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Oldtown, North Carolina Historical Markers

 
Apothecary Shop 1763 Marker image, Touch for more information
By Michael C. Wilcox, February 22, 2012
Apothecary Shop 1763 Marker
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Apothecary Shop 1763
Constructed for the apothecary (pharmacist), this building was both his home and office. For medicinal purposes, the apothecary dissolved and distilled various herbs and plants--some grown in his garden and others found in nearby fields. . . . — Map (db m53452) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Bake Oven 1753 (reconstructed)
The Brothers, tired of eating unleavened "journey cakes" (johnnycakes), began building an oven to bake bread almost immediately upon arrival. Although once found throughout the thirteen colonies, no original oven currently exists; however, there is . . . — Map (db m53512) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Bastion 1756
In the late 1750s Indian hostilities spread through Bethabara and the surrounding area. When the palisade fort was built, these bastions offered good defense by allowing a man to see up and down each side of the fort. Night watch duty was assigned . . . — Map (db m53490) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Bell House (reconstructed)
A bell used in Bethabara to strike the hours and to call the people together for services, or emergencies, such as the Flax House fire in 1776. The first bell--the only one within 200 miles of Bethabara--frightened Cherokee Indians from the fort in . . . — Map (db m53455) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Bethabara Fort 1756-63 (reconstructed)
The French and Indian War (1754-63) prompted the peaceful Moravians, in the midst of busy harvest time and in only 18 days, to build a five-sided palisade around the central part of the community. Later, such fortifications were added to the mill . . . — Map (db m53517) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Bethabara Tavern 1757
Accommodating strangers was difficult until the Brethren built the first tavern in 1757. This tavern served until 1775, when the new tavern was opened on the east side of the extensive community gardens. The old 1757 tavern partially collapsed very . . . — Map (db m53509) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Calf Barn 1765 (reconstructed)
According to a 1766 map a calf barn was erected on this site in 1765. The map suggests it was made of two equal sized barns, like this one, connected by an open roofed area. The current structure, a late 18th or early 19th-century timber-framed barn . . . — Map (db m54350) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Community Garden 1759 (reconstructed)
The earliest garden was planted near the Wagner Cabin in 1754. The area was later enlarged by the head garnener, Jacob Lung, to include one half acre and appear as they do today. The members of the community worked in the garden together and then . . . — Map (db m53519) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Congregation Kitchen 1766
In the face of frontier hardships the Moravians practiced common housekeeping. Their system of communal living meant that every member of the congregation had a share in the necessary tasks of sustaining the town, such as raising cabins, clearing . . . — Map (db m53459) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Congregation Store 1759 & 1764
Opened in 1759, the Bethabara store played an important role in the life of the community. It provided basic goods, not only to the Moravians, but also to customers from many miles around. The store served as a shipping point for Moravian goods sent . . . — Map (db m53480) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Congregation Store Addition after 1766
This addition to the Bethabara store was built sometime after 1766, according to surviving maps. Notice the fireplace base support extending to the cellar floor. Additions to Moravian buildings were common, often based more on practicality that . . . — Map (db m53483) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Distiller's House 1803
After a December 2, 1802 fire, which destroyed the original 1756 brewery and distillery, this home was built during the spring and summer of 1803 for the community's distiller, Hermann Buttner, and his wife. Some of the materials were probably . . . — Map (db m53443) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Doctor's Laboratory 1759
This building served as the workshop for the Bethabara doctors. Hans Martin Kalberlahn, the first doctor in Wachovia, died shortly after the building was completed. He was followed by many capable and dedicated physicians. The doctor served not only . . . — Map (db m53451) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Dwelling House/Cow House 1754 (reconstructed)
Within weeks of their first arrival, the Brothers found the need to build a guesthouse for the "strangers" who came to seek the services of the doctor, lawyer and tradesmen. However, this particular structure was converted into a "house" for cows by . . . — Map (db m53508) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Family House 1758
The Moravians in Bethabara used a "choir" system, which assigned each member of the congregation to a group according to age, sex and marital status. Nevertheless, the importance of the individual family remained a vital part of community life. As . . . — Map (db m53454) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Flour Bin 1758
Added to the bakery, which adjoined the bin on the northeast side, this was a secure storage place for flour supplied by the Moravians' mill (1755). This bakery supplied the town with bread unitl it was replaced by a new bakery in 1782. . . . — Map (db m53495) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Gemeinhaus 1756
This large two-story log building was the first Moravian Congregation House, or church, in North Carolina. It was begun in 1755 and consecrated in February, 1756. It contained the Gemeinsaal (meeting hall) and living quarters for the Minister's . . . — Map (db m53518) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Gemeinhaus 1788
This was the second Gemeinhaus, or Congregation House, built by the Moravians in Bethabara. Today it is the oldest surviving Moravian church in the southeast and the oldest surviving colonial German church with attached living quarters in the United . . . — Map (db m53448) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Hans Wagner Cabin 1752 (reconstructed)
Hans Wagner, a hunter, trapper and miller, and his teenage son built this cabin in 1752, but left for new land on the Yadkin River, when the Moravians purchased the Wachovia Tract. On November 17, 1753, the first 15 Brothers found the abandoned . . . — Map (db m53515) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Locksmith and Gunsmith Shop 1759
From 1759 to 1786 this building housed a locksmith and gunsmith shop. Customers came from miles around Bethabara, often staying several days in the village, while having work done by the talented Moravian craftsmen. Master Potters Rudolph Christ, . . . — Map (db m53500) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Log House ca. 1816
This log house was built on the site of an earlier 1759 house. Although the date of its construction is still under investigation, according to the Records of the Moravians this house may have been built as early as 1816. Over the years it was . . . — Map (db m53516) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Medical Gardens 1761 (reconstructed)
The first Medical Garden (Hortus Medicus) was planted here in 1756 for Dr. Hans Martin Kalberlahn. This reconstruction is based upon the Christian Gottlieb Reuter map of Dr. August Schuberts' 1761 garden. The map indicates the plants for each bed. . . . — Map (db m53520) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Memorial Marker 1806
On November 26, 1806, this marker was erected as a memorial to the beginning of the settlement of the Unity of Brethren (Moravians) in Wachovia. It was moved here in 1850, having been placed originally at the site of the first cabin occupied by the . . . — Map (db m53445) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Mill-Wright's House 1762
This small cellar, like many in Bethabara, was beneath a larger house. Stone steps and a place for wooden steps both into the cellar, show access from the inside and outside the house. "Toward the end of May our mill-dam was swept away by . . . — Map (db m53498) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — New Bethabara Tavern 1775
From 1775 until 1787 the new Bethabara Tavern was operated here. Between 1787 and 1801 the building served as the community store while also providing lodging for travelers. The building stood until 1824, apparently continuing to operate as a tavern . . . — Map (db m53506) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — New Tavern Well 1755
Eighteenth century roads were always either dusty or muddy, a traveler would welcome the site of a fresh water well beside a tavern. This well still contains part of its early wooden pump stock. A similar stock was retrieved by the archaeologists in . . . — Map (db m53505) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Pottery Dependency 1756
This building handled the overflow and storage of pottery, and was in use by the potter from 1756 until 1771. When the cellar was being excavated in the 1960s, large fragments of pottery and many Lovefeast mugs were found lying on the . . . — Map (db m53493) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Pottery Shop 1755
Gottfried Aust, the first Moravian potter in North Carolina, moved into this shop after it was built in 1755. He, and several other potters who followed him in Bethabara, produced utilitarian redware pottery including many kinds of vessels, mugs, . . . — Map (db m53491) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Pottery Shop Addition between 1763-1766
Br. Aust, the first potter in Bethabara, moved his business to the new central town of Salem on June 17, 1777. He took down the addition to the Potter's Shop, in order to move the woodwork. Three other significant potters--Christ, Krause, and . . . — Map (db m53492) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Sleeping Hall 1754 (reconstructed)
By early February 1754, the Brothers decided to build a sleeping hall to help relieve the crowded conditions in the Wagner Cabin. The 13'x50' interpretive reconstruction uses post-and-log construction techniques, with fence rails for the walls. This . . . — Map (db m53511) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Smith's House 1762
New arrivals from Pennsylvania helped to swell Bethabara's population to 75 and 15 outside laborers. As the size of the village grew so did the need for houses and shops. The cellar of this 1762 Smith's House was filled with dirt in the early . . . — Map (db m53499) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Smithy and Christ Pottery 1759
Bethabara's second smithy (blacksmith shop) stood on this site in 1759. In 1755 the first smithy opened for business, and in the active years of building construction in Bethabara, the blacksmith was kept busy supplying necessary hardware and . . . — Map (db m53501) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Store House, Shed and Lodging For Strangers 1754 (reconstructed)
On February 8, 1754, the Brothers began construction on a "cabin for strangers"; they completed it the following day. It measured 8' by 8', had a fireplace and enough room for two sick guests. In July 1754, another pen, measuring 6' by 8', was added . . . — Map (db m53513) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Summerhouse 1759 (reconstructed)
This summerhouse was built in 1759 by Christian Triebel, the chief carpenter, later in charge of construction of the first buildings in the new town of Salem. This reconstruction reflects Triebel's carpenter skills and the existence of the Bethabara . . . — Map (db m53502) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Tailor's Shop 1764
One of the Moravians to come to Bethabara in 1753 was a tailor, and his 1756 shop stood near the pottery on the town square. When this new tailor's shop was built in 1764, the first shop became a dining room for the Brothers House. Governor Tryon . . . — Map (db m53496) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Tailor's Shop Addition and Well after 1766
In the floor of the cellar of this addition to the 1764 Tailor's Shop, a depression was found containing the remains of a small wooden box. A drain leading to the box indicates that water collected in the box and that it was probably used to cool . . . — Map (db m53497) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Tavern Well 1763
Fresh drinkable water was important to a colonial community such as Bethabara. In addition to using natural springs in the area, the Moravians dug wells and lined them with stone. Mechanical wooden pumps were more advanced than rope and bucket, and . . . — Map (db m53510) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — The Brothers House 1755
Between November 1754 and June 1755 this large dwelling was built by and for the single men of Bethabara. The cellar you see here was dug beneath one end of the two story log building. This important house served as assembly, dining and sleeping . . . — Map (db m53489) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — The Dyer's and Potter's House 1782
Johannes Schaub, Jr., a dyer, built this house in 1782. It is the oldest brick house in Forsyth County. This house, its additions and out buildings, served from 1789 until 1872 as the home and shop to a succession of Bethabara potters. . . . — Map (db m53446) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Vorsteher's House 1758
This framework and brick home was built in 1758 for the Vorsteher (for-shtay-er), who served his community as business manager and treasurer. His duties would have been similar to those of the present-day city manager's. Due to soil erosion, the . . . — Map (db m53453) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Wachovia Settlement
Wachovia Settlement begun 17 November 1753 — Map (db m53444) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Wash House 1754 (reconstructed)
This is an interpretive reconstruction of the house used by the Brothers to wash their clothes. The spaces between the logs (the chinks) were not filled with daubing in order to facilitate the movement of fresh air. "This afternoon we had a . . . — Map (db m53514) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Well 1763
This well, one of three dug in 1763, stood on the town square and probably served the needs of many of the central buildings in Bethabara. It had a mechanical pump for bringing up the water, rather than a rope and bucket. This well was still the . . . — Map (db m53456) HM
North Carolina (Forsyth County), Oldtown — Well 1807
This early nineteenth-century well served the Gemeinhaus and its various outbuildings. When the archaeologists reopened the well in the 1960s, an original wooden pump stock was recovered and preserved. "During these days a well has been dug . . . — Map (db m54527) HM

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