North Carolina couples who are planning to get married in or around Winston-Salem have a very good selection of wedding venues to choose from. If you prefer an inner-city wedding you need look no further than Downtown, where the Kimpton Cardinal Hotel, the Millennium Center and Twin City Quarter offer great venues and convenient accommodation. There is no shortage of options for country-style weddings including Dewberry Farm, Old Holler Farm, Legacy Stables, Tanglewood Park and WinMock. If you are looking for something a little unique for your special day you could consider the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, Muse at the Mill or the very lovely Paul J. Ciener Botanical Gardens. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Kimpton Cardinal Hotel
© Kimpton Cardinal Hotel
When only the most refined and elegant venue will do for your dream wedding, the historic Kimpton Cardinal Hotel is the obvious choice in Downtown Winston-Salem. The two beautiful ballrooms offer ideal spaces for both your ceremony and your reception and need very little extra décor to bring them to life. Each of the ballrooms has a pre-function space where guests can enjoy cocktails, while the 20th Floor boasts three smaller rooms for intimate weddings overlooking the city. The Cardinal offers a choice of inclusive wedding packages designed to take the worry out of planning your dream wedding and offers discounted luxury accommodation to your guests.
Kimpton Cardinal Hotel, 401 North Main St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, Phone: 336-724-1009
2.Historic Brookstown Inn
© Historic Brookstown Inn
What could be more romantic than hosting the most important day of your lives in a living museum celebrating History, Art and Treasure? The lovely old Brookstown Inn, which dates back to 1837 and was once a cotton mill, oozes history and nostalgia, offering an ideal setting for your dream wedding. The events coordinators are experts at transforming the bricked outdoor terrace or the inside spaces into a romantic setting for your ceremony and reception. Outside there are many lovely backdrops for your photographer to use including a lovely plant-backed staircase. The inn offers various inclusive wedding packages to make all the planning stress free and there is on-site accommodation for your guests.
Historic Brookstown Inn, 200 Brookstown Ave, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, Phone: 366-725-1120
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3.Footnote by Foothills Brewing
If you are looking for something a little different for your wedding, Footnote (by Foothills Brewery) may be just the place you are searching for. The versatile venue is conveniently located in the heart of Downtown Winston Salem and the event staff will be happy to help you personalize the venue to suit your wedding theme. The indoor space offers outdoor patios on both sides of the building – great for your ceremony and pre-reception drinks. Since the venue is operated by Foothills Brewing, you and your guests can enjoy a range of their famous craft beers on tap, as well as other drinks of your choice. Catering is taken care of in-house and the team will help you select a menu to fit your budget.
Footnote, 634 W. 4th Street, #120, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, Phone: 336-399-4032
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4.Wedding Venues in Winston-Salem: Bridger Field House
© Wollwerth Imagery/stock.adobe.com
Located at the northern end of the BB&T Field, the Bridger Field House has a rather bland exterior which hides a spacious indoor venue center perfect for weddings. The interior of the building offers a large function room with floor to ceiling windows, a large covered balcony, and plenty of space for both dining and dancing for up to 350 guests. When you book the venue, your rental fee includes tables, chairs, silverware and glassware as well as the services of a wedding planner and a Day-of coordinator. Although catering is provided on-site, you are allowed to bring in your own drinks, which is a big cost-cutter.
Bridger Field House, 475 Deacon Blvd, Suite 615 A, Winston-Salem, NC 27105, Phone: 336-758-4468
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5.Wedding Venues Near Me: Dewberry Farm
© Dewberry Farm
If you have always dreamt of a farm-style wedding in a beautiful rustic barn setting, you need look no further than Dewberry Farm. This private farm property offers couples an idyllic backdrop for an elegant or rustic farm wedding. There is a choice of indoor and outdoor spaces for both your ceremony and your reception. You can say your vows in a pretty outdoor location surrounded by beautiful gardens, fountains and flowers or in the dressed-up barn. Couples may choose from several inclusive packages, some of which include overnight accommodation in a romantic honeymoon suite. All packages include the services of a wedding planner to take care of all the details.
Dewberry Farm, 2585 Dewberry Farm Lane, Kernersville, NC 27284, Phone: 336-971-4684
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6.Historic Venue at Old Holler Farm
© Historic Venue at Old Holler Farm
Nestled in the heart of a working farm in Rural Hall, the Historic Venue at Old Holler Farm offers a bucolic setting for your big day. Here lucky couples can tie the knot surrounded by family and friends, pastures, fields and natural beauty. One of the most popular ceremony spaces is a lovely field overlooking a lake, but you are welcome to choose whichever pretty location you prefer. Most receptions are held in the welcoming barn, which has an outdoor area for mingling and suits both rustic and elegant themes. The cherry on the top is that the venue has on-site accommodation for up to 16 guests.
Historic Venue at Old Holler Farm, 7320 Bailey Holler Rd, Rural Hall, NC 27045, Phone: 336-918-4320
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7.Legacy Stables and Events
© Legacy Stables and Events
Scenically nestled in the heart of a 30-acre equestrian estate, the Legacy Stables and Events venue perfectly combines style and elegance with rustic country charm. The estate has several picturesque outdoor areas which are perfect for your ceremony, while the stately Grace Barn has two indoor venues (which can be combined for larger weddings) that form the ideal backdrop for your wedding reception. Smaller weddings can be hosted in the indoor/outdoor Legacy House venue and there are comfortable dressing suites for both bride and groom. Brides can sit back and relax - this one-stop-wedding-venue can provide (or source) everything you need to personalize your dream wedding.
Legacy Stables and Events, 4151 Thomasville Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27107, Phone: 336-293-7159
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8.Wedding Venues in Winston-Salem: Masonic Center
© Masonic Center
The Winston Salam Masonic Center is a purpose-built events venue which has both indoor and outdoor areas to perfectly host your ceremony and reception. The interior of the function room is decorated in a neutral palette which seamlessly blends with your choice of color scheme and theme and the venue offers a professional sound system. Your venue rental at the Masonic Center includes chairs, tables, linens, china and flatware, as well as a selection of extra props and décor. You can choose a menu to suit your budget form a selection of trusted local caterers and there are spacious dressing rooms for both the ladies and the gents.
Masonic Center, 4537 Country Club Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27104, Phone: 336-722-6441
9.Wedding Venues in Winston-Salem: Millennium Center
© Millennium Center
The stately and historic Millennium building in Downtown Winston-Salem started life in 1906, as the City of Winston Post Office. Today this iconic venue has been beautifully restored to its original grandeur and offers an award-winning city-center wedding venue for large or small weddings. In house services include catering and bar services (to your specific tastes and budget), rental of all tables, chairs, linens as well as selected décor, audio-visual equipment and, of course, professional event planning. The interior of the building is magical for your photography, ceremony and reception, boasting the upstairs Courtroom, the Grand Lobby, the Long Hallway (for cocktail hour) and the stunning Millennium Ballroom where you and your guests can dance the night away.
The Millennium, 101 West 5th Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, Phone: 336-723-3700
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10.Milton Rhodes Center for Art
The Milton Rhodes Center for Art can accommodate weddings and events for up to 300 guests in several interesting and inspiring rooms. The various spaces lend themselves to being dressed up (or down) to form the ideal backdrop for just about any theme and you will have the services of an enthusiastic event planner to assist you to coordinate your ideas and plan the perfect wedding day. You are welcome to host both your ceremony and reception at the venue and your guests can enjoy admiring the center’s wonderful art collection during your photo shoot. Tables, chairs and various props are included in your rental but you will have to bring in all your catering and bar requirements.
Milton Rhodes Center for Art, 251 North Spruce St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, Phone: 366-725-8916
11.Wedding Venues Near Me: Muse at the Mill Events
Located in the creative heart of West End Salem, the historic Hoots Milling Roller Mill is home to Muse at the Mill Events. This historic venue provides several completely unique spaces which are perfectly suited to weddings. Most couples choose to tie the knot in the spacious Hoots Room, where natural light, lots of beautiful wooden beams and brass chandeliers set the scene. The Evans Room is perfect for your reception and looks amazing when dressed up to suit your theme. There are comfortable dressing areas for both bride and groom and unlimited scope for one-of-a-kind wedding photos. Various packages are available, some of which include catering, photography and event planning services.
Muse at the Mill Events, 1151 Canal Dr, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, Phone: 366-701-2902
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12.Old Salem Museums and Gardens
© Monkey Business/stock.adobe.com
Centrally located in downtown Winston-Salem, the Old Salem Museums and Gardens is a collection of wonderfully nostalgic historic buildings which form an ideal backdrop for weddings. The venue offers year-round availability for both indoor and outdoor weddings – many couples opt to exchange vows outdoors in the Tavern Meadow, secure in the knowledge that the ceremony can be moved indoors if necessary. There are various choices for your reception and your event planner will help you choose the ideal setting to suit your guest list. Of course, the venue offers unlimited opportunities for memorable wedding photos and your guests will learn a little about the origins and history of Winston Salem.
Old Salem Museums and Gardens, 900 Old Salem Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, Phone: 336-721-7300
13.Paul J. Ciener Botanical Gardens
© Maksim Shebeko/stock.adobe.com
For the ultimate indoor/outdoor wedding venue, the Paul J. Ciener Botanical Gardens in Kernersville is hard to beat. The beautiful gardens provide the perfect backdrop for both elegant and more rustic wedding themes and the venue provides a choice of spaces for your ceremony and reception. Imagine exchanging your vows outdoors, surrounded by beautiful manicured gardens and mature trees, before moving indoors to dance the night away in the lovely Ballroom, which has an adjacent Patio Terrace. The venue has a service kitchen for your caterer to use and there is a small boardroom which the bride can use for her preparations.
Paul J. Ciener Botanical Gardens, 215 South Main Street, Kernersville, NC 27284, Phone: 336-996-7888
14.The South Eastern Center for Contemporary Art
A beautiful vista of boxwood hedges, wisterias and sweeping lawn set the scene for your outdoor ceremony on the edge of the lake at the South Eastern Center for Contemporary Art, aka SECCA. This beautiful area can accommodate up to 300 guests for an outdoor reception or you could move the celebration into the spacious Auditorium and its Lobby, which is adjacent to the center’s main gallery. If you need a smaller venue for a more intimate wedding the Grier Library, Terrace and Sunporch is perfect for up to 50 guests. The impressive SECCA building offers a brilliant backdrop to any style of wedding and most of what you need can be rented on-site.
SECCA, 750 Marguerite Dr, Winton-Salem, NC 27106, Phone: 336-725-1904
15.The Barn at Reynolda Village
You can start planning the perfect memorable wedding celebration when you choose to say “I do” at The Barn at Reynolda Village. Situated in the center of the Reynolda Historic District, the historic old barn is a most delightful venue for a romantic wedding. The Barn presents a snow-white, light-filled interior which is a delight to dress-up for a reception and it is surrounded by the magnificent Reynolda Gardens which offers various lovely places to hold your ceremony. Besides the main indoor venue space, the barn has comfortable dressing rooms for bride and groom as well as an area for pre-reception cocktails and a professional kitchen.
The Barn at Reynolda Village, 106 Reynolda Village, Winston-Salem, NC 27106, Phone: 366-758-5584
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16.Wedding Venues Near Me: The Barn at Zenfield
© The Barn at Zenfield
If you have always dreamed of getting married in a traditional big red barn, you will find your dream venue at The Barn at Zenfield. The interior of the spacious Barn features rough-hewed timbers and vintage lighting which make it ideal for a rustic country-style wedding. In addition, there is plenty of outdoor space for more tables, a ceremony area and pre-reception drinks. You can let your imagination run wild when it comes to décor, and the venue can supply many rustic props to set the scene. Ideally, the venue can accommodate between 50 and 100 guests but there is plenty of room to set up a tent if you need a larger venue.
The Barn at Zenfield, 770 Weavil Rd, Kernersville, NC 27284, Phone: 366-413-5996
17.The Enterprise Conference and Banquet Center
© The Enterprise Conference and Banquet Center
The Enterprise Conference and Banquet Center at the Simon Green Atkins Development Center boasts a large adaptable space which you can have perfectly configured to suit your wedding needs. The banqueting rooms can accommodate both your ceremony and your reception, and offer an excellent option for couples who have a strict budget. The events planner at the venue will be able to assist you to choose from a list of trusted vendors to supply everything from catering and bar requirements to floral, décor and photography suppliers. The Mezzanine area adjacent to the Banquet Room is an ideal place to host pre-ceremony drinks.
The Enterprise Conference and Banquet Center, 1922 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27107, Phone: 366-734-6916
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18.Indoor Wedding Venues Near Me: The Event Center at Summit Square
© The Event Center at Summit Square
The experienced and enthusiastic event planners at The Event Center at Summit Square are standing by to help you make your dream wedding a reality. Using your vision, the team will spring into action to transform the blank-canvas space into a magical venue for your big day. You can choose from three package options for catering, each of which includes the use of tables, chairs, flatware, plates and glasses, as well as linens and a table-setting service. You may supply your own drinks (a bartending service can be added to your package) and the bride will have the use of a special bridal suite for her preparations.
The Event Center at Summit Square, 333 Summit Square Ct, Winston-Salem, NC 27105, Phone: 336-377-0191
19.Wedding Venues in Winston-Salem: The Graylyn Estate
© The Graylyn Estate
A gracious and historic estate, stunning gardens and outdoor spaces and a majestic Manor House welcome guests to the Graylyn Estate. Offering couples a wonderfully romantic setting for elegant wedding this beautiful estate has a very special ambiance which is hard to beat. In addition, the Graylyn Estate prides itself on providing sophisticated and delicious food that your guests will not forget. You can exchange vows in either the White Garden or the Rose Garden, both of which are idyllic outdoor ceremony spaces, while the Living Room, together with its outdoor terraces perfectly accommodates your dream reception. A romantic Honeymoon Suite awaits the newly-weds and there is onsite accommodation for several of your guests.
The Graylyn Estate, 900 Reynolda Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27106, Phone: 366-758-2600
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20.Wedding Venues in Winston-Salem: The Village Inn Hotel and Event Center
© The Village Inn Hotel and Event Center
The Village Inn Hotel is situated just outside Winston-Salem, where it offers a convenient venue which can host your wedding ceremony and reception as well as accommodate all your guests under one roof. The lavishly appointed Crystal Ballroom looks absolutely amazing when it is dressed-up for a wedding reception and there are several other spaces which you can use for your ceremony and for pre-reception drinks. The experienced event coordinators will help you personalize every aspect of your big day including table arrangements, décor and draping, menus and bar requirements. The inn offers convenient on-site accommodation for all your guests.
The Village Inn and Event Center, 6205 Ramada Dr, Clemmons, NC 27012, Phone: 336-766-9121
21.Winston-Salem Wedding Venues: Willstella Farm
© Willstella Farm
A masterful combination of rustic and elegant elements provides the perfect backdrop for your dream country-style wedding at Willstella Farm. Rustic farm buildings and out-buildings combined with huge trees and vast expanses of lawn offer you a selection of romantic settings where you can exchange vows. The open-sided barn/pavilion is an amazing indoor/outdoor reception area which looks magical when adorned with hundreds of twinkling lights. The farm can supply just about everything you need on the day including tables, chairs, hay-bales and other rustic props to set the scene. There is a dressing room for the bride and the groom and plenty of parking for your guests.
Willstella Farm, 518 Hastings Hill Rd, Kernersville, NC 27284, Phone: 336-409-6554
22.Places to Get Married: Winston-Salem Marriott
© Winston-Salem Marriott
The convenient Downtown location of the Winston-Salem Marriott together with a choice of twenty-one adaptable event spaces makes this hotel a popular choice for city weddings. The hotel is particularly proud of their professional events management team who are willing and able to listen to your ideas and turn your wedding dreams into a reality. The hotel provides a full-service wedding package including all catering and bar requirements, tables, chairs, linens, cake-cutting service and specialty lighting. The newly-weds can spend their wedding night in a luxury Honeymoon Suite and all the guests can be accommodated in the hotel’s newly-refurbished luxury rooms.
Winston-Salem Marriott, 425 North Cherry St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, Phone: 336-725-3500
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23.Winston-Salem Wedding Venues: Twin City Quarter
Conveniently located close to the Winston-Salem Downtown Arts District, the Twin City Quarter encompasses the Benton Convention Center and two hotels, offering an ideal inner-city wedding venue. Together, the Convention Center, the Winston-Salem Marriott and the Embassy Suites offer a wide choice of spaces including several ballrooms which can accommodate hundreds of guests for larger weddings. Should you be planning a more intimate wedding you can select one or more of the meeting rooms and possible exchange vows on the lovely roof terrace of the Embassy Suites Hotel. Everything you need for a wonderful wedding is available on-site including a salon and spa, rooms for rehearsal dinners and pre-wedding lunches and accommodation for all your guests.
Twin City Quarter, 425 North Cherry St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, Phone: 336-397-3614
24.Winston-Salem Wedding Venues: WinMock at Kinderton
Perfectly combining history and modern technology, WinMock at Kinderton is a one-of-a-kind event center which is ideal for romantic country-style weddings. The venue offers a choice of beautiful spaces in a restored historic barn, where you and your guests can celebrate your wedding reception. In addition, the stunning East and West Terraces are perfect for romantic outdoor ceremonies. The professional events team at the venue understands that every bride has a vision for her perfect wedding day and will work with you to ensure every detail is perfect. You can choose from a selection of packages which include catering, bar service and event management.
WinMock at Kinderton, 168 E. Kinderton Way, Bermuda Run, NC 27006, Phone: 336-397-2010
25.Winston-Salem Wedding Venues: Tanglewood Park
The Big Red Barn at Tanglewood Park is a delightful wedding venue which will suit both rustic and elegant wedding themes. The interior of the barn features heavy wooden beams, a balcony area and offers plenty of room for seated dining and dancing. In addition there is an adjacent covered patio area which is ideal for an indoor ceremony area or for pre-reception cocktails. The Barn Wedding Package also gives you access to the Arboretum if you would prefer to hold your ceremony outdoors surrounded by the lovely gardens. In addition, your package includes the use of the Manor House, which has ten bed-and- breakfast rooms, for two nights.
Tanglewood Park, 4061 Clemmons Rd, Clemmons, NC 27012, Phone: 336-703-6400
25 Best Wedding Venues in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
- Kimpton Cardinal Hotel, Photo: Kimpton Cardinal Hotel
- Historic Brookstown Inn, Photo: Historic Brookstown Inn
- Footnote by Foothills Brewing, Photo: teksomolika/stock.adobe.com
- Wedding Venues in Winston-Salem: Bridger Field House, Photo: Wollwerth Imagery/stock.adobe.com
- Wedding Venues Near Me: Dewberry Farm, Photo: Dewberry Farm
- Historic Venue at Old Holler Farm, Photo: Historic Venue at Old Holler Farm
- Legacy Stables and Events, Photo: Legacy Stables and Events
- Wedding Venues in Winston-Salem: Masonic Center, Photo: Masonic Center
- Wedding Venues in Winston-Salem: Millennium Center, Photo: Millennium Center
- Milton Rhodes Center for Art, Photo: Alexandra/stock.adobe.com
- Wedding Venues Near Me: Muse at the Mill Events, Photo: MNStudio/stock.adobe.com
- Old Salem Museums and Gardens, Photo: Monkey Business/stock.adobe.com
- Paul J. Ciener Botanical Gardens, Photo: Maksim Shebeko/stock.adobe.com
- The South Eastern Center for Contemporary Art, Photo: photographmd/stock.adobe.com
- The Barn at Reynolda Village, Photo: malkovkosta/stock.adobe.com
- Wedding Venues Near Me: The Barn at Zenfield, Photo: The Barn at Zenfield
- The Enterprise Conference and Banquet Center, Photo: The Enterprise Conference and Banquet Center
- Indoor Wedding Venues Near Me: The Event Center at Summit Square, Photo: The Event Center at Summit Square
- Wedding Venues in Winston-Salem: The Graylyn Estate, Photo: The Graylyn Estate
- Wedding Venues in Winston-Salem: The Village Inn Hotel and Event Center, Photo: The Village Inn Hotel and Event Center
- Winston-Salem Wedding Venues: Willstella Farm, Photo: Willstella Farm
- Places to Get Married: Winston-Salem Marriott, Photo: Winston-Salem Marriott
- Winston-Salem Wedding Venues: Twin City Quarter, Photo: Chris/stock.adobe.com
- Winston-Salem Wedding Venues: WinMock at Kinderton, Photo: holly/stock.adobe.com
- Winston-Salem Wedding Venues: Tanglewood Park, Photo: Somkiat/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: ruslan_iefremov/stock.adobe.com
Attraction Spotlight: Old Salem Museum and Gardens
Just a few blocks from downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the Old Salem Museum and Gardens takes visitors on a journey through time. The attraction is comprised of three separate museums: the Gardens at Old Salem, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) and the Historic Town of Salem.
The complex spans 30 hectares or 74 acres, and is one of the most comprehensive historical attractions in the United States. With its painstaking restoration and recreations, a day at the Old Salem Museum and Gardens is like spending a day in North Carolina in the late 1700s.
The town of Salem was founded by Moravian Protestants, a church movement that originated in what is now the Czech Republic, in 1766. The settlers of the region were meticulous and exacting record keepers, a habit which has enabled the accurate restoration of the Old Salem Museum and Gardens today. The town has been well-maintained through time, with nearly three quarters of the original buildings still standing. Over the years, the town was recognized both for its architecture and its gardens.
After several centuries of life, work and history, a group of steadfast volunteers created Old Salem, Inc. in 1950, as a means to restore and preserve the town. Their efforts have resulted in a growing complex of buildings and gardens, today known as the Old Salem Museum and Gardens in the Historic Town of Salem. This network of Museums has preserved the history, crafts and charm of this pre-revolutionary war town.
The Old Salem Museum and Gardens is first and foremost the preservation of the historic town of Salem, with many of the original buildings from the turn of the nineteenth century still standing. For example, the Boy's School, built in 1794, was the primary center of boys' education at the time. The Market-Fire Engine House which was built in 1803, was a combination of a fresh meat market and storage area for the town's fire equipment.
Constructed in 1802, the Vierling House was the home of Dr. Samuel Benjamin Vierling, and today showcases not only an example of a private home from the time, but also medicinal and apothecary exhibits of health care at the turn of the nineteenth century. The St. Philips African Moravian Church is the oldest African American church in all of North Carolina, which was constructed for the African American congregation in 1861. Winkler Bakery, originally built in 1800, was operated by the Winkler family from 1807 until 1926.
These buildings are just a few representations of the 22 buildings including as part of the Old Salem Museums and Gardens. The Museum Center, opened in 1965 houses the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, and the Visitors Center includes the ticket office, souvenir shop, candy shop and auditorium, home to the more than two hundred year old David Tanneburg Organ.
The Exhibits at the Old Salem Museum and Gardens feature a variety of topics that educate and enlighten visitors about life some 250 years ago. These include art galleries, the permanent collection of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, the Salem and the Civil War exhibit, and a variety of rotating exhibits in the Douglas Gallery. Rotating exhibits include such topics as Needlework in Salem and Karsten Petersen & Sons: A Trade Shop in Transition.
Salem & the Civil War
The Museum is part of the Civil War Trails Program, which chronicles the Civil War at sites in North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia and Maryland. The Salem story highlights the emancipation, which was announced to Salem residents at the St. Philips African Moravian Church. Markers found in the area highlight Salem's role in the war and the process of emancipation in North Carolina. The Museum's website provides additional information on the war and Salem's role in it.
A Large and Handsome Assortment of Earthenware
Showcasing the earthenware style brought to the area by its Moravian settlers, this exhibit is showcased in the Single Brothers' House. It features a variety of everyday objects such as food storage containers. Also on display in the House are a potter's wheel and glaze mill, which were in use by potters of the area at during the eighteenth century.
As the people of early Salem became known for their gardening and landscape work, so did artists begin to chronical their efforts. The Salem Landscapes exhibition, located in the J. Blum House, features 16 prints, drawings, and paintings illustrating the landscapes of Salem. Works in this collection span the late 1700s to late 1800s, and provide a glimpse as to what Salem looked like through the centuries, changing and remaining constant all at the same time.
Permanent Collections: Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA)
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The permanent collections of MESDA are a particular feature of interest at the Old Salem Museum and Gardens. This includes exhibits showcasing ceramics, furniture, paintings, paper, silver, and textiles. Working to collect, research, exhibit art and everyday objects from the early South, MESDA houses one of the finest collections of southern decorative arts found anywhere in the United States.
A particular highlight of any visit, the gardens and landscape areas of Old Salem have been a point of pride for the town for centuries. Today, the complex includes the Miksch family backyard garden, the sprawling garden of the Single Brothers' House and more.
The Garden of Miksch House exemplifies early gardening at the time, and the central role of the garden in the 1700 and 1800s. The House, built in 1771, was originally owned by Matthew Miksch, who was trained in the old European gardening techniques. Gardens were organized in large squares that were planted with seasonal vegetables.Fences were fashioned from espaliered fruit trees, and beds were bordered with flowers and herbs.
Garden on the Triebel Lot
Although the home this garden belongs to no longer stands, the Triebel Lot Garden was designed according to 1759 records. The records are some of the oldest garden plans in the country and are housed in the Museum's collections. The plots are arranged in squares, with the plants laid out in diagonal lines across the squares. Also known as a kitchen garden, these were usually planted with a variety of vegetables and herbs, with fruit trees lining the back of the house lot.
Single Brothers' Garden
First laid by the Single Brothers' Choir in 1769, this garden is located at the back of the Single Brothers' House and Workshop. It was originally used to feed the dozens men and boys of the choir who lived there, and is another example of a kitchen garden. Its award winning restoration includes apple and cherry trees along the perimeter, as they once would have been, as well as squares sown with seasonal produce such as beets, cabbage, peanuts, melons, oats and buckwheat.
Family Gardens of Salt Street
A collection of gardens recreated along Salt Street, these backyards represent what the average family might have had growing prior to the mid-1800s. These examples vary, from the Leinbach Garden which had room and crops for the livestock kept there, to the Cape Fear Bank Garden, a banker's family garden which was planted more with flowers than with vegetables. This variety shows the transitioning times and variation of lifestyle present in the area at the time.
The educational efforts at the Old Salem Museum and Gardens focuses on remembering the past in many ways. From the MESDA museum showcasing the art and crafts of the past, to the Civil War Trails Program, a trip to the Historic Town of Old Salem educates visitors about the history of the South. Although the past is an obvious focus for the Museum, there are forward looking efforts, as well. The Old Salem Horticulture Program strives to preserve heirloom varieties of plants through seed saving practices and sustainable agriculture.
Educating visitors on the importance of seed saving to preserve horticultural variety, particularly for historic varietals of fruit and vegetables, is a key mission of the organization. The Old Salem Horticultural Program works to research and restore the gardens using plant varieties that would have been in the area in the 1800s. Visitors can support the cause through the purchase of heirloom seeds and plants at the Museum Garden Shop. Old Salem Horticulture is not only preserving the seeds themselves, but their stories as well through their Seeds with Stories program, collecting seeds and the stories behind them that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Events, Activities, & Workshops
The Museum's calendar of events, available on the organization's website, is bursting with activities. From Sounds of Summer Organ Concerts to special holiday events, there is too much going on to list it all here. Seasonal and one off events are offered regularly, and bring the town to life.
In addition to these special events, ongoing activities, demonstrations, tours, and workshops made every day educational as well as entertaining. Garden events vary throughout the seasons, from tree tours, to farmers markets to hands-on workshops. Additionally, an annual seed swap furthers activities of Old Salem Horticulture, promoting the cultivation of heirloom plants, while bringing the community together for a good old fashioned potluck.
The Old Salem Museum and Gardens is a collection of activities, events, workshops and even relaxation, enough to fill a day or even a long weekend. Street parking is available in the surrounding streets, and the complex is easily accessible from freeways.
Restaurants and cafes provide tasty treats, and also a bit of history, with some showcasing historical recipes, dishes and even beer. An abundance of shops feature arts, crafts, seeds, plants and seasonal offerings. Visitors are advised to review the Museum's website prior to visiting, particularly to view the events calendar to take advantage of the variety of happenings each season.
Back to: 22 Best Things to Do in Winston-Salem
600 S. Main Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, Phone: 336-721-7300
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