By Jeannette Holland Austin (profile)
Bethabara, meaning "House of Passage" was founded on November 17, 1753 by fifteen Moravian men who had departed Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to settled upon a 100,000-acre tract of land. The land grant was given by Lord John Carteret, the earl of Granville. Bishop August Gottlieb Spangenberg, on behalf of the Moravian Church, selected a settlement site in the three forks of Muddy Creek. He called this area "die Wachau" (Latin form: Wachovia) named after the ancestral estate of Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf. The land consisted of 99,000 acres and was purchased from John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville. On November 17, 1753, the first settlers arrived at what would later become the town of Bethabara. The town grew so fast that some residents expanded to a nearby settlement called Bethania. Finally, lots were drawn to select among suitable sites for the location of a new town. Salem was actually named after the Canaanite city mentioned in the Book of Genesis. The Moravians who settled Salem brought with them the German ways as well as a strong Christian faith. They were industrious tradespeople who loved music.
Historic Winkler Bakery in Old Salem
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