Remembering T.J. Holland
With deep sorrow, we announce that conference panelist T.J. Holland passed away in a tragic accident. A nationally recognized leader, scholar, and gifted artist, T.J. Holland served his community as the Cultural Resources Supervisor for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and the Director and Curator for the Junaluska Memorial and Museum in Robbinsville, NC. He was a member of the advisory board for the American Philosophical Society’s Center for Native American and Indigenous Research and Chair of the EBCI Cultural IRB and Medical IRB. He was a member of the Snowbird Cherokee community in Graham County.
We grieve his death and extend our condolences to his family and his community, as well as to all those who were inspired by his integrity, his deep cultural knowledge, his strength and his abiding generosity.
Congratulations to the Moravian Archives for winning the 2020 Cherokee Nation Worcester Award!
Every year, during the Cherokee National Holiday, the Cherokee Nation awards the Samuel Worcester Award to a non-Cherokee or non-Cherokee organization who has made substantial contributions to the preservation of Cherokee heritage, culture, community and sovereignty. The 2020 Samuel Worcester Award honoree is the archivists and translators of the Moravian Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In the words of the Cherokee Nation, “wado” (thank you) from all of us at the conference for your dedication to preserve the Cherokee Nation’s great Cherokee history!
Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA)
Reynolda House Museum of American Art
Old Salem Museum and Gardens
Winston-Salem State University
Click here to read about the explanation of the connection between the Reynolda House Museum, Old Salem, and the Conference.
Click here to read Professor Grant McAllister’s article about Easter in the Winston-Salem Journal as an example of the conference theme.
Click here for a Call for Papers to next year’s Moravian Archive Conference in Bethlehem.
Click here to read more about the Moravian Studies Collaborative. Contact J. Eric Elliott (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Local Moravian Settlements
Historic Bethabara Park
Education Director: Diana Overbey
Due to COVID-19, the Visitor Center is only open for limited use on Wednesday through Friday from 12:00-4:00 PM, and Saturday and Sunday from 10:30-4:30 PM. Tours of the Gemeinhaus will be given to groups of 6 or fewer and must be reserved at least 5 days in advance. Please call 336-397-7587 to reserve your tour. Masks must be worn in the Visitor Center and on tours. Park grounds are open dawn until dusk.
Bethabara is the site of the first European settlement in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina. In 1753, fifteen Moravians set out on a long journey down the Great Wagon Road from Pennsylvania to North Carolina and settled a small village, naming it Bethabara or “house of passage.” By the 1760s, Bethabara had developed into a bustling town of commerce and trade, with a profitable brewery and distillery (the first commercial operation in North Carolina), a pottery shop, and a tavern. After the completion of Salem, the population of Bethabara decreased, but remained an active agricultural community through the early 20th century. Today, the park offers free special events for the community, 183 acres of wildlife preserve, historic gardens, over 10 miles of trails, centuries-old buildings, a reconstructed French and Indian War palisade and colonial village, and the 1788 Gemeinhaus Church, the oldest standing church with attached residence in the United States. Recently the park installed a new lobby exhibit including interactions of Moravians with native peoples and the introduction of enslaved labor into the village. We also offer affordable tours of the Gemeinhaus and Log House to walk-in visitors during Visitor Center open hours ($4 for adults and $1 for children.)
Director: Dr. Michele Williams
The Visitor Center at the site is temporarily closed due to COVID-19, but downloadable maps of trails and points of interest are available on the website.
Bethania, founded in 1759, was the first planned Moravian settlement in North Carolina. Historic Bethania exists as the only remaining independent, continuously active Moravian village in the southern United States, and is the only known existing Germanic-type Linear Agricultural village in the South. The 500-acre Bethania National Historic Landmark district is the largest National Landmark in Forsyth County. Historic Bethania Visitors Center interprets the history of generations who settled in the town starting in mid-18th century. With restored Wolff-Moser House and former Alpha Chapel on site. Free admission. Experience their historic landscapes walking the Black Walnut Trail.
Old Salem Museums and Gardens
President & CEO: Franklin Vagnone
Our Mission: Old Salem Museums & Gardens presents an authentic view of the rich cultural history of early Southern life to diverse audiences—with special emphasis on the Moravians in North Carolina—through the preservation and interpretation of historic objects, buildings, and landscapes.
About Old Salem Museums & Gardens
In 1950, a group of dedicated volunteers established Old Salem, Inc. as a way to begin preserving and restoring the town of Salem for future generations. As Old Salem grew, more buildings were restored and new facilities were added – including the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA).
In addition to having two National Historic Landmark buildings, the Salem Tavern and the Single Brother’s House, Old Salem was designated as a National Historic Landmark (NHL) District in 1966, and it’s boundaries were redefined in the 1970s. Old Salem has worked since the 1990s to expand the historic district in order to more comprehensively encompass the broader Moravian experience and influence. In 2016 the National Park Service approved an expansion of the NHL district, including changes to the boundaries, additional time periods of significance, and more types of resources.