The Wachovia Historical Society (WHS) was organized on March 18, 1895, with 36 members joining, and H. F. Shaffner was elected president. The WHS grew out of the Young Men’s Missionary Society (YMMS), a committee of which met on July 26, 1894, for the purpose of organizing a historical society. Gaither F. Jenkins was chairman of this committee.
The YMMS was organized in 1840 and began with specimens and information about natural history and cultural practices collected by a worldwide network of Moravian Missionaries. This collection grew with the same kind of specimens and information from Salem and surrounding areas. Existing records show that at the time of the merger of YMMS into WHS.
Today, the members of the WHS oversee a collection of over 6,500 artifacts, art, furniture, historical documents, and photographs.
A detailed history of the Wachovia Historical Society can be found in the book, The Wachovia Historical Society, 1895-1995, by Bradford L. Rauschenberg.