104 miles W of Raleigh
In 1913, the twin communities of Winston and Salem were incorporated into a single city. Winston, founded in 1849, contributed an industry-based economy, whereas Salem added an emphasis on education and crafts, and the sense of order that its Moravian settlers brought from Pennsylvania in 1766. The union has proved to be happy and productive.
Salem (the name comes from the Hebrew word shalom, meaning "peace") was the last of three settlements established in the Piedmont by Moravian clergymen and laymen in the early 1750s; the little towns of Bethabara and Bethania came first. The hardworking newcomers were devout people who had fled persecution in Europe and brought to the New World their artisans' skills, a deep love of music and education, and an absolute rejection of violence in any form.
In the 20th century, "progress" encroached on the boundaries of the beautiful old congregational town. But in 1949, an organized restoration effort was begun, and today, more than 30 buildings have been restored with meticulous attention to authenticity; renovation is still underway on others. Devout the Moravians were, but glum they were not: The bright, cheerful reds and blues and soft greens and yellows in the restored interiors and exteriors replicate the colors they used in those early days. The Moravians' love of good food is also preserved in today's Old Salem, especially at the Old Salem Tavern Dining Room, which serves meals in an authentic colonial Moravian setting.