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Thursday, February 17, 2011

St. Phillips at Old Salem: Feb. 18th-Blue & Gray in Black & White

St. Phillips Church Complex
photo credit: Old Salem website
February 18, 2011:  "Blue and Gray in Black and White."  Nationally known Storytellers, Rhonda and Sparky Rucker will share songs, stories and recitations of the Civil War that are educational and entertaining for all ages, at 7:00pm at Historic St. Philips. Co-sponsored with the Forsyth County Public Library. 

The St. Philips Church Complex is comprised of an 1823 Log Church (reconstructed), two graveyards, and the 1861 Brick Church, the oldest standing African American church in North Carolina.

The Log Church, known as the "Negro church," was the first church built for the African and African American congregation.  Today the Log Church houses exhibits interpreting the African American experience in Salem. In recent years, this was an archaeological dig site for the archaeology and anthropology students of UNC-G University. For more info about the dig, click HERE.

There are two graveyards at this site, containing at least 131 burials.  The Strangers' Graveyard was used between 1775 and 1815 for the burial of non-Moravians.  In 1816, as a manifestation of increasing segregation in the Salem community, the Strangers' Graveyard became the "Negro God's Acre."  This graveyard was in use until 1859.

While in Old Salem, be sure to pick up (for me, if not for yourself) their Heart in Hand Cookie Cutter. This tin Heart & Hand Cookie Cutter, handcrafted by a North Carolina tinsmith, contains a heart within a hand, a reflection upon the traditional Moravian belief that men should help each other by "opening their hearts and hands to them in all their needs." If you can't get over there, you can buy it at their online store, HERE.

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