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2009 Bus Tour - Preserving the Past
Our sixth bus trip, held in 2009 was, we must confess, a pat on the back for all members and supporters of Wachovia Historical Society. With John Larson and Julie Smith as our guides, our adventure, entitled Preserving the Past, visited sites and artifacts that in one way or another over the years have received support from the Society.
      The tour opened at the Old Salem Visitor Center, where Scott Carpenter performed on the Tannenberg organ and we had a brief account of its Home Moravian Church history and the part the Society played, along with others, in its restoration.
Scott Carpenter at the 1800 Tannenberg Organ
Tannenberg Pipes -WHS helped fund its restoration
      At MESDA Johanna Brown displayed items from the Society’s collections — the Aust plate, paintings by Daniel Welfare, the Höger map of Wachovia, silver punches used by John Vogler —and told the part we have played in artifact restoration.
      Next stop was the Salem Tavern, which the Society owns. We got to go to the top floor, which had not been open for years, and we saw the room where George Washington stayed — much to the enjoyment of all.
Höger map
 Salem Tavern-where George Washington slept in 1791
Inside Salem Tavern which is owned by WHS and leased to Old Salem
      In the Saal of the newly restored Sisters House of Salem College, Scott Carpenter again performed, this time on the Erben organ, and we heard the history of “Sisters” and the grants the Society made in its restoration and re-dedication. Across Salem Square in the Boys School we saw an exhibit we funded and heard about the history of the school and its restoration plans.
      Departing Salem by bus, we stopped first at the old First Street Bridge, built in 1910 and spanning Brushy Creek in the shadow of Business 40. Several years ago, with a grant from the Covington Foundation of Greensboro, the Wachovia Historical Society sponsored a survey by the City-County Planning Staff of historic bridges in Winston-Salem — the first survey of its kind in North Carolina. Plans for the 1910 bridge call for restoring it and adding to a greenway to be built under it.
E. 1st Street Bridge-WHS is supporting its preservation
Frank Jones photo collection-on loan to FC Library
      At the Forsyth County Public Library, Society board member Molly Rawls gave us a PowerPoint presentation from the Frank Jones Photograph Collection, which brought back many memories. A longtime staff photographer with the Winston-Salem Journal-Sentinel, Jones willed his thousands of photographs to the Wachovia Historical Society, which eventually placed them on permanent loan to the Forsyth County Public Library.
      At Wake Forest University’s Museum of Anthropology we saw the archaeological collection of Douglas L. Rights, a Moravian minister and longtime president of the Wachovia Historical Society. Most of the collection — pottery, stone axes, spear points, jewelry — came from Piedmont and Western North Carolina.
      Next the bus tour stopped at Historic Bethabara Park, where Director Ellen Kutcher outlined some of the park’s plans and told of the role the Wachovia Historical Society has played in the park’s development, such as a grant to purchase land to protect the mill and the mill pond.
      Farther west in Clemmons, Mayor John Bost greeted us at the Village Town Hall and showed us the Hattie Butner Stagecoach, which in the 1990s the Society donated to the Village of Clemmons. The stagecoach, named by stage operator Edwin T. Clemmons for his wife, serves as the emblem of the Village of Clemmons.
Hattie Butner Stage-permanent loan to Clemmons, NC
Idol's Dam-WHS is supporting its preservation

      For our final stop, Mayor Bost joined us in the short ride to Idols Dam Power Station. We heard about its history and possible plans for it, and we saw the impact the Society recently had with a grant to stabilize the generator room. Power was generated at Idols Dam, then transmitted by wire to Salem to electrify mills, woodworking shops, and other businesses, including outlining Home Church for its centennial in 1900.
      In all, our bus tour lived up to every expectation, giving a glimpse of some of
the artifacts and projects supported by the Wachovia Historical Society in its 114 years of Preserving the Past. We can hardly wait for the next Society educational experience.

                                            —by H. Lester Morris, Jr., President

Photos courtesy of John Dyer
Text courtesy of The Wachovia Tract, Richard Starbuck, Ed

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