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Following a 15-month closure due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Old Salem Museums & Gardens announces the Phase Two re-opening of the historic district to walk-in visitors. Phase Two of the re-opening will start on August 4, 2021 with walk-in visitation to select historic venues and activities including:

Miksch House and Gardens

The Boys’ School

The Seed Saving Lab

Visitors Center

The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts

Winkler Bakery

Muddy Creek Café

Salem Stiches Quilting Lab

and The Salem Pathways Program

New Hours of operation will be Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM with a suggested donation of $10 to enter all of the venues.

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The August Phase Two re-opening is part of the 2021 gradual re-opening operations plan created in January and February of 2021. True to the plan, Phase One re-opening included Salem Pathways a choose-your-own-adventure, self-guided tour experience, launched in April; Historic Winkler Bakery re-opened in May; and The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) and the Horton Museum Center in June. Among the new works on view at MESDA are never before exhibited works by David Drake, a potter and poet who was enslaved in Edgefield, South Carolina.

Winkler Bakery, now renovated and repainted, is offering traditional Moravian tasty treats for purchase, such as sugar cake and Lovefeast buns. In addition, our bakers have been working on a new series of recipes, including lemon poppyseed and cappuccino chocolate loaves. Purchases at Winkler Bakery also go to support our commitment to continue baking bread for our community through Second Harvest Food Bank.

Following in the footsteps of our wildly popular Learning in Place video series, Old Salem’s historic venues will play host to our daily hands-on programming that uses history to examine topics in science, technology, engineering, communication arts, and mathematics. As you visit the historic sites, story boards and interpreters will also share our latest Hidden Town research. The Hidden Town Project is researching the history of enslaved and free people of African descent who were held in bondage in Salem. Scheduled to re-open are the 1771 Miksch House & Gardens and the recently renovated 1794 Boys School.

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In the Gardens and Seed Saving Lab over 250 varieties of heirloom and “old fashioned” varieties of vegetables, flowers, and herbs, all from Old Salem’s gardens, are stored as seed to be grown again in our gardens. Visitors can take part in the process of seed saving, learn about our relationship with local food banks to combat food scarcity, and our commitment to environmental social justice.

The Visitors Center will also re-open in August. In recognition of the past year of sheltering in place, Old Salem will be opening a new exhibit in the Visitors Center that explores travel and transportation in 18th and 19th century Salem. On the Road Again will feature artifacts from the collection that have never been on display. Visitors will see and learn about bicycles, travel trunks, wagons, carriages, and other unique items that were used in 18th and 19th century travel and exploration. These objects inspire us to remember and reflect on the history of exploration and travel in the human experience as we move towards a post-Covid world.

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In preparation for an August Phase Two re-opening, Old Salem has been actively engaged in restoration work throughout the historic district. The 2021 Fresh Coat Initiative has targeted repairs and painting on numerous historic structures, countless fences, benches, light posts, and other Main Street features. In addition, critical infrastructure work, including new brick sidewalks, street trees, curbing and street resurfacing, is nearing completion.

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Phase Three of the Old Salem Museums & Gardens re-opening is scheduled to occur October 6, 2021.

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