Old Salem Receives $1.25 Million Toward Capital Campaign
The town of Salem was founded in 1766 by the Moravians, a Protestant group of people that began in what is now known as the Czech Republic. Today, Old Salem Museums & Gardens is one of this country’s most comprehensive historic attractions, sharing the experiences of those who lived and worked in the early South.
In May of 2013, Old Salem launched a $17.6 million dollar capital campaign to sustain its ability to continue educating visitors about Salem’s history, and its impact on Winston-Salem.
On Tuesday Old Salem’s On Common Ground capital campaign was awarded two significant gifts. Reynolds American, Inc., pledged $750,000, and Old Salem received a grant of $500,000 from the John Wesley and Anna Hodgin Hanes Foundation.
According to Old Salem Museums & Gardens president and CEO Ragan Folan, the Hanes grant will be used to re-imagine the 1802 Vierling house as The Doctor’s House. "Some of the earliest history of medicine in western North Carolina occurred in the town of Salem," she says. "Dr. Vierling was trained overseas in Europe, so it's really interesting for us as a community that's really focused on medicine and biotech, to interpret the earliest history of medicine and relate it to some of the advancements and innovations in medicine today."
The Hanes grant will cover nearly half of the planned $1.4 million dollar Doctor’s House renovations. Another revitalization project revolves around the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts. It’s the only museum in the country focused solely on Southern material culture, and according to Folan, it’s an important community asset. "It has a collection that is unparalleled, and it is really a treasure." She says having both of these museums helps the community attract and retain employees and has an economic impact.
The Reynolds American grant is unrestricted, and can be applied toward any of the capital campaign objectives. According to Folan, one of Old Salem’s ongoing goals is to engage community members in more meaningful ways. So far the campaign has raised approximately 70% of its $17.6 million dollar goal. Folan says with grants like those recently pledged by Reynolds American, Inc., and the John Wesley and Anna Hodgin Hanes Foundation, she’s increasingly optimistic for a successful finish next year.
Visit Old Salem Museums & Gardens website for more information.