The barn, the pulley, and The Single Brother’s House of Old Salem, NC

100_9817 This is a very old wooden pulley that hangs from the beam of the barn below.

The barn at the Old Salem Single Brother's House

This is the barn that belongs to the Single Brother’s House. The Single Brother’s House was a dormatory for young men who left home and learned a trade. They usually left home at about 14 years of age. It was started in the 1700s by the Moravians. Several of my uncles of that era and grandfather attended the school for boys and were apprentices at the local shops. One of my grandfathers was a gunsmith and another a miller. A miller is one who grinds the grain.

Many of the local farmers would bring their grain to my grandfather. The local people relied heavily on the Moravian community of Old Salem because of the skills this community provided. My Uncle Bim was the smartest man I ever knew. He and my Aunt Nana owned The Mountain House which you can read about on my sidebar. Just look under catagories and you’ll see lots of articles on The Mountain House. You can use my search feature to find them too. Nana and Uncle Bim lived in this community of Old Salem and they helped to raise me. I loved Nana’s house–it smelled like beeswax. She made her own candles as did so many other Moravians.


Beeswax was used by the Moravians because it is the most pure form of wax. Pure like the Christ child. Pure like your life should be. I’m a Baptist now but I tell MrD that I don’t know exactly why cause there is a saying around here that once Moravian–always Moravain. I believe it cause I never stopped being one and I can sure feel my roots running deep in my veins.

The very best memories of my childhood took place here. Thank you Nana and Uncle Bim. I will never ever be able to thank you enough. They have both long passed but there are many who still remember them and how much they served their community. Giving back—is at the heart of every Moravian.

For God so loved that he gave—and so should you—is what they taught me. My Uncle Bim was the head coffee maker for several decades and my Aunt Nana was the treasurer for Salem Academy from her graduation in 1913 to her retirement in 1957. What an amazing life of service they both had.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Betty says:

    Do you keep a daily journal/diary? If not, you really should. Do your sons know what all you have tackled and accomplished in your lifetime;anything about your family history. Sure they have heard some of your stories, but will they remember all when the time comes that you are not here to tell them. Write it down and keep it somewheres in a safe deposit box or home safe, for safe keeping . You are part of history, gal..for generations to come. Eventually you’ll have Grandchildren if you don’t have them already. They will want to know all about their grandparents, if you are not here to tell them. Honest ! Even your faith beliefs and why you love the Moravian traditions so. Just like my husband’s Pa. Dutch side..


  2. Catherine says:

    What beautiful pictures, I love the old barn. It seems like you’ve had such and interesting life. I love reading your stories.


  3. Betty says:

    What a beautiful story and tribute to your Aunt and Uncle! I know they would be so proud of you and all that you have accomplished in life and continue to contribute to your community as Your Grandfather and Aunt and Uncle did. My Father learned the carpentry trade from his stepfather and is found in 1900 census as a carpenter’s apprentice. He was only
    7 yrs. old. The schools need to teach more of the kids trades that they can carry all through their life, as my Father did. Even in our wealthy county, there is only one votech school. Look at all these people that have computer degrees or skills and no jobs!


  4. Such great history there! I love it! I love all the architecture, and the simplicity! WONDERFUL!


  5. meghan says:

    thank you for sharing! very interesting. 🙂


  6. Anna,
    I wish I were so well connected to my past family generations as you are. Love your vivid photos and memories. I have family in Honduras that I have never met! All I have is here in Los Angeles. One day I will visit Honduras and connect with my long lost family.


  7. Oh I am so glad I found you again….I have you on my blog roll now!
    I Love Old Salem….I have not been in a long time!
    I cannot believe you have children that old….you look sooooo young! You will have to share your secret!
    I could stay on your blog all day!


  8. Darla says:

    Very interesting Anna. Love the photo of the barn!!


  9. That was really interesting. I’ve always wondered about the Moravians! It sounds like a wonderful tradition and piqued my curiosity even further. You sure turned out well and you are quite a servant and pretty smart too, just like your Aunt and Uncle. What great role models. You’ve had an interesting life and your stories are always good!


  10. Les says:

    You have a very interesting heritage, thank you for sharing it.


  11. myenglishcountrygarden says:

    How really fascinating Anna. I love it when you give us snippets of your local history(Im delving into it myself at the moment,for something completely garden un-related,and Im fining it fascinating too!)


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