Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Thin Blue Line: Tulsa Police Department

 
Symbol of the Thin Blue Line
Public Domain, WClarke, Wikipedia
  

By Alanna Radle Rodriguez and Judge Rodriguez


Thank you for joining us this month as we continue our series about first responders in our great state, Oklahoma.

First allow us to say: we wish to pay our respects to the brave men and women of our military, and let them know our thoughts and prayers are with them, particularly those currently on deployment outside our country and away from their families.

However, we also wish to add our gratitude to those that serve outside of our military forces as well. Also called the Thin Blue Line, this group of dedicated public servants serve to keep us, our families, and our property safe. Our hats are off to you, and our gratitude for all you do.

Over the last few months, we have been delving into the history of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and of the Oklahoma City Police Departments. This month we begin looking at the history of the Tulsa Police Department.

Historically speaking, Tulsa, or Tulasi in the native tongue, is one of the oldest towns in current day Oklahoma. Tulasi in Creek means “old town”. Interestingly enough, it is also the root name of Tallahassee, Florida. It was settled by a collection of Muscogee (Creek) and Lochapoka (Turtle) clans during the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The tribes had been moved into the area by the U.S. Cavalry.

The Creek, in particular, started forming towns in the area to include current day Bixby, Jenks, Bartlesville, and Muskogee. At the time of settlement, it was up to the business owners to police their own goods. It was after the War Between the States, during the reconstruction period, that the different towns started incorporating police into their management.

This, added with the US Cavalry’s re-establishment in Fort Gibson, was the beginnings of the Tulsa Police. They officially became a police force with Statehood in 1907, but their beginnings were considerably more humble than the official line states.

With the eventual decline of the Reservation System here in Oklahoma, it was left up to the tribes to provide their own security. They were able to call in the Army, when the need arose. However, the tribes seeking their independence were loathe to ever do so.

Even so, when the tribal police was established in the 1880’s, they were organized along the same lines as the Cavalry, and along tribal custom as well. The term “Police Chief” is a literal term, as at the time, the head of the security force was one of the chiefs of the tribe.

The Tulsa police department was still organized primarily by the tribe. The Railroad companies started bringing in Railroad detectives to help protect their interests. When the police department became official in 1907, the force was comprised of older officers from the tribal force, several railroad detectives, and veterans of the US Army.

When the eastern part of Oklahoma was opened for white settlement in the 1890’s, Tulsa started seeing an increase in diverse economy and population growth. In 1901, oil was discovered in Glenn Pool. It was over the next 2 decades, that Tulsa became known as the oil capitol of America.

Unfortunately, little is known about the police department’s involvement in the 1921 race riots in Tulsa. There are stories that the police took part in it, in however an unofficial capacity they had been acting in at the time. During the Race Riots, the Greenwood area was mostly burned down, including what was known as the “Black Wall Street”.

After the oil boom ended in the 1920’s, and with the introduction of prohibition, the area gained considerable notoriety in the underground Jazz culture. After the oil boom fizzled out, Tulsa became known for aviation. Tulsa PD struggled to match the demand and increased their size from ninety officers to over one hundred fifty.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, Tulsa started absorbing the smaller towns into the whole. With the increase of physical size, Tulsa PD also absorbed the individual police departments for each of the suburbs as well.

Currently Tulsa PD employs over seven hundred officers, and a corps of reserves as well. They are the second largest police force in the state.

Thank you for joining us this month as we delved into the history of the Tulsa Police Department. We hope you enjoyed reading about this great institution, and join us next month, as we continue to explore the history of the Thin Blue Line here in Oklahoma, and its effects on our great state’s history.





Born and raised in Edmond, Oklahoma, Alanna Radle Rodriguez is the great-great granddaughter of one of the first pioneers to settle in Indian Territory. Judge was born and raised in Little Axe, Oklahoma, the son of A.F. Veterans. Judge and Alanna love the history of the state and relish in volunteering at the 1889 Territorial Schoolhouse in Edmond. Her first published story, part of a collaborative novella titled Legacy Letters, came out September 2016. Alanna and Judge live with her parents in the Edmond area. They are currently collaborating on a historical fiction series that takes place in pre-statehood Oklahoma.

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Friday, January 18, 2019

Margaret E. Knight - Inventor, Plus a Giveaway

By Nancy J. Farrier            

Paper Bag Folding Machine Patent Model
Smithsonian Learning Lab Resource
Patent Paper Bag
Folding Machine
1870 M. E. Knight
Last month, when I did my blog on luminarias, I learned about an interesting woman and thought I would share her story this month. I talked about luminarias being put in square-bottomed paper bags after they were invented in the 1800’s. Margaret E. Knight is credited with making the machine to mass produce the paper bags. Here is her story.

Margaret E. Knight was born in Maine in 1838. Her father died when she was a young girl and her family moved to New Hampshire. Margaret received some formal education but may have had to quit school to work. She had a particular love for her father’s toolbox and spent a lot of time making and fixing toys for her brothers.

When she was twelve, Margaret was at a cotton mill where her brothers worked. Stories vary, but she may have been working there or was taking lunch to her brothers who were employed at the mill. While there, she saw an accident. A shuttle from a weaving loom flew off and hit a worker, injuring him. This happened fairly often, but Margaret determined to figure out how to fix the problem. 

Patent M. E. Knight 1890
Numbering Machine
She designed a covered shuttle, so this type of accident wouldn’t happen again. The cotton mill incorporated her idea. Soon cotton mills across the country were using the covered shuttle. Margaret knew nothing about patents or rights and never profited from this design.

In 1867, when she was 18, Margaret moved to Springfield, Massachusetts. She got a job at the Columbia Paper Bag company bundling paper bags. These were flat bags, more like an envelope. The flat bottomed bags had been designed, but had to be made by hand and were too expensive to mass produce. 

For two years, Margaret worked on her design for a machine that would cut, fold and glue the paper bags, thus making them affordable for everyone and available to all. Her design model was made from wood first and then she found a machinist to help her with the working model. They also hammered out some design flaws to improve on her original design.

In 1870, Maragaret applied for a US Patent only to find that someone else
Compound Rotary Engine
Patent 1902 M. E. Knight
already owned the patent for her machine. One of the men who used to come into the machine shop stole her idea and got his patent before her. Margaret was not to be outdone. She gathered up her diary, her designs, patterns and some friends as witnesses and headed to Washington to plead her case. 

Charles Annan, the businessman who stole her idea, said she couldn’t have designed this machine because she was a woman. Nevertheless, Margaret won her case in July of 1871 and the patent became hers. She went on to open her own company, the Eastern Paper Bag company. Her bags were very popular and became the most used way to carry items from stores.

Sole Cutting Machine
1890 Patent M. E. Knight
This did not end Margaret’s design work. In the 1880’s she moved and set up a lab in Boston where she focused on her inventions. She designed items to help in a home such as a skirt shield, a barbecue spit for meat, mechanical parts for sewing machines and machines to help with shoe making. These were all patented to her.

She later developed an interest in the automobile trade and worked on parts for their rotary engines. By the time she died in 1915, Margaret held 26 different patents for machines she designed. She did not make much money from them though. She never married, but spent her whole life doing what she could to make life easier for others.

Boring Tool Patent
1903 M. E. Knight
In 2006, Margaret was inducted into the Inventor’s Hall of Fame. Her original model for the paper bag machine is on display in the Smithsonian Institute. She was a remarkable woman.

Have you heard of Margaret? I’m sure you’ve used paper bags, right? Please leave a comment below for a chance to win an ebook copy one of my books, The Ranchero’s Love or Bandolero. If you already have the book, I can gift the copy to a friend of your choice. Please leave your email address to participate in the giveaway.






Nancy J Farrier is an award-winning author who lives in Southern Arizona in the Sonoran Desert. She loves the Southwest with its interesting historical past. When Nancy isn’t writing, she loves to read, do needlecraft, play with her cats, and spend time with her family. Nancy is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Literary Agency. You can read more about Nancy and her books on her website: nancyjfarrier.com.






Yoana Armenta’s reckless behavior results in her being captured by bandoleros, Yoana fears her impulsive nature has caused irreparable disaster. Amado Castro gave a death bed promise that he intends to keep – at all costs - even if he must break a childhood vow. When his choice endangers Yoana’s life, he struggles with the decision to honor his word, or to protect Yoana, whom he has come to care for more than he could have imagined. Now as the bandoleros threaten to sell Yoana and her tía to a fate worse than death, and the rancheros want to hang Amado, they must make choices. Will they trust God, or will they do what seems right to them? Find on Amazon.



Rosalinda knows she will never escape her past--the choices forced on her and mistakes she’s made. She longs to live in peace with her children where Lucio Armenta won’t be a constant reminder of the love she can’t have. Lucio wants to marry. However, Rosalinda, the only woman he’s ever been attracted to, doesn’t meet his ideals for his future wife. When he discovers she, and her adorable brood, are accompanying him to his sister’s, he objects. An objection that is overruled. But secrets from Lucio’s past are exposed, and Rosalinda faces choices no woman should have to make. Find on Amazon.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Harriet and Anson Rudd, "Father and Mother" of Canon City, Colorado


As an author of historical fiction, I create characters and stories based on actual events because truth is so incredibly interesting.

Take, for instance, a New Hampshire woman named Harriet, who, after a whirlwind courtship of eighteen years, married her blacksmith, poetry-writing, albeit in-no-hurry sweetheart, Anson Rudd, and struck out for California in 1859.
Harriet Spencer in 1849, ten years before she 
headed west from New Hampshire with her husband Anson.
Photo courtesy of Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center.
In those days, the West was indeed wild. No telephones, electricity, washing machines, or gas stoves. No running water. No bathrooms as we know them.

Not many women traveled across the country at the time, watching the undulating rumps of horses, oxen, or mules from the wagon seat. But Harriet had waited eighteen long years for her beloved to fish or cut bait, and she wasn’t letting him out of her sight.

After crossing endless plains, Harriet and her Anson reached the Rocky Mountains rising like a rampart before them. They camped at the mouth of a great canyon, next to the singing Arkansas River bordered by cottonwood trees and a meadow. Two cabins were already there. One was vacant, and they moved Harriet’s cook stove inside, right next door to the Middleton family who occupied the other cabin.

With that simple act, tiny tendrils of hope pushed into the soil of their dirt-floor cabin and took root, and Harriet may have said, “This is it, Anson. No more undulating animal rumps for me. We’re home.”

Three days later on Sunday, a Southern Methodist minister fixed up a few boards in another cabin, and five souls met with the preacher to thank God for their safe passage – the first church service held in what was to become Cañon City, Colorado.

An enterprising man by the name of Millet began publishing the Cañon City Times, a saw mill and several businesses went up, and the Mountain Ute tribe soon returned to their winter camp near the hot springs and mineral waters, where they found Harriet and her mouth-watering biscuits. They often came to her cabin and waited. Waited until she had time to stir up a batch of biscuits and pass them out to her native neighbors.

One hundred and sixty years later, here I am writing not only historical fiction, but Western romance about people like Harriet and her Anson. Some folks argue that there was nothing remotely romantic about those early days of the West, but I disagree.

Consider the smithy poet, Anson, who later had a cabin with a wooden floor built for his bride—the first cabin in Cañon City, it is said, to have a wooden floor. That doesn’t sound very romantic either, but consider the critters Harriet would have dealt with in those early, floor-less days: spiders, mice, scorpions, snakes, and other multi-legged creatures. Imagine keeping them out of one’s food, bed, and clothing.

Makes me shudder.

Actions have always spoken louder than words, and it sounds to me like Anson was a romantic man in love with his wife, and gladly went to the trouble of giving her a wooden floor.

Either that, or Anson knew, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
Anson R. Rudd with son Anson S. Rudd, 1867. Photo courtesy of
Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center.
When the Rudd’s second child was born, Harriet gave the boy her maiden name as his middle name, a name I am particularly fond of—Spencer. Anson Spencer Rudd was reportedly the first Anglo child born in the area that survived.

Anson and Harriet entertained all comers in those early years, including Territorial Governor John Evans. But Ute Chief Ouray was a frequent visitor and he developed a deep friendship with Anson.
The Rudd's original square-log cabin, reassembled with a new roof 
on the property of the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center.
Unlike many other villages in the territory, Cañon City was not a boom town springing up along a gold-scattered gully. There was no gold in Cañon City, but there was land in the area rich for farming crops and planting orchards. There was water and open grassland for herds of cattle and horses, and there were merchants ready and willing to load freight wagons that carried food and goods to the mountain mining camps.

Life wasn’t easy, but it was good, the future bright. To keep the rowdies under control, Cañon City’s local leaders appointed a magistrate. A People’s Court was established, convening conveniently in the room above Bill Murray’s saloon.

And Harriet had a few friends of her own. Out of a population of around 700, roughly 120 were women.

What started out as a rendezvous site for hunters, trappers, and Native Americans prior to 1859 was, by 1861, an almost civilized town.

But as sure as the promise of gold and prosperity lured miners to the gold camps and merchants to the great canyon gateway city, so the rumblings of civil war dragged them away, one man at a time.

By late 1861, not only the leaves were falling around the town, so was the population. Anson, Harriet, and their family remained – whether out of desire or duress is uncertain. Some historians argue that Anson didn’t have the wherewithal to load up and head back to civilization. Others say he chose to maintain the feeble thread that would hold the settlement together.

The deserted town stood eerily silent, with half-finished cabins and buildings, empty and lonely, until 1864 when a wagon train rolled into town with twenty or so families looking for a different kind of gold. Their names identify some of the city’s residential streets to this day.

Cañon City officially incorporated in 1872, and the re-named Territory of Colorado became the 38th state in the Union four years later.

The town had nearly died in its infancy – like Harriet and Anson’s first child – but it didn’t. Thanks to a couple who saw that Cañon City was worth fighting for.
The Rudd's stone house, built in 1881 with three original stories and four bedrooms,
relocated to the property of the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center.
Although he was a blacksmith by trade, Anson served Cañon City as the first postmaster, though there was no post office, as provost marshal during the Civil War, warden of the Colorado Territorial Penitentiary, and later as the first sheriff of Fremont County. He also served two terms as county commissioner.
All in all, I’d say Anson Rudd was well-chosen for all these positions, considering he knew how to keep both his wife and the Ute Indian chief happy.

~

Davalynn Spencer is the award-winning author of eleven inspirational Western romance titles, both contemporary and historical. She is a former rodeo journalist, crime-beat reporter, and the wife and mother of professional rodeo bullfighters. When she’s not #lovingthecowboy, she’s wrangling Blue the Cowdog and mouse detectors Annie and Oakley. Contact her via her website at https://www.davalynnspencer.com

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Soulé Steam Feed Works, Meridian, MS


by Pam Hillman

Sometimes you live within a few miles of something that impacted your community-- or the world-- and don't even know the significance of it. You might not even know it exists! This happened to me since I started writing and researching interesting tidbits about my part of the country. I was introduced to the Soulé Steam Feed Works, which is about fifty miles from me in Meridian, MS.

Soulé focused on servicing the lumber industry from 1892 until the mid-1950s. I wrote a series of novellas set in the 1890s focused on the logging industry, and the main occupation of the men in my Natchez Trace Novel series is logging and lumbermills.

I found the entire place fascinating. The founder of Soulé Steam Feed Works, George W. Soulé, patented more than 20 items during his lifetime. Some of Soulé's most notable products were rotary steam engines, lumber stackers, mechanical log turners, and a cotton seed huller. Soulé's steam engines are still in operation today, deep in the forests of India and Australia.

I signed books at the Soulé Live Steam Festival and enjoyed the experience tremendously. Approximately 2000 people tour the restored buildings at the festival and watch the steam engines belch out steam and enjoy reminiscing about the industrial revolution. 

Given the nature of this event, many of the attendees are male. Late on the first day, one of the museum volunteers and a steam engine enthusiast who'd just arrived hurried into the area where we'd set up our book table next to the welcome desk. Both men looked like two kids on Christmas morning. The enthusiast had brought a steam whistle with him that was so large he hadn't been able to build up enough steam to blow it. They were making plans to connect it to a bigger steam engine so they could try it out.

I didn't get as many photos as I would have liked since I was signing books, but I hope to be back next year. In addition, there were so many people I would have loved to interview for HHHistory.

There are thousands of handcrafted mahogany patterns for large and small gears, balcony railings, andirons, etc. on display throughout the museum. This one was a manhole cover for the city of Meridian. 
A nameplate for the lumber stacker manufactured in 1897.
Technology students from the local community college demonstrate the antique equipment in the machine shop. The Soulé Steam Works Machine shop contains an operating 120' (that's FOOT) line shaft with original belt-driven equipment that dates from the turn of the 20th century.
Manual Underwood typewriter. One of the curators at the museum gave me a private tour a few months before the festival, and she said that Mr. Soulé kept everything, so a lot of the antiques are literally pieces that were used in the daily operations of the business. The vault even has copies of receipts and payroll records from the the 1890s and early 1900s.
The steam is chugging out and the wheel is in motion....
1928 Wurlitzer Caliola. Only about 300 of these were produced and this one is in working order. This one was on loan from the historic Temple Theatre, in Meridian, MS.
This building is across the brick-laden alley from the original office and machine shop where our book signing  was held. It's a huge open building with rough timbered woodwork and is host to many receptions and weddings. The upstairs houses turn-of-the-century employee locker rooms. I failed to get pictures because I needed to get back to the book signing. Next year for sure!
Several steam engines doing their "stuff" at the entrance of the  Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum where the festival was held. The lattice truss frame sign was completed in 2013.

This is the brick-paved alley between two of the buildings that are part of the museum complex. The ambience between the buildings with the steam billowing out of the pipes was an interesting experience. The museum staff and volunteers have done an amazing job restoring the buildings and the steam engines.

Pam Hillman and a young fan who bought a book for her grandmother!
Sometimes all we have to do is get out and about to find fascinating things about where we live. I've made notes on my phone of day trips in my area as soon as I have the time. There's a cypress swamp which I'm really anxious to see and is first on my list since The Crossing at Cypress Creek releases in June 2019! And there's an old mill that's still in operation, a cafe that dates to 1884, and many others.

There just isn't enough time in my day/week/months to do it all. But I'm making plans.

What about you? What interesting historical places would you like to see or have seen that's within a day's journey of where you live?

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The 2000 Year old Marshmallow


I doubt you've lost any sleep wondering where the yummy marshmallows came from that we use in summer smores to holiday jello salads, but I thought it was a an interesting history nugget you might enjoy reading about.

Marshmallows today are made from four simple ingredients, sugar, gelatin, water, and air. But over 2000 years ago in Ancient Egypt the recipe for marshmallows were much different. The ancient Egyptians discovered the mallow plant found in salty marshes near large bodies of water--thus the name--marshmallow. Mallow is a native plant to Europe and Asia and grow from 2 to 4 feet in height.  

This extraordinary treat was considered very special and reserved for gods, nobility, pharaohs, and royalty. It was illegal for anyone else to eat the sweet candied delicacy. They harvested the mallow plant and squeezed the sap from it before mixing the sap with nuts and honey. We don't know exactly what this treat actually looked like. 




Beyond the delicious candy the mallow plant was used for medicinal purposes and believed to heal sore throats and aches and pains. Moving forward to the 15th and 16th century the candy marshmallow pf the ancient times turned to a liquid that was used as a treatment for sore throats, coughs, indigestion, toothaches, and diarrhea. There is some belief that the marshmallow was used as a sort of love potion, too. 


Jump forward another 200 years to the 1800's and to France where they discovered that cooking and whipping the marshmallow sap with egg whites and corn syrup created a delicious candy treat that was easy to mold. This was a time-consuming process requiring a lot of elbow grease. 


Author Benefitu2 license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en
The demand was so high that candy makers had a hard time keeping up with the demand for this sweet treat which sent them searching for a new way to make marshmallows. The new process they came up with replaced the mallow sap with gelatin. One hundred years later in the 19th century the sweet treat became popular in the United States and was sold as a penny candy in tiny tins.


Boyer Brothers experimented with a marshmallow crème covered in chocolate, developing one of my favorite candies, the Mallo Cup. 



In the mid-1900's marshmallow manufacturing took a new and revolutionary turn creating the process that gives us the marshmallow forms we are familiar with today.

And now you know the rest of the story. Enjoy your next smore with a smile because you know its history. 

The Perfect Bride
Avice Touchet has always dreamed of marrying for love and that love would be her best friend, Philip Greslet. She’s waited five years for him to see her as the woman she’s become but when a visiting lord arrives with secrets that could put her father in prison, Avice must consider a sacrificial marriage.

Philip Greslet has worked his whole life for one thing—to be a castellan—and now it is finally in his grasp. But when Avice rebuffs his new lord’s attentions, Philip must convince his best friend to marry the lord against his heart’s inclination to have her as his own.




Debbie Lynne Costello is the author of Sword of Forgiveness, Amazon's #1 seller for Historical Christian Romance. She has enjoyed writing stories since she was eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina with their 5 horses, 3 dogs, cat and miniature donkey.
Connect with Debbie Lynne:
www.debbielynnecostello.com
www.theswordandspirit.blogspot.com
www.HHHistory.com
https://www.facebook.com/debbielynnecostello
https://twitter.com/DebiLynCostello https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Debbielynnecostello
https://www.pinterest.com/debbielynne1/


Monday, January 14, 2019

St. Paul Winter Carnival

As a native Minnesotan, I'm used to people from other parts of the country misunderstanding winter in the North Star State. Yes, it gets cold (but only in the winter), and yes, we get a lot of snow (most years), but no, it's not cold year-round and it's not so cold that we can't enjoy December, January, and February.

In 1885 a New York reporter visited St. Paul and declared the city to be another Siberia. He said it was "unfit for human habitation." Offended by the attack (and rightly so!), the people of St. Paul decided to retaliate by showing the world how much fun winter in Minnesota can be.

In 1886 the St. Paul Winter Carnival was born and holds the title of being the oldest winter festival in the United States, predating the Tournament of Roses Festival by two years. That first year, it was held in the month of January and included bobsledding, ice horse racing (on frozen lakes), a royal crowning, dogsled races, snow and ice sculpting contests, a parade and much more.

1886
One of the highlights of the first Winter Carnival was this ice castle. It was designed by Alexander Hutchinson, the man who designed ice palaces in Montreal the three years previous. It was built with over 35,000 blocks of ice taken from Minnesota lakes and cost about $5,210. It was 106 feet tall. In comparison, the castle built in 1992 (shown below) cost $1,900,000 and stood 165 feet tall (a Guiness World Record). 

1888
The ice castle has been the centerpiece of a festival that has continued to grow for many years. 

1986

1992

2004

Ice Sculptures

Snow Sculptures
The carnival was canceled in 1889 and 1890, due to extreme temperatures--and not because it was too cold. It was canceled because the temps were too high those years and it would be impossible to build the palace, skate on the lakes, or do any of the other winter activities for which the carnival had become famous.

A wonderful book to check out if you're interested in the fascinating history of the St. Paul Winter Carnival is called Fire & Ice, by Moira F. Harris.


What about you? Would you visit a winter carnival? Do you live in a cold weather climate? Have you been ice skating or sledding?

Gabrielle Meyer lives in central Minnesota on the banks of the Mississippi River with her husband and four children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing fictional stories inspired by real people, places, and events.

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Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Moravian Town of Salem, North Carolina

1784 Salem Tavern for the hosting of "strangers"

Arrive in Old Salem, and you know from the Colonial Germanic architecture and living history museum operating alongside a fully accredited university that you’re someplace special. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll learn that the Moravian roots of Salem—part of the modern city of Winston-Salem—make it unique among North Carolina towns.

In 1753, Bishop August Gottlieb Spangenberg purchased just short of 99,000 acres in the forks of Muddy Creek for the Moravian Church.

Originally known as Unity of the Brethren, the church had been in existence since a Bohemian priest, John Huss, was burned at stake in 1415 for challenging the authority and ethics of the Catholic Church. The Hussite churches were scattered, persecuted, and eventually influenced by Pietism. Bishop John Amos Comenius called the faithful “the hidden seed.” Eventually these people found refuge on the Saxon estate of Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf, where they practiced communal living. In 1727, a revival sparked the fire of the most comprehensive Protestant mission effort to date. The Moravians established settlements in Pennsylvania, which in turn led to those in North Carolina.
Earliest timbered houses in Salem


The first settlers arrived in the stockade fort of Bethabara in 1753. Residents soon expanded from the fort and outlying farms to a new town, Bethania. In 1765, the location for Salem was chosen. Salem became the seat of church government for the North Carolina settlements and a center for trade and industry in the Southeast.

By the establishment of Salem, Moravians no longer separated all residents into choirs—communal living arranged by age, marital status, and gender—but still provided dorms for single adult men and women. The system offered independence and employment. Children attended boys’ and girls’ schools. The boarding school for girls soon drew scholars from across the Southeast, while the town’s advanced, log-bored plumbing drew George Washington for a 1791 visit. Major decisions were prayed over by the elders, then taken before the lot—a system of drawing a paper that said “yes,” “no,” or blank for “wait”—out of a bowl or tube. Members considered the lot process representative of the will of God as evidenced in Numbers 33 and Acts 1. 



Single Sisters' House
You can learn more in Old Salem: The Official Guidebook, by Penelope Niven.

Can you imagine living in Old Salem? Keep an eye out for my upcoming novel, The Witness Tree, about a marriage of convenience in that very town that leads to an adventure in the Cherokee Nation. It will be published by LPC’s Smitten imprint in September 2019.


Represented by Hartline Literary Agency, Denise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. She’s the managing editor for Smitten Romance of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and the author of The Georgia Gold Series, The Restoration Trilogy, and a number of novellas, including Across Three Autumns of Barbour’s Colonial Backcountry Brides Collection. A wife and mother of two daughters, she always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses! Connect with Denise here:

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