Imagine traveling back in time more than 275 years to a place in North Carolina, where a small group of early settlers from Germany, known as Moravians, settled a religious village and trade center. Then these settlers went on to design yet another more developed and planned community just a few years later.
This early group of settlers came to what is now Forsyth County, to minister to the scattered German immigrants, Native Americans, and enslaved Africans who already were here. Together, they set the course of history as well as many cultural traditions that fascinate us today.
Historic Bethabara is the site of the earliest Moravian settlement in the Piedmont region, established in 1753. Founded just six years later in 1759, the planned community of Bethania became the second Moravian settlement, which preceded Old Salem’s founding in 1766. There were six original Moravian communities within the Wachovia Tract, the area of land that is now Forsyth County.
May is National Preservation Month, and Forsyth Preservation, a non-profit group dedicated to preserving local historic resources, is sponsoring a month of events about historic sites and points-of-interest right here at home in Forsyth County.
In conjunction with Historic Bethabara Park, the Town of Bethania will be hosting and participating in two of these outstanding special events:
Saturday, May 18 – 10:00 to 10:45 am, at the Historic Bethania Visitor Center’s Alpha Chapel.
FREE TALK: “Beyond the Palisade: Developing a More Inclusive Interpretation of Bethabara’s History.”
Enjoy a free guided walking tour of Historic Bethania after the lecture. Meet at Bethania Visitors Center, 5393 Horton Lane, Bethania, NC
Saturday, May 25, 10:00 to 10:45 am, at the Historic Bethabara Park Visitor Center.
FREE TALK: “Planning a Town: Bethania as Wachovia’s First Planned Community”
Enjoy a free guided walking tour of Historic Bethabara Park after the lecture. Meet at Historic Bethabara Park, 2147 Bethabara Road, Winston Salem, NC.
Through these talks, we hope to provide the public and our local history lovers with a more expansive and comprehensive view of the significance of the first two Moravian settlements in Forsyth County in light of the role that each played in marking history prior to Salem being founded. And for those interested, we hope to have you join us for free walking tours after the lectures, around the historic sites that stand today, that have been preserved by many passionate people throughout the years that live in our communities.
We look forward to celebrating Forsyth County’s history and heritage with you at both the Town of Bethania as well as at Historic Bethabara Park!
For additional information about Forsyth County’s Preservation Month, you may also visit the Forsyth Preservation website. The site also includes a detailed listing of all the local events relating to the celebration of National Preservation Month.