in the historic district) that contribute to a warm, wonderful feeling that harkens back to simpler times. It’s the perfect place to find the holiday spirit. I think part of the feeling that comes from visiting Old Salem during the holidays and at other times of the year is a sense of nostalgia. People used to think that indulging in nostalgia was a bad thing, perhaps a sign of depression or other maladies. It turns out that recent studies have shown that nostalgia is actually a good thing that improves health and well being. In July, 2013 The New York Times published an article by John Tierny that examined this issue. Tierny reported that “Nostalgia has been shown to counteract loneliness, boredom and anxiety. It makes people more generous to strangers and more tolerant of outsiders. Couples feel closer and look happier when they’re sharing nostalgic memories. On cold days, or in cold rooms, people use nostalgia to literally feel warmer.” No wonder Old Salem is such a great place! Not only does it offer authentic history brought to life, but it offers a chance to relish the past and revive our souls through nostalgic reminiscences. In addition, Old Salem is a place where you can create new traditions and new memories. I hope you will take some time to come back to Old Salem and take part in some of our holiday offerings. Bring your family, friends and colleagues and create new experiences that can be cherished for years to come. Then come back in 2014 and enjoy the warm, positive feelings that nostalgia brings throughout the year!
In the meantime, take a moment to read our magazine; this issue is full of interesting articles from profiles of a few of our amazing interpreters to a story about our efforts to reimagine the Vierling House and much more. Hope to see you soon in the district! Best,
Ragan Folan President & CEO Old Salem Museums & Gardens
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News & Notes from old salem Exciting New MESDA/Colonial Williamsburg Collaboration Although MESDA and the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg have collaborated before, they have recently moved to a higher level of collaboration by entering into a five-year agreement for reciprocal extended loans. Prior collaborations include the recently opened exhibition, “Painters and Paintings in the Early American South” at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. With nine major paintings MESDA is the largest single lender to the exhibition. In addition, select objects from the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are already on display at MESDA. In total, 40 objects from MESDA are on loan to the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and, conversely, 30 objects from the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg to MESDA. These objects range from clocks and high chests to paintings and silver coffee pots. Many of the MESDA objects on loan to Colonial Williamsburg will be featured in a new, long-term exhibition opening at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, one of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, in January 2014. “A Rich and Varied Culture: The Material World of the Early South” will feature furniture, silver, ceramics, textiles and costumes, tools, machines, architectural elements, and other materials made in or imported to the South before 1840.
“Our collaboration allows each museum to tell a new and more complete story with these treasured objects,” said Robert Leath, Vice President of Collections and Research and Chief Curator at Old Salem Museums & Gardens.
Painters and Paintings in the Early American South, the art museums of colonial williamsburg.
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“But most importantly when two great museums collaborate, the public wins—creating a more meaningful visitor experience.” The two museums have already begun discussions on several ways in which they can broaden the collaboration. Ideas include not only reciprocal extended loans but also research exchanges (both documentary and scientific), conservation, joint exhibitions, and, potentially, joint publications. “The most exciting aspect of our new collaboration might be the opportunity to share research and bring together information,” said Leath. “MESDA’s Director of Research June Lucas, for example, was thrilled to help identify a dish dresser in the Colonial Williamsburg collection as the product of a particular Quaker cabinetmaking shop that worked in Alamance County, North Carolina, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.” Further evidence of the collaboration will be seen in Colonial Williamsburg’s 66th annual Antiques Forum, February 14–18, 2014. Titled “New Findings in the Arts of the Coastal South,” the program will feature multiple speakers from both institutions as well as a number of experts from museums and universities across the nation. Whether or not this partnership will be a catalyst for other museums in the country remains to be seen but both Robert Leath and Ronald L. Hurst, Colonial Williamsburg’s Vice President for Collections, Conservation, and Museums and Carlisle H. Humelsine Chief Curator believe it is what everyone should be doing. Why not give people more opportunities to see these incredible objects!
paintings on loan from colonial williamsburg are now on display in mesda galleries.
News & Notes from old salem New Faces and Old Faces in New Places
Congratulations to Two Old Salem Employees
Old Salem Welcomes Carolyn Fuller Carolyn Sherrill Fuller has joined the Development staff in the position of Manager of Annual Giving. Her primary responsibility will be all Society level giving to the Town of Salem, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), and The Gardens at Old Salem. Carolyn is a graduate of Davidson College and has extensive experience with annual giving. She has served as Associate Director and Director of the Annual Fund at Davidson College and also as Assistant Director of Regional Campaigns. She also served as the Annual Fund Director at Charlotte Country Day School.
At the employee Annual Meeting in May 2013, two awards were presented to Old Salem Museums & Gardens employees.
Congratulations to Frances Beasley Frances Beasley, who is currently Director of Development and Campaign Manager of On Common Ground, has received a promotion. She will become Vice President of Development effective January 1, 2014. Frances came to Old Salem in 2007 from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where she spent nine years in development serving in a variety of roles related to annual giving. In the past seven years, Frances has proven herself more than ready to move into this new role as Vice President. She has served as Old Salem’s Capital Campaign Manager and been involved in all aspects of Old Salem’s development efforts from managing our membership program to soliciting major gifts while developing strong relationships with our donors. Frances also has been integral to Old Salem’s event-based fundraising efforts. She is responsible for creating the New Benefactors group—a model organization for cultivating the next generation of donors and supporters. Thank you to Tom Connors Frances will replace Tom Connors who will retire at the end of this year. Tom joined Old Salem in 2010 at a critical time in our history. He led us as we conceived and executed our $17.66 million capital campaign while growing our annual giving programs. “We are profoundly grateful to Tom for his efforts, which were always done with a sense of humor and great enthusiasm,” said Ragan Folan, President and CEO of Old Salem. “His tireless energy helped us forge a new path for Old Salem as we launched our On Common Ground capital campaign. We will miss his upbeat presence in our halls!”
President’s Award Recognizing significant contributions to our mission, goals and reputation. Presented to Tyler Cox, Manager, Community Relations & Volunteers Tyler is the “unsung hero” of so many special events, as well as being the volunteer recruiter and “hand holder,” writer, mapmaker, peacemaker and film crew organizer. It’s all done on time and on schedule. He easily moves from one demand to the other, juggling many things at once. He seems to thrive on the diversity of his job without getting bogged down in the many aspects of it. He is a constant, steady supporter who makes contributions every day to the well being of both the Town of Salem and MESDA. Founder’s Award Given to the employee who has made a significant contribution to the organization demonstrating the same vision and transformational character our founders possessed. Presented to June Lucas, Director of Research June’s exceptional work on the Anne P. and Thomas A. Gray Library and MESDA Research Center project has been far above the call of duty, representing the highest level of professional accomplishment and dedication. She has personally overseen every detail and managed a team of librarians and researchers to create a brand new facility that sets MESDA and Old Salem on an even par with their peer institutions. The Gray Library and MESDA Research Center was the kickoff to the institution’s capital campaign, and it never would have happened without the hard work and dedication of June Lucas. Meanwhile, over the last several years she has earned the respect and admiration of her peers from institutions across the nation for her scholarship in Piedmont North Carolina decorative arts. She has written articles and lectured across the country about the beauty and historical significance of the objects made right here in Piedmont North Carolina. Please congratulate Tyler and June on jobs well done!
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News & Notes from old salem A Star is Born: MESDA Don’t Miss MESDA Staff on “Collecting Carolina” UNC-TV’s “North Carolina Weekend” has added a new segment called “Collecting Carolina”, which is led by awardwinning Executive Producer David Hardy and Independent Producer Julia Carpenter, with curatorial assistance from MESDA as they travel the state to discover North Carolinamade treasures. Tune in to see some of your favorite MESDA staff members as they make their star turn on TV. North Carolina has a rich history of crafts and decorative arts. As described by UNC-TV, “North Carolina’s early settlers established communities along our rivers, which were the transportation vehicles for goods and services. While the soil and climate determined the types of clay and trees, the immigrants, with their own cultures, brought individual style through fashioned furniture, pottery, textiles, and metal goods for their daily needs.” “Collecting Carolina” will highlight these traditions. “Collecting Carolina” debuted in August with a segment featuring MESDA and the Anne P. and Thomas A. Gray Library and MESDA Research Center (air date August 15). Several more segments have been shown to date including: August 29: “Pre & Post Civil War items and Longrifles with Michael Briggs, NC Collector and Writer, & MESDA Chief Curator Robert Leath” September 19: Thomas Day Furniture with local collectors & MESDA Curator Maria Shevzov October 3: Cameron Antiques Fair with Writer, Historian and Collector Ray Owen & MESDA Curator June Lucas November 14: NC Antiques Auction with Antiques Road Show’s Andrew Brunk & MESDA Curator June Lucas Don’t despair if you missed these segments; you can watch them at unctv.org/ncweekend/collecting. “North Carolina Weekend,” which is made possible by the generous support of the North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development, can be seen on UNC-TV Thursdays at 9:00 p.m., repeating Fridays at 8:30 p.m., and is also available on sister channels UNC-EX and UNC-MX. 4 | old salem museums & gardens | fall 2o13
News & Notes from old salem Old Salem Assists in Restoration of Maryland Statehouse Old Senate Chamber
by john larson
On December 23, 1783 General George Washington stood in front of the Continental Congress and resigned his commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in an emotional ceremony. He left immediately after the ceremony to return to Mount Vernon and a private life as a farmer. The Congress, which had been meeting in Princeton, New Jersey, had just moved to Annapolis, Maryland and taken up residence in what is now called the Old Senate Chamber. Designed by Annapolis architect, Joseph Horatio Anderson, Maryland’s Old Senate Chamber is not only regarded as one of the most historic and hallowed rooms in our nation’s history today, but even back in 1783 it was considered to be one of the most architecturally elegant and refined public spaces in Colonial America. Featuring a gallery described as “more elegant than required” balanced on the opposite wall by an ornately carved niche; the Old Senate Chamber was the embodiment of Annapolis-style design and craftsmanship. On January 14, 1784, three weeks after Washington’s resignation, it was in this same chamber that the Second Treaty of Paris was ratified, which formally ended the American Revolution and established independence. Over the decades that followed, the Chamber gave good service to the State of Maryland including a convention of delegates in 1786 that was a prelude to the Constitutional Convention. In the 19th century, the Senate Chamber incurred several updates and renovations, and in the early 20th century, it underwent a complete restoration.
In 2007, the investigation of moisture in one wall led to the discovery of new evidence about the early appearance of the Chamber. In May of 2009, an advisory board chaired by Richard Moe, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was established with architectural experts from Maryland, Virginia, and Old Salem’s own Vice President of Restoration John Larson to at first advise on the viability of an academically correct restoration of the Chamber and then consult and assist in the development of the restoration specifications. Meeting periodically over the next four years, the Advisors reviewed archival and physical evidence to ensure authenticity in a myriad of architectural details. The committee most recently met on April 4, 2013 to review and approve the final set of drawings and specifications needed to allow the physical restoration work to commence. Now the carpenters’, plasterers’, and other artisans’ work begins. The goal is for a completed restoration by December 2014 in time to celebrate the December 24, 1814 signing of the Treaty of Ghent and the ending of the War of 1812. old salem museums & gardens | fall2o13 | 5
old salem is
�ipped in Chocolate
history by ann urban
Last March, Old Salem Museums & Gardens feted one of America’s favorite sweet treats, chocolate, with a weekend of fun activities, tastings, and events. The weekend, entitled “Chocolate-Dipped History: Celebrating Coffee, Tea and American Heritage Chocolate®,” took place on March 1 and 2 and was a celebratory kickoff for the arrival in our stores of American Heritage Chocolate® products, made by Mars Chocolate North America.
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Six months later, it is clear that the American Heritage Chocolate® products not only have been strong sellers in our stores, but they also have been popular additions to Old Salem’s programming. After all, who doesn’t love chocolate? “Chocolate-Dipped History: Celebrating Coffee, Tea and American Heritage Chocolate®” will become an annual day-long event for Old Salem (mark your calendar for March 1, 2014). Activities centered on chocolate have been added to existing events such as our Independence Day Celebration (where delicious chocolate ice cream was made) and they have been the inspiration for creating new programming such as Homeschool Day: History in a Cup. Members of the Mars team were on hand for the weekend events in March and enjoyed their visit so much that they came back to shoot promotional photographs of their products being used in Old Salem. What is The Historic Division of Mars’ American Heritage Chocolate® and why is it such a perfect fit for Old Salem Museums & Gardens?
American Heritage Chocolate® products not only have been strong sellers in our stores, but they also have been popular additions to Old Salem’s programming. After all, who doesn’t love chocolate?
Here’s a nibble of the story: In 2003, Mars Incorporated undertook an extensive global research initiative to uncover the true history of chocolate. Mars Incorporated, working alongside an international team of more than 150 historians, food researchers, and experts, compiled the most comprehensive and accurate account of chocolate’s journey to North America, titled Chocolate: History, Culture and Heritage published in 2009 by Wiley. Out of this research project, Mars Incorporated launched The Historic Division of Mars in 2006. The Historic Division of Mars’ mission is to share chocolate’s rich past by allowing people to taste and experience history and Mars Incorporated’s 100 years of chocolate making excellence. American Heritage Chocolate® is an authentic historic chocolate recipe made from ingredients available in the 18th century. The recipe represents a true taste of chocolate the way early residents of Salem would have enjoyed it. Made with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives, American Heritage Chocolate® comes in three formats: chocolate stick, baking/grating chunks, and a finely grated chocolate drink mix.
At “An Evening of Chocolate-Dipped History” on Friday, March 1, guests had a chance to enjoy a special evening of all things chocolate and things that go great with chocolate. Special guest Rodney Snyder, Chocolate History Research Director, Mars Chocolate North America, showcased the colonial-style drinking chocolate, American Heritage Chocolate®. The evening also included socializing as well as hors d’oeuvres, dessert stations, and local beer, wine, and spirits celebrating chocolate.
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The next day, on Saturday, March 2, 2o13, visitors to Old Salem took part in a variety of fun activities and tastings all celebrating coffee and chocolate at “Chocolate-Dipped History: Celebrating Coffee, Tea and American Heritage Chocolate®.”
Old Salem created several recipes that can be made using American Heritage Chocolate®. Try them at home or substitute it in your favorite recipe in a 1:1 ratio for semi-sweet chocolate.
Beat and sift half a pound of double-refined sugar, scrape into it one ounce of chocolate very fine; mix them together. Beat the white of an egg to a very high froth, then strew in your sugar and chocolate, keep beating it till it is as stiff as a paste. Sugar your papers, and drop them on about the size of a sixpence, and bake them in a very slow oven. The Experienced English Housekeeper. Elizabeth Raffald. London, 1769
Tourte de Chocolate
Mix a little flour with a pint of cream, and chocolate in proportion, a little sugar, and four eggs; boil it about a quarter of an hour, stirring it continually for fear it should catch at bottom; then put it in the paste [pastry], and the whites of four eggs beat to a snow upon it, glaze it with sugar and bake it. N.B. Coffee-Pie is made after the same manner, boiling two or three dishes of clear coffee with cream instead of Chocolate, as the proceeding, they are both to be done with top crusts. Dalrymple, The Practise of Modern Cookery; Adapted to Families of Distinction, as well as Those of the Middling Ranks of Life. To Which is Added a Glossary. p. 357.
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meet the people behind old salem
Sister Deborah’s Customer-Service Philosophy:
People Like to be Acknowledged by tyler cox
On a recent Friday afternoon at the retail counter, Deborah Crews noticed one of her regular customers walk into the Winkler Bakery. “Hi, Rosemary!” she called out to the shopper, waving a hand to greet her. “Are you here for your oatmeal raisin (cookie) fix today? They are really fresh.” Rosemary, a University of North Carolina School of the Arts staff member, picked up a package of oatmeal raisin and lemon cookies and took them to “Sister Deborah,” as she is often called by customers and colleagues, to pay for them. “Rosemary, have you had a good week?” Sister Deborah asked. “I’m so glad you’re back on track, coming here every Friday again.” After the transaction was completed, Sister Deborah hugged her friend and told her goodbye. “She (Rosemary) is a precious person,” Sister Deborah commented after the customer left the store. “She just bought a house.” This example of Deborah Crews’ interaction with a customer exemplifies her philosophy of customer service when she works the register at Winkler Bakery and Butner Hat Shop next door. This freckled grandmother, who wears a Moravian costume representing the early 1800s, says excellent customer service is all about taking time to acknowledge visitors.
i always try to give people a welcoming, a positive closure, and something to remember in between.
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“People like to be acknowledged when they walk in,” she said. “It’s just a simple thing to acknowledge people. They’re not sure if they’re supposed to come into Winkler Bakery, if it’s a tour building or not. Some of them will ask, “Where am I?’ and I say, ‘You’re in the Winkler Bakery. Come on in. This building was built in 1800. We bake in this brick oven.’ I try to make them feel welcome. I always try to give people a welcoming, a positive closure, and something to remember in between.”
“I try to be a little old woman working in the bakery. There were a lot of strong women that worked here in Salem, so I always stress the strength of those women, because I am a woman, and I can interpret that.” business owners, she said, greeted regular customers by name—even if the line was out the door. Long lines can form at the registers at Winkler Bakery, too, especially during the busy holidays. But the lines usually do not rattle Sister Deborah because she has learned how to deal with them. “When the lines start going out the door, I start clicking in my head, ‘What can I do to make this better?’” she explained. “I go to the door to see how many people are in line, and I invite as many visitors to come inside as I can, especially when it’s cold. If you get it organized, everybody—including the staff—feels better.
Sister Deborah said she tries to stay in character, which helps visitors feel like they are stepping back in time. As she explained, “I try to be a little old woman working in the bakery. There were a lot of strong women that worked here in Salem, so I always stress the strength of those women, because I am a woman, and I can interpret that.” During the six years that she has worked at Old Salem, Sister Deborah has learned the healing power of a simple Moravian cookie. It has calmed many a crying child and adult visitors having a bad day. “Everybody can have a bad day, and every child does,” she said. “When that happens, I go and get them a cookie. A cookie usually works, and it even helps the parent to calm down sometimes.” Occasionally, Sister Deborah offers to help seniors walk down the rock steps at the bakery door, and she sometimes carries their purchases to their cars—all part of her belief in putting the needs of customers first. Where did this kind woman—whose favorite word may be “precious”— learn to be so customer focused? Her roots run deep in the Piedmont restaurant industry. As a teenager, she worked at Snow’s Soda Shop in Kernersville and later as a waitress, hostess, and front-end manager at Captain Bill’s Seafood & Steak restaurant in Greensboro. Both of those
“Instead of getting rattled, I just go into second or higher gear,” she continued. “You get to the line before it becomes chaos. Then I go behind the register, and I start talking to people, and I get into that mode. Eventually, the line disappears.” Sister Deborah’s manager, Barbara Church, is impressed by her associate’s rapport with visitors, some of which speak little or no English. “Deborah is a talker!” said Church. “She gives great, awesome customer service. She’s just very personable; the staff and visitors love her.” Sister Deborah takes pride not only in providing excellent customer service, but also in keeping the Winkler Bakery and Butner Hat Shop chalkboards up-to-date. On the weekend days that she works, one of her tasks is to move the chalkboard out on the sidewalk by the entrance and to update the list of baked goods for sale. She likes to decorate the boards with tiny yellow flowers and other artwork. As she tried repeatedly to squeeze the words “Rosemary Garlic” into a narrow space on the board with a nub of purple chalk recently, she stopped to greet a family of visitors who were about to walk into the bakery. “We will have hot sugar cake coming out of the oven in about three minutes!” she told them. Give people a proper acknowledgement—and make them feel welcome. It’s a simple rule that others can borrow and use. Sister Deborah won’t mind a bit. old salem museums & gardens | fall 2o13 | 11
meet the people behind old salem
in the zone
Traditional Woodworker Makes Furnishings for Boys’ School Reopening by tyler cox
Traditional woodworking, the kind that the Moravians in the historic Town of Salem did in the 18th and 19th centuries, appeals to people who enjoy taking a big block of wood and making something beautiful out of it. Most traditional woodworkers know what it’s like to be “in the zone” working on a project with their hand tools in a shop. “It’s really nice when you’re doing all of the work by hand,” says Brian Coe, a master woodworker who’s also Director of Exhibition Buildings at Old Salem Museums & Gardens. “You know what you’re working on, things seem to be going well, your tools are good and sharp, and you get this rhythm. You’re in ‘the zone.’ And you just hear this sound of the tools cutting the wood. “You see the new colors and the new shapes of the grain each time you take a pass with the plane,” he continued, “so you’re always seeing what this board is developing into, what it’s going to look like when you’re done. So, every moment, you see an immediate response all the time in the process, and you know eventually you’re going to get to this finished piece of furniture.” Coe, a woodworker at Old Salem for the past 30 years, said he started his career in the decorative arts as an apprentice in the blacksmith’s shop when he was only 14. “Eventually, I decided that I’d stay cleaner as a woodworker than as a blacksmith,” said Coe. “Then, I got more interested in the woodworking technology and switched my trade over to traditional woodworking and cabinet making.” In an interview, Coe said many of his family members were handy, but not in woodworking. He’s mostly self taught, learning the trade from the joiners at Old Salem, other museums, and books. Today, this laid-back woodworker with a crew cut has his own, free-standing woodworking shop at his family’s home in Wallburg, North Carolina. “It’s 28’ X 36’, about 1,000 square feet,” he explained. What used to be a hobby for Coe is now a home-based business: Plane Design. He creates custom woodworking pieces for individuals, other museums, and, sometimes, for Old Salem’s retail stores and service awards. 12 | old salem museums & gardens | fall 2o13
“It’s definitely, technically, a business so that I make the State (of N.C.) nice and happy!” he said, with a laugh. Fellow woodworkers who visit his shop, he says, sometimes are conflicted about what they see. “The fellows who are familiar with power tools come in, and they look at all of the hand tools that I have,” he said, “and then the hand-tool guys come in and fuss about how many power tools I have, so I can’t seem to please either half of the woodworking community!” In his business, Coe said he depends on both the hand and power tools in his combination shop. “I’ve got a lot of power tools that allow me to do certain things very quickly and efficiently,” he said, “so that people can afford to buy the things that I make, and then I’ve got a lot of hand tools so that I can replicate period surfaces and period joinery very accurately, using the same type of tools and techniques.” In other words, he uses power-driven machines (such as band saws) to do rough-shaping work, then hand tools (such as chisels) to do the hand and cut joints and plane work. “This way, you kind of get the best of both worlds,” he says. In the coming months, Coe plans to put his tools through quite a workout. He has been tasked with making most of the new furnishings— what he calls “big brown things”—for the reopening of the Boys’ School. Funds from Old Salem’s On Common Ground Capital Campaign are covering the cost of the new furnishings. Coe said it actually was his idea to spearhead the project. Months ago, he developed a plan for furnishing, or more accurately “refurnishing,” the desks, chairs, tables, and case goods for the space. He presented a master list of the types of furniture needed to senior leaders at Old Salem, and the list was approved. Any pieces that are not currently in the museum’s collection will have to be reproduced. What, specifically, is on the list? “There are dozens of stools or chairs,” Coe said. “There are several large walnut student desks that have multiple drawers, and a desk and bookcase that belonged to the Boys’ School teacher, Peter Wolle. We will have the same type of chair that we think is on Wolle’s original inventory.”
In the coming months, Coe plans to put his tools through quite a workout. He has been tasked with making most of the new furnishings—what he calls “big brown things”—for the reopening of the Boys’ School. Funds from Old Salem’s On Common Ground Capital Campaign are covering the cost of the new furnishings. Coe said that he has been working with Johanna Brown, Director of Collections and Curator of Moravian Decorative Arts at Old Salem, to review different types of period corner cupboards from Salem, including some painted examples, to include as furnishings. “We will probably use a mixture of corner cupboards, maybe pick one or two to replicate for the Boys’ School,” he said. “Based on the inventories that we have, there seem to be a fair number of walnut pieces.” In Old Salem’s collection, Coe said there is an eight-foot-long school table with drawers on both sides. (Students sat at this type of table.) “And we have an image from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, that was drawn by one of the school boys that shows them in the classroom, sitting at this kind of (walnut) table. That’s one of the key pieces; I’ll be making four of those, and the benches that go along with them.” Coe also proposed that all of the refurnishing work be done by him and other members of the Trades staff, rather than farming the work out to subcontractors, who likely would not be as familiar with Moravian designs and furniture making. Keeping the work in-house, he said, will ensure that Old Salem has total control over the quality of the pieces, how they look, etc. The new furnishings will be made either in the Joiner’s Shop in the Single Brothers’ House, the Trades back shop, or at Coe’s home shop. (Some funds will be used to invest in the infrastructure for the back shop.) “I may work on a few pieces at home just to provide enough space to be able to do many pieces at one time,” Coe said, “because at some point, we will be storing a lot of the finished pieces until the Boys’ School is ready to be refurnished.”
brian coe, director of exhibition buildings at old salem, works in the joiner’s hsop in the single brothers’house.
When asked what it is like to be taking on an ambitious project of this scope and have most of it finished by next year, Coe replied, “It is somewhat overwhelming, but it’s very exciting because it’s the kind of thing I will enjoy doing. I’ve done a lot of this type of work in Salem, so I’m looking forward to really focusing on and completing this big project in a relatively small amount of time—and having something for us to show for it when we’re all done. It will be something that people will enjoy and that will be around for a long, long time.” old salem museums & gardens | fall 2o13 | 13
Peeling Back the Layers of the
Salt-Flax House reveals its hidden history by jason aldridge
Architectural history is often a task of archival research and careful deed research. Other times, when written sources leave questions unanswered, architectural history becomes a physical, dirty, and thoroughly hands-on endeavor, one that literally peels back the layers of additions and modifications to discover the truth and history hidden within a building’s walls. The goal of this tactile investigation remains one of discovery, and the attraction remains one of academic intrigue. However, the hands-on methods allow the investigator to establish an intimate connection to the building’s history in a way not possible through archival research alone. This past summer, I was fortunate enough to gain a first-hand education in the practice of architectural analysis as I worked on the ca. 1815 Salt-Flax House for Old Salem. During the 19th century, John Leinbach used this house—a one-room log building originally—for his trade in salt and flax seed. Located at 508 Salt Street, the Salt-Flax House is one of the last remaining unrestored original structures in Old Salem. However, its early 20th-century façade contrasts with its restored neighbors. 14 | old salem museums & gardens | fall 2o13
“I found that the work itself was like a hammer, crowbar, and dust-fueled time machine. As the walls—or portions of walls—came down, the framing beneath emerged, and the building’s past was revealed.” When I first viewed the Salt-Flax house I was, quite honestly, somewhat underwhelmed. The building’s white asbestos tile siding, red tin roof, and Victorian Gothic front porch dominated its appearance and disguised the depth of history embodied within the structure. On the interior as well, early 20th-century modifications obscured the building’s earliest form. Although to my untrained eye, the building appeared to be of 20th century vintage, visual inspections by John Larson (Vice President, Restoration) and David Bergstone (Director, Architecture) established a basic sequence of architectural changes dating back to the building’s original construction in 1815. My task, then, was to understand the visual clues they saw and locate physical evidence within the building’s structure to support a final architectural history for the Salt-Flax House. The attempt to understand the building began with a walkthrough of the Salt-Flax House with David Bergstone and John Larson. As a person with more interest than knowledge, the opportunity to engage with experts in the field and to learn how they read a building and what they look for as proof of change was invaluable to me. They pointed out features and details I certainly would have missed on my own, such as the faint outline of an earlier balustrade, indicating a now-enclosed porch, or the angled cut in the floor, suggesting the original location of a fireplace. These, and many more examples, are the details that one must notice and then understand when beginning the search for a building’s earlier forms. As I began to pick up on these clues, I came to appreciate that the skill to recognize and understand these subtle details only comes from hours and hours spent in historic buildings and from the knowledge shared by those with more experience. With the walk-through complete, I turned to the existing historic documentation of the Salt-Flax House. Many properties in Old Salem are very well documented; however, the Salt-Flax House’s known history is minimal. Although limited, the written history does provide an idea of the building’s ownership and general use over time. I turned to historic maps of Salem from the 1820s and 1840s, as well as Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps from the 1880s to the early 20th century in search of additional evidence of the building’s form over time. The historic information, maps, and visual analysis I gathered created a reasonable timeline for the Salt-Flax House’s architectural history. But, to complete the architectural history of the building, physical evidence needed to be documented to ensure that the most accurate story of the building’s past is told. With David Bergstone’s assistance, I developed a plan to investigate the Salt-Flax House’s structural framing system. The materials, framing technique, and even how the wood was cut and sawn can tell you about
the process of construction and which parts of a structure are additions or have been modified. For the Salt-Flax House, investigating the framing system meant removing the early 20th-century plaster and lath walls. As a historic preservation student, I experienced mixed feelings about essentially destroying 100-year-old walls, but it was done with a plan and purpose. In addition, I carried out careful documentation before deconstruction to preserve the appearance in photographs and collected samples of materials for future analysis. To a degree, I found the work much like archaeology, where it is often required to damage a site to better understand it. With the assistance of David Bergstone and Caroline Barham, a student at University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNC-Greensboro), I began, piece by piece, to remove sections of wall to expose the framing beneath. I found that the work itself was like a hammer, crowbar, and dust-fueled time machine. As the walls—or portions of walls—came down, the framing beneath emerged, and the building’s past was revealed. In the oldest room in the house, dating to 1815, the oldest posts and beams bore the marks of time. Broken, hand wrought nails, sash-sawn wood, and mortise-and-tenon joints marked the oldest members. Much of the earliest wood we uncovered was still in good condition and still carried the weight of the building. Other members, though, were rotten and termite eaten. In each room the framing system was revealed, and slowly the image of the structure in its earlier periods became clearer. The additions and modifications became apparent as the joints between older and newer construction showed the variation in technique and material that was hidden as the Salt-Flax House was modified over time. Although there are too many details to discuss here, in the end the project was successful. The architectural timeline for the Salt-Flax House was settled and hard evidence can now back up earlier theory. The project was an incredible opportunity for me to develop my knowledge of architecture that is only possible through experience. I am very thankful to Old Salem, John Larson, and David Bergstone for allowing me to carry out this project, and I am excited to learn what will become of the Salt-Flax House in the future. (Editor’s Note: Jason Aldridge was a National Society of Colonial Dames of America, North Carolina, intern this past summer, working with Old Salem’s Department of Architecture. Caroline Barham is a student volunteer who participated in the UNC-Greensboro Preservation Technology Field School which Old Salem hosted this past summer.)
old salem museums & gardens | fall 2o13 | 15
Art in Clay
Arrives Back Home!
The Art in Clay: Masterworks of North Carolina Earthenware exhibition, which was on display at Old Salem Museums & Gardens from March 22 through August 14, 2011, has been on the road for three years. It is now finally back home at the Frank L. Horton Museum Center. 16 | old salem museums & gardens | fall 2o13
by johanna brown
Featuring some of the finest examples of 18th- and 19th-century slip decorated earthenware made by potters working in North Carolina, Art in Clay includes pottery from several traditions including the Moravians. Old Salem Museums & Gardens owns the world’s largest collection of these important vessels, and they will be on display in the Horton Museum Center until the fall of 2014. Art in Clay has had quite a journey, traveling over 3,500 miles to five exhibition venues, including the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Old Salem Museums and Gardens, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg, Virginia; the Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, Alabama; and the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina. The exhibit has been seen by an estimated 150,000 visitors and Old Salem staff has traveled over 10,000 miles to gather loans, oversee installation and de-installation, and provide programming for the exhibition (garnering countless gray hairs in the process). Art in Clay is the culmination of a collaborative effort that spans several organizations, and was initiated by Old Salem Museums & Gardens, the Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the Caxambas Foundation in Milwaukee. It is representative of many years of effort by scholars from multiple disciplines, including art, history, archaeology, and religion.
The original exhibition included nearly 200 objects from 24 collections including 13 private lenders and 11 institutional lenders (Old Salem Museums & Gardens, Wachovia Historical Society, Historic Bethabara Park, North Carolina Pottery Center, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center, Research Laboratories of Archaeology at UNC-Chapel Hill, The Henry Ford, High Museum of Art, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology at University of South Carolina and Winterthur Museum). Art in Clay was curated by Luke Beckerdite, Johanna Brown, and Robert Hunter; many other scholars contributed to the scholarship as well including Michelle Erickson, David and Mary Farrell, Michael O. Hartley, Eckhard Hensel, Linda F. Carnes-McNaughton, Alain Outlaw, Victor Owen, Hal Pugh, and Eleanor Minnock-Pugh. The project included the publication of two major volumes on North Carolina Earthenware (Ceramics in America 2009, 2010), an exhibition guide, and numerous newspaper and magazine articles. The exhibit has also been featured in several radio and television spots. Art in Clay has been cosponsored by Old Salem Museums & Gardens, the Chipstone Foundation, and the Caxambas Foundation.
“The Art in Clay project has been a partnership from the very beginning, bringing individuals and organizations together to produce an amazing body of scholarship that has resulted in a complete reinterpretation of the North Carolina earthenware story. I am honored to have been a part of it, and I am excited that we are extending the life of the project by exhibiting some of the most important objects in the Douglas Gallery until the fall of 2014,” Johanna Brown, Director of Collections and Curator of Moravian Decorative Arts, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.
Other supporters included: Anonymous (3) John W. and Anna H. Hanes Foundation The Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County Wells Fargo The Private Bank Bahnson and Anne Gray Memorial Endowment Fund Mr. and Mrs. Robert Adams Mr. and Mrs. C. Ralph Arthur, Jr. Wilson and Lynn Beamer Mark and Lisa Chandler Mr. and Mrs. Norbert Cooper, Jr. Tommy and Ann Cranford Phillip Fulton Mr. and Mrs. William C. Mariner Dr. and Mrs. Robert Pearce Hal and Eleanor Pugh Bridget and Al Ritter Dr. and Mrs. Thomas H. Sears, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Barry Sidden
old salem museums & gardens | fall 2o13 | 17
Recent Gifts and Acquisitions to the MESDA and Old Salem Collections
piano David Prichard 1830 Iredell County, North Carolina
Walnut, brass, steel, bone, paint Given in memory of Mrs. Guy M. Beaver, Sr., by her family
by maria shevzov | photography by wes stewart
The MESDA and Old Salem collections grew in exciting ways throughout 2013. The twelve objects included in these pages strengthen existing collections and branch into previously unrepresented areas, reflecting the range of the museumâ€™s mission. Every object offers exciting information about people and place in the early South. As a group, these objects address a broad range of regional and cultural influences, from a rare survival by the Piedmont North Carolina piano maker David Prichard, to the early Jewish silversmith Hyman Samuel, to the stoneware potters Ferguson and Dial of Georgia. Generous donors, including Beth Mercier, Linda and David Chesnut, Dale Couch, Tommy Cranford, Don Herr, and Anna Marie and David Witmer, have contributed across media to the diversity of this group of new collections objects. 18 | old salem museums & gardens | fall 2o13
bench 1795 Randolph County, North Carolina Yellow pine Gift of Tommy Cranford
plate L. Reed 1800 – 1825 Washington, NC Pewter Gift of Dr. & Mrs. Donald M. Herr
Figure 1 Dating to the 1830s, this piano is one of only two known North Carolina made examples. Crafted by cabinetmaker David Prichard of present-day Alexander County, for John Correll’s ten year old daughter Sophia, the piano descended directly in the family through his younger daughter, Emaline, until this year. This piano brings attention to David Prichard, a craftsman working near Hiddenite, North Carolina from about 1820 until his death in 1884. Prichard’s use of the fylfot inlay adds regional interest to the piano. The rectangular case reflects the simple shape popular in the early 19th century, while the heavily turned, ebonized legs were in the latest style. Prichard was primarily a cabinetmaker, and almost certainly a self-taught piano maker. Prichard’s ability to make pianos was not unique, but it was highly unusual. This piano represents innovative craftsmanship as well as the material culture of music and the value placed on amusement and entertainment for people living in early rural communities.
Figure 2 This bench from Back Creek Friends Meeting House near Asheboro, North Carolina, is constructed of yellow pine. Nearly eight feet long, the bench has a deceptive level of craftsmanship for such a simple silhouette, in keeping with other Quaker pews of the period. The original meeting house was built in the 1790s, and the pew likely dates to the time. It was acquired from members of the Walker family, who were among the meeting’s earliest members, and who continue to be active today. The bench’s new home in the Fraktur gallery helps tell the story of Quakers in the North Carolina backcountry. Figure 3 Marked “L. Reed Co.” and “Washington, NC,” this plate is a prime example of emerging stories to be found in the MESDA collection. A previously unknown pewterer, Reed’s mark bears a strong similarity to those of Jethiel Johnson, William Nott, and Jacob Eggleston, pewterers who moved from Connecticut to Fayetteville, North Carolina at around the same time, making it likely that L. Reed came from or trained in Connecticut in the first quarter of the 19th century. Learning more about Reed and his operation in Washington, North Carolina, is a topic ripe for research. old salem museums & gardens | fall 2o13 | 19
sampler Eleanor Stinemetz Dated Dec. 19th 1820 Fayetteville, North Carolina Cotton on linen ground MESDA Purchase Fund
sampler Ann Ricks 1799 Southampton County, Virginia Silk on linen Gift of Anna Marie and David Witmer
Figure 4 Made by Eleanor Stinemetz in 1820, this sampler contains six different alphabets, along with trees and floral bouquets “tied” with ribbons. Eleanor lived in Cheraw, South Carolina with her parents, John S. and Mary E. Stinemetz, who moved from Philadelphia to own and operate a hotel in the growing river port town. Eleanor died before 1850, but her sampler allows us to tell her story through the cross stitch, queen stitch, blanket stitch, and satin stitch that make up this fine example of North Carolina needlework. Figure 5 Worked in cross stitch with silk thread, this linen ground sampler speaks to the Quaker faith of the Southampton County, Virginia, Ricks family. Using the Quaker plain calendar rather than the pagan derived names 2o | old salem museums & gardens | fall 2o13
of the days and month, Ann Ricks stitched that her sister Eliza was born not on July 13th, but rather on the 13th day of the seventh month of 1788. The sampler’s connection to MESDA’s Courtland Parlor is highly significant. Built in the first decade of the 19th century for Ann Ricks’s parents, Robert and Ann Pretlow Ricks, the Courtland Parlor was named for its proximity to the town of Courtland, Virginia, when it was installed in MESDA in 1998. Connecting this sampler to the Ricks family and their parlor strengthens the stories MESDA can tell about female education, needlework, and Quaker communities in early Virginia.
teaspoons Hyman Samuel (working ca. 1780 – 1809) 1800 – 1809 Petersburg or Richmond, Virginia Silver James A. Willcox, Jr., Silver Purchase Fund
sword James Winner 1805 Richmond, Virginia Steel, iron, wood Loan Courtesy of Mike McNamara
Figure 7 Recently installed in MESDA’s new Arms and Metals Gallery, this cavalry sword was made by Richmond swordsmith James Winner. Winner moved from Philadelphia to be a part of the Virginia Manufactory of Arms, which began supplying the state’s militia with firearms and blade weapons in 1802. A cumbersome 41 inches long, this sword pattern was short lived, and was soon replaced by a less curved 36 inch blade that was easier to handle. James Winner went on to produce several commissioned blades and to fill contracts for the Virginia Manufactury of Arms, including this impressive second pattern Virginia Cavalry sword, with its original scabbard, now on view at MESDA.
Figure 6 The first addition to the collection by a known southern Jewish craftsman is this set of silver teaspoons by silver and watch smith Hyman Samuel. Samuel worked in London in the 1780s, but by the 1790s was established in Petersburg, Virginia, followed by Richmond, Baltimore, Norfolk, and finally Charleston. Advertisements and correspondence survive from the German-born Samuel and his family. Several letters written in Yiddish provide insight into the craftsman’s professional opportunities as well as the challenges of finding a Jewish community. In a 1791 letter, Samuel’s wife Rebecca wrote of Virginia: “As for the Gentiles, we have nothing to complain about. For the sake of a livelihood we do not have to leave here. Nor do we have to leave because of debts. I believe ever since Hyman has grown up, he has not had it so good.” Spiritual needs outweighed the commercial, however, and by 1791, the family was involved in the established Jewish community in Charleston, South Carolina, moving to that city by 1806 and establishing a shop on Easy Bay Street. old salem museums & gardens | fall 2o13 | 21
teaspoons Otis Childs 1825 – 1852 Milledgeville, Georgia Silver Gift of Beth Mercier
sugar nips and ladle Moses Eastman 1828 – 1850 Savannah, Georgia Silver Gift of Beth Mercier Gift of Linda and David Chesnut
Figure 8 Adding to our representation of Georgia decorative arts is this set of teaspoons by Otis Childs. After training in the north, Childs moved to Milledgeville, Georgia, buying an established business from Jacob Fogle in 1836. Business prospered, and Childs opened a second branch in Athens a decade later. Childs’ brother Asaph, joined the business in 1847, when the firm began marking its silver “O. & A.K. Childs,” suggesting that these spoons certainly date between 1836 and 1847. Otis Childs closed his shop at the beginning of the Civil War, at which time his brother Asaph joined the 24th Georgia Infantry Regiment. Otis and his wife, Abby, removed to Newton, Massachusetts in the 1870s, where he died in 1899. 22 | old salem museums & gardens | fall 2o13
Figure 9 This sterling silver ladle and pair of sugar nips were made by the Savannah silversmith and merchant Moses Eastman. Born in New Hampshire, Eastman settled in Savannah in 1826 when he joined in partnership with an established silversmith Josiah Penfield, taking over the business just two years later. Eastman’s business flourished and by 1844 he began construction of a dramatic, two-story Greek Revival house, which still stands in Savannah’s Chippewa Square. As a mark of his wealth and community status, Eastman also began construction of a Unitarian Church in Oglethorpe Square just before his death in 1850. His widow completed the church, which stands today as a landmark to this craftsman’s role in the Savannah community.
cream pitcher Attributed to Ferguson and Dial 1850 – 1870 Barrow County, Georgia Alkaline glazed stoneware Gift of Dale Couch in honor of Susan and Bill Mariner
tall case clock Figure 10 The drippy green glaze on this pitcher is typical of the handful of known pieces made by the Georgia potters Ferguson and Dial. Charles Ferguson established his first pottery near Athens, Georgia, around 1847, after working for many years in Edgefield, South Carolina. Eventually, over 30 potters worked at his Jug Factory, in present day Barrow County. By the time his son-in-law Jonathan Dial had joined the family business in the early 1860s, Ferguson and Dial advertised that “in addition to Jars, Jugs and such other ware[….]we are now trying to supply the demand for other useful household articles.” This cream pitcher was doubtless among these useful household articles and represents the flourishing stoneware industry at Jug Factory, Georgia, in the middle decades of the nineteenth century.
Case by Johannes Krause 1780 – 1795 Salem, North Carolina Walnut, brass, iron, glass, enamel Anne P. and Thomas A. Gray Moravian Purchase Fund
Figure 11 Standing nearly eight feet tall, this bombè base tall case clock made in colonial Salem is now part of the Old Salem Collection. Its elegant walnut case was made in the shop of the Moravian cabinetmaker Johannes Krause, master of the Single Brothers Joiners’ Shop from 1776 until 1796. The arched bonnet is typical of Krause’s tall case clocks, but the elaborate molding around the circular glass window on the door may be unique. The clock’s enamel face is stamped by Thomas Osborne, a prominent maker in Birmingham, England. The clock’s original owner is believed to have been Carl Ludwig Meinung, who came to Salem from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1771. Meinung’s granddaughter, Emilie Charlotte Meinung married the potter Heinrich Schaffner, and it descended through the Schaffner family. This graceful clock case is among the finest examples of Krause’s work and adds significantly to our knowledge of early Salem craftsmanship. old salem museums & gardens | fall 2o13 | 23
vierling house with new Technology and Interpretation
by paula locklair
I never would have imagined in the late 1970s, when I was doing the initial research about Dr. Vierling, his family and medicine in Wachovia, that some 30 years later I would be coordinating the efforts for a new medical exhibit in the 1802 Vierling House. Interest in the doctors who lived and worked in early Salem has increased over the years, and the interest in medical careâ€“then and nowâ€“has soared. Therefore, it is time to re-examine the documented information about the Vierling family and the medical accounts in order to broaden our approach and meet the interests of our visitors and the Winston-Salem community. Equally as important, we want to connect the Moraviansâ€™ health care experiences in the past to the very relevant topic of 21st-century health care. 24 | old salem museums & gardens | fall 2o13
Winston-Salem is known for excellent health care and cuttingedge medical research. But it is important to remember that the roots of our current medical community can be traced to Bethabara, founded in 1753 and the Moravians’ first North Carolina settlement (about seven miles from Salem). Among the initial group of men was the 31-year-old Norwegian, Dr. Hans Martin Kalberlahn, the first surgeon to practice medicine in this part of the state. After Dr. Kalberlahn’s unexpected death in 1759, he was followed by a succession of doctors and other care givers until Dr. Samuel Benjamin Vierling, age 24, arrived in Salem on February 22, 1790, having recently completed his medical training in Berlin. He married a Salem woman shortly after his arrival, and sadly she died in March 1792, leaving him with an infant. He re-married in August of the same year. The family continued to grow, and for 12 years they lived in one of the early half-timbered houses on Main Street, but a larger home was necessary. The Vierlings chose the highest location in Salem and construction for their new home began in 1801. By June 1802, the stately brick house of three stories, with a cellar and an attic, was completed and the family, which by then included five children, moved in. Three more children would be born between 1804 and 1811. For the last 30-plus years, the interpretive themes in the Vierling House have been fairly straightforward: the Vierling family, Dr. Vierling’s role as the surgeon, physician, and apothecary, with minor acknowledgement of his role as the dentist and veterinarian, and early medical practices in Wachovia. The information has been presented by costumed interpreters with some hands-on demonstrations and traditional exhibits of medical instruments, equipment, and books. That is about to change, and it is very exciting that Old Salem now has the opportunity to enliven the Vierling family members by incorporating current research that will add new, vibrant, family stories. These stories will connect members of the family and the household servants to their extended families, friends, and colleagues in the community. The Vierling household was very busy, as many households are today. At one point, around 1807, about 12 people lived there, and an additional seven (household help and assistants to Dr. Vierling) were coming and going on a daily basis. Dr. Vierling also served on various community and church committees, and he maintained an active interest in current events, music, and up-to-date medical discoveries. When the Vierling House was built, it was the largest private dwelling in Salem. It is actually a three-story house, but because the stairs to the third floor were enclosed and secured with a door in the 19th century, only two floors have been interpreted. Part of the new plan is to reopen access to the third floor and interpret that large space, which was probably a sleeping area for servants and perhaps some children. It also could have served as a convenient storage space. At first it seems like an attic, but the stair balusters (currently not visible) are turned and painted, the gable ends are plastered and painted, there are four working
windows, and there is an attic above this floor—all components that support the function of the third floor as a integral part of the household. The restored Apothecary shop is on the first floor. Here the costumed interpreters talk about Dr. Vierling’s role as the apothecary, how he made or acquired medicines, and the raw materials he used, such as herbs. Additional hands-on demonstrations with reproduction apothecary equipment will enhance this experience. To date, the interpretation in the parlor, dining room, and kitchen has been primarily about the immediate members of the Vierling family. The new interpretation will draw on the vast knowledge about the family members, their activities, friends, interests, daily routines, school, and seasonal celebrations to offer engaging and thoughtful glimpses into life in Salem. Every effort will be made to make the first floor handicapped accessible by means of a wheelchair lift to the back porch. For those who cannot go upstairs, a virtual tour will be available by means of an electronic device. The second floor of the house has four rooms. Currently two connecting rooms have a medical exhibit. The third room is a furnished period bedroom, and a fourth room is for staff use. Care for the sick and injured, as well as preventive medicine (for instance, inoculations and vaccinations for smallpox, fresh water, more fresh meat instead of saltpreserved meat, and outdoor exercise for school children) were core elements of the Moravian culture and supported their quality-of-life philosophy. Therefore, the new plan will dedicate all four rooms to a much expanded medical and health story that will not only highlight the medical history of Salem, but also will compare and contrast 18thcentury medicine and pharmaceuticals with 21st-century comparables. Because the Moravians kept such extensive records and there is so much information available, we plan to use computer stations where visitors can learn more about the diseases, injuries, medical conditions, and treatments, as well as public health ideas. Early medical and surgical instruments will also be highlighted. The complex health care system, which included the physician/surgeon, midwives, sick-nurses, home-care families, the sick rooms in the Choir houses and the schools, and the night watchman, will also be explained. In addition, the loving care for the dying and the preparation for burial and funerals will be covered. A world-wide medical timeline will help to put our local medical history into context. The name of the site will be changed to the Doctor’s House and Apothecary Shop, to make it more immediately clear to visitors what they will see. The exhibits and the associated technology will be designed by Staples & Charles, Ltd. of Washington, D.C., and Small Design of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Locally, we have had excellent input from physicians who are members of the Old Salem Board of Trustees and from representatives from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. We are very grateful to the John Wesley and Anna Hodgin Hanes Foundation—and some individual donors—for their financial support. An opening date during 2015 – 2016 is planned. Paula Locklair is Vice President of Education at Old Salem Museums & Gardens.
old salem museums & gardens | fall 2o13 | 25
Christmas Planning and Preparations by Staff Start Months Ahead of Time
by tyler cox
The Christmas season in the Backcountry of North Carolina has decorations and traditions that you won’t find at modern shopping malls. There are the flickering flames on handdipped beeswax candles, the aroma of freshly-cut Fraser fir boughs and “Silent Night” played on the Tannenberg organ. Families have experienced and enjoyed these decorations and traditions for many generations, and many of them return to Old Salem Museums & Gardens to experience the season known for its peace, goodwill and joy. In fact, many of them will tell you that their Christmas season is not complete without a family visit to Old Salem. 26 | old salem museums & gardens | fall 2o13
Old Salem’s Facilities staff and Coe spend several days balancing on ladders, hanging greenery outdoors—and a veritable constellation of lighted Moravian stars on Heritage Bridge. Inside of the exhibit buildings, Joanna Roberts, Supervisor for Living History, and Coe decorate with “very historic materials”: small wooden pyramids (what Germans call a “Lichstock”), trees, and the German putzes. Coe, a master woodworker, also builds a large wooden pyramid for Salem Square. At the end of the day on Salem Christmas, visitors join the Old Salem staff in singing carols around the pyramid. The pyramid has wooden shelves, which hold figures from the Nativity, candle lanterns and a Moravian star at the top. On Salem Christmas, members of Old Salem’s Education staff fill the shelves with cut evergreens. The decorations all have symbolic meaning. For example, the candlelight represents Christ’s coming into the world, evergreens symbolize eternal life, and the star represents the star of Bethlehem. Holly leaves symbolize the Crown of Thorns, placed on Christ’s head at the Crucifixion. Coe also places battery-operated candles in the windows of the Single Brothers’ House; they provide a warm glow at dusk for passersby. He also makes candle lanterns, carried by the interpreters in the Education Department who lead the popular 18th- and 19th-century Christmas Candlelight Tours. “The 18th-century tours tend to be on the simpler side as far as what people put out as decorations, how they celebrated with food and song, that sort of thing,” said Coe. “In the 19th century, you start seeing more of the modern (Christmas) traditions with carols and the more elaborate decorations and Christmas trees.” Old Salem’s staff members begin planning for the holidays in August, long before most people begin to think about writing a letter to St. Nicholas. That’s when Brian Coe, Director of Exhibition Buildings, orders cut greenery garlands to decorate the Heritage Bridge, lamp posts and the recently rebuilt fence at Salem Square. Coe says he orders the following greenery from a Piedmont farm:
In mid-October, interpreters who lead the Christmas Candlelight Tours are trained on what stories and traditions to share on the holiday tours— and any changes made from the previous year. Sarah Chapman, Manager of Interpretive Programs, leads the session.
“There’s just an obvious difference between the real greenery and the artificial,” Coe said. “You can see the real greenery, you can smell it.” When the Moravians lived in Salem, Coe says they decorated their homes with greenery only about a week before Christmas Day. But today, in our modern season, greenery has to be hung much earlier for the Christmas by Candlelight Tours.
According to Chapman, nine interpreters per night are needed to lead the candlelight tours, and approximately 20 staff members are trained every season. “Each training session is one hour, and for Christmas tours, there are two sessions.” If necessary, for additional training, interpreters also can shadow a tour.
“The Christmas by Candlelight Tours are such a special experience—and a tradition for so many families—we want to ensure a memorable tour for each of our guests,” said Chapman. “Training sessions include • 5,000 feet of pine roping examining the themes for each tour, the history behind the Christmas • 75 twenty-inch Fraser fir wreaths (for the doors of the exhibit buildings) customs, and the activities that visitors will take part in during their evening in Old Salem.” • 24 larger wreaths (for the Heritage Bridge and larger buildings)
Depending on the weather, the greenery decorations in Old Salem usually have to be replaced at least once before Christmas Day; they can dry out and turn brown. opposite: travis jackson, of old salem’s facilities department, hanging garland on heritage bridge. above: brian coe, director of exhibition buildings at old salem, lights the christmas pyramid.
In 2012, more than 800 visitors registered for a Christmas by Candlelight Tour, which begins at the Herbst House on South Main Street. Why are the candlelight tours so popular with the public? Brian Coe says much of the attraction has to do with experiencing Old Salem by candlelight. As he explained, “There’s just something about Salem in the candlelight that’s different, and people comment on it and really enjoy the look and feel of the place. The candles cast shadows on the buildings and furniture; it just gives you a different feel, a feel of the past that you don’t get in the daytime. It’s also more authentic (than modern electrical lights).”
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pillars of our community Bonding Together as Business Friends of Old Salem by mary beth cross
Current members include: preservationist level $1o,ooo – above
BB & T Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, LLP Reynolds American Salem Baking Company Wells Fargo
historian level $5,ooo – $9,999
Caterpillar Flow Automotive Companies Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation RockTenn Company Wilson-Covington Construction Company Winston-Salem Journal
conservationist level $2,5oo – $4,999
Old Salem Museums & Gardens recently introduced a new corporate membership program called Pillars of Our Community. The program invites regional corporations to bond together as business friends of Old Salem, creating a bridge between the past and present, between the Salem of old and that of our thriving, vibrant city today. Renewable on an annual basis, the proceeds of the program provide unrestricted operating funds towards the museum’s yearly operating budget.
Salem—commerce, education, medicine, technology, culture, and faith—this new membership program connects the business of Old Salem with other employers who thrive on cooperation and innovation in today’s challenging work environment. By becoming a business friend of Old Salem, companies will proudly be listed among other pillars in the community in museum publications, on the museum’s website, and via social media including Facebook and Twitter.
Since 1950, Old Salem has become one of the country’s great historic preservation stories. The decades-long conversion of a decaying neighborhood into a thriving historic district, neighborhood, and museum is a model of preservation. Old Salem currently contributes at least $46 million annually to our local economy as a tourism enterprise. Welcoming more than 300,000 visitors each year, Old Salem stands out as a source of pride and as a centerpiece of Winston-Salem’s reputation for quality of life by offering citizens and visitors a place to gather, relax, learn, and entertain.
The goal for this program is simple: Bonding together to sustain and enhance the preservation efforts here at Old Salem, while offering employers an opportunity to reward their employees with membership benefits. From the Archivist level (where memberships start at $500) through the Preservationist level ($10,000 and up), corporate members have access to multiple guest passes (each one a $23 value), Old Salem mementos, discounts on rental facilities, museum tours, and more. Most levels will also receive invitations to the annual Pillars of Our Community dinner, where all corporate members will be publicly celebrated and thanked for their support.
Like many businesses in the area, Old Salem runs a smart business. The museum has aligned operating expenses with revenues and implemented a program that has reduced debt by almost 70 percent. The museum’s vision includes clear elements of sustaining what has been built over the past 63 years while investing in the type of dynamic changes that will revitalize interest in the museum. Based on the concept of six progressive pillars of life in the 18th-century town of 28 | old salem museums & gardens | fall 2o13
In addition to the exposure each company will receive, the benefits of membership aim to help employers increase the quality of their employees’ lives. Organizations interested in joining should contact Mary Beth Cross, Manager of Corporate Membership, at (336) 499-7978 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty Capital Development Services Capture Public Relations & Marketing First Tennessee Bank Waterworks Plumbing
horticulturalist level $1,ooo – $2,4oo
Adele Knits/COR365 Advanced Consumer Electronics Aladdin Travel & Meeting Planners, Inc. Allegacy Federal Credit Union DataChambers Dixon Hughes Goodman Duke Energy First Community Bank Fourway Warehouse Frank L. Blum Construction Company Goslen Printing Marley Drug Mercedes-Benz of Winston-Salem Mountcastle Insurance NewBridge Bank Piedmont Natural Gas Quality Oil Salemtowne, Inc. Wells Fargo Advisors Weston & Associates
archivist level $5oo – $999
Annese Public Relations Cook & Boardman, Inc. David E. Day Painting Company Excalibur Direct Mail Marketing The Historic Brookstown Inn Robinson & Lawing, LLP S & L Painting Siemens Corporation Sylvester & Cockrum, Inc. Wells Jenkins Lucas & Jenkins PLLC
december 2o13 – february 2o14 december December 12 Christmas Lovefeast at St. Philips A Christmas Lovefeast to commemorate the first service held in the African Moravian brick church. Noon. Free. St. Philips African Moravian Church. December 14 & 21 Saturdays with St. Nicholas Meet St. Nicholas and enjoy puppet shows, baked treats and holiday shopping. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. $7 (ages 2 and up) includes all activities, a souvenir photo, and a holiday snack. Frank L. Horton Museum Center.
December 14 Salem Christmas Join us for hands-on activities, demonstrations, and more! 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. At 5:15 p.m. carol singing and lighting of the Christmas pyramid. Included with All-In-One ticket, Adults/$23; 6 – 16/$11. Friends of Old Salem Free. December 14 Friends of Old Salem Shopping Day Friends of Old Salem receive 20% off retail and online purchases. December 26 – 29, 31 and New Year’s Day Christmas Week at Old Salem Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the holiday season. Experience authentic history and indulge in fresh-baked treats. Post Christmas Holiday Sales will be going on in select retail stores. December 27 Peter and the Wolf Enjoy the beloved childhood classic by Sergei Prokofiev featuring the Carolina Chamber Symphony Players. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. $5. James A. Gray, Jr. Auditorium, Old Salem Visitor Center. Call 1-800-838-3006 for tickets.
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January 12 – 14 MESDA Textile Seminar Explore the softer side of early Carolina Lowcountry decorative arts. The seminar will take place in Charleston, South Carolina. $350 ($325 for Friends of MESDA/Old Salem, Historic Charleston Foundation, Preservation Society of Charleston) includes all sessions, admissions and site visits, Sunday reception, Monday and Tuesday lunches, Tuesday dinner, and Monday transportation. To register, call 336-721-7360.
February 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, & 28 Special Tours for Black History Month: A Hidden Legacy Learn about the African American influence in Southern Decorative Arts. Offered by advance appointment at 11 a.m. & 3 p.m. $11 Adults/$5 Children (6 – 16). Friends of Old Salem free. For reservations, please call 336-779-6140.
January 18 Friends of Old Salem Shopping Day Friends of Old Salem receive 20% off retail and online purchases. January 19 Slow Food Piedmont’s 3rd Annual Seed Swap & Potluck at Old Salem Come swap seeds, handy tips and garden wisdom. Potluck lunch. 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. Free. James A. Gray, Jr. Auditorium. For info, email email@example.com.
February 8 Friends of Old Salem Shopping Day Friends of Old Salem receive 20% off retail and online purchases. February 13 Garden Workshop: Creating a Garden Diary Save your personal and valuable garden records by organizing each season in an easy personal format. 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Free. Frank L. Horton Museum Center. To register email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 336-721-7357. February 15 American Perspectives: Black Chefs in the White House Dinner featuring a carefully-tailored menu of presidential foods inspired by presidential recipes and a special presentation by guest scholar, Adrian Miller, unveiling the hidden history of African American presidential chefs. 6 p.m. $50. Pre-register by February 3.* February 15 Presidents Day in Old Salem Celebrate the American Presidents with fun activities and demonstrations for the whole family. 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Included with All-In-One ticket, Adults/$23; 6 – 16/$11. Friends of Old Salem Free. February 22 Heritage Festival: Black History Month Celebration Enjoy a day of African American storytelling, historic tours, crafts, music, food, and shopping. 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Advance tickets: $12/Adults, $8/Children. After Feb. 14: $23/Adults, $11/Children. Friends of Old Salem Free.
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February 22 Garden Workshop: This is for the Birds Encourage birds to nest where you want them. Learn specifics. 10 – 11 a.m. FREE. Single Brothers Workshop. Email email@example.com or call 336-721-7357 to register. February 26 Garden Workshop: Square Foot Gardening Grow all you want and need in 20% of the space—save time, water, work and money with this simple system. 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Free. Frank L. Horton Museum Center. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 336-721-7357 to register. February 28 An Evening of Chocolate-Dipped History Join us for demonstrations, socializing, and tastings from local food and beverage vendors celebrating “all things chocolate.” The event also features live music from local musicians and fun giveaways! Ticketed event. March 1 Chocolate-Dipped History Daylong celebration of American Heritage Chocolate®, tea and coffee through demonstrations, hands-on activities, tastings and more. Included with All-In-One ticket, Adults/$23; 6 – 16/$11. Friends of Old Salem Free.
save the date March 21 – 22 2014 MESDA Furniture Seminar As the World Turned: These were the days of our lathes Exploration of international and regional influences in southern turned furniture. Pre-registration required: $295 / Friend of MESDA or Old Salem: $270. For info, call 336-721-7360 or email email@example.com. March 28 – 30 Our State Weekend: Behind the Scenes at Old Salem All-inclusive weekend event—unique behind the scenes experience. $695 per couple, all inclusive. Pre-registration required.* * Please call 1-800-441-5305 to register, reserve a spot or purchase tickets. For more information, visit oldsalem.org.
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Common Ground A campaign to revitalize and re-imagine the potential of Old Salem Museums & Gardens
Old Salem is facing one of the most critical junctures in its 60-year history. Your generous support is essential to the success of On Common Ground. Please learn more, ask questions and become involved. If you want to help secure the future sustainability of Old Salem Museums & Gardens and your own part of American history, please contact Frances Beasley, Capital Campaign Manager, at 336-721-7331 or visit oldsalem.org/oncommonground.