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Spring 2024 HSNC Meeting, Winston-Salem, NC

April 5 @ 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Our hearty thanks to the Program Committee for lining up a most excellent meeting on Friday, 5 April. We will be convening at the MUSE Winston-Salem located at 226 South Liberty Street- just south of US 421 (Salem Parkway, formerly Business I-40). The facility, just north of the famed (Frank P. Milburn designed) C.T. Leinbach House, is strategically located where the towns of Salem and Winston came together in 1913 to form the City of Winston-Salem. Our meeting is scheduled to begin at 3:30. There will be a brief Executive Council meeting at 3 pm. Winston-Salem history is the theme for the meeting.

Members arriving early are welcome to gather and “refresh” at the Salt and Sage bistro which is next door to MUSE.

Our Itinerary

3:00 PM: Executive Council Meeting

3:30 PM: Afternoon Program

Call to Order by Vice President/Acting President Chris Oakley

Speaker: Dr. Mike Wakeford, Executive Director of MUSE, who will discuss Peter Oliver.

Geoff Hughes, “Peter Oliver: Revisiting and Reassessing the Life of a Moravian African American Potter” profiles Oliver thusly:

Born into enslavement, Peter Oliver became a skilled craftsman and purchased his freedom. Much of the work he undertook to achieve emancipation took place in the pottery workshops of Salem and the nearby town of Bethabara, making him one of the only documented African American potters in the Moravian’s North Carolina communities (collectively known as Wachovia). During his lifetime, Peter Oliver was accepted into Salem’s Moravian congregation as a communicant member, a significant achievement integral to securing his freedom. His funeral and the procession that followed were noteworthy in its multiracial character amid an increasingly segregated American South. According to church records, “a large number of Negroes attended, and they were given the front benches” in Salem’s church and “the coffin was carried by Negroes” to the congregation graveyard where Peter Oliver was buried next to his white Moravian brethren in Salem His dedication to the skills he learned as a craftsman were also celebrated by the community: Peter Oliver was, “true to his calling and work and he brought it about through diligence in his work to the point that he could buy himself free from his status of slavery.

Weather permitting, this will include a visit to Peter Oliver’s grave in nearby God’s Acre- the graveyard of the Moravian churches of the local Salem Congregation.

Returning to the MUSEum we will see a series of paintings done by Jerry Hines, chronicling the Black Experience in Winston-Salem. Inspired by Jacob Lawrence’s Great Migration Series, Hines painted black workers at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco and Hanes Mill, at various points in Winston-Salem.

5:30-6:30 PM: Evening Meal

We will have our evening meal, which will be catered by The Porch, “Home of the best taco bar in town.” The price of the meal will be $25. Members may pay at the meeting, but reservations need to be sent to Michael Perdue, Secretary, (history6557@yahoo.com) no later than Monday, 1 April. Those preferring to mail their payments may send them to our Treasurer, Jason Tomberlin, Wilson Special Collections Library, UNC, CB 3948, Chapel Hill, NC 27599.

6:30-7:00 PM: Business Session (CLOSED SESSION FOR MEMBERS ONLY)

Nominations Committee announced, as well as reports from the Lefler and Edmonds-Gavin awards committees, and announcement of the Fall 2024 meeting).

7:00 PM: Evening Program

Speaker: Martha Hartley, Director of Moravian Research at Old Salem Museum & Gardens. Hartley will speak on her experiences working on the preservation of the Wachovia settlement, the very foundation of the current city of Winston-Salem as well as the Southern Province of the Moravian Church in North America.

ACCOMMODATIONS: A block of rooms for the HSNC has been reserved at the nearby Fairfield Inn at a discounted rate. The room block is in place until 25 March, but rooms should still be available afterwards.



April 5
3:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


MUSE Winston-Salem
226 South Liberty St.
Winston-Salem, NC 27101 United States
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Historical Society of NC