Saturday, July 23, 2011

Old Salem, North Carolina

I had planned to save this post for a later time, but I decided to go ahead and publish it now, because it has some pretty summer flowers and gardens, and it is definitely still summer around here.

I'm trying to learn about photo composition, and I have a lot to learn.  So, I've been practicing.  I have learned that light, too much or too little of it, is crucial to good pictures.  And we all know that the quality of light is different at different times of day, as well as different times of year.

On Monday of this week, I went to Old Salem to take some more photos for a follow-up to a post I did a few weeks ago, which you can read about HERE.  I started taking pictures at about 10:30 a.m., and it was already pretty bright outside at that time.  I got some good pictures, but when I looked at them on the computer, I realized I wanted a softer light.  So, I went back in the evening with my husband and took a few more.

Then on Tuesday morning, DH had to be at work at 7:00 a.m., so I took the camera with me, and after dropping him off at the office, I went straight to Old Salem, and started photographing around 7:15 a.m.  I found the light to be much better, and the quality of the pictures to be better as well.

There's so much to photograph in this small, historic community.  There are colonial merchant's shops with wonderful, painted wooden signs.

There are white picket fences...

 and rustic garden fences.

  There are unique architectural features, such as interesting windows...

and doors,


wrought-iron railings...

  and unusual rock walls.

  There are charming, old-fashioned gardens...

...with bright pink flowers

 and pretty pots of red geraniums.

Why don't we start our tour?  These first pictures below are the ones I took at mid-morning.  You can see that the light is pretty bright, but thanks to all the trees, you can find plenty of shade in Old Salem.

This is such a cute cottage; I like the teal blue color and the white window shutters ... and the flowering Pink Crepe Myrtle.

I love the lace curtain in this window!

This is now a private residence, but I assume it was once the gunsmith's shop, because of the musket beside the front door.  Did you notice the design of the window above the doors?  These style of windows are found in almost all the Moravian churches here in our area.  I think they're just beautiful.   

Another home below, with a garage in back that was probably originally a stable or carriage house.  I like the dappled sunlight and the symmetry of the shrubs.

Another private residence below with some pretty planters out front  -- love the pink and green Caladiums,

...and the serpentine design of the brick sidewalk.

This is the Zevely Inn, a Bed and Breakfast, if you'd like to come for a visit :)  

In my first post on Old Salem, I wrote that George Washington stayed here.  This year, Old Salem celebrated the 220th anniversary of George Washington's visit to Salem.  He visited in 1791, and spent two nights in the Salem Tavern.  Here are some pictures.

I had never seen a flag like this one, so I researched a website of historic American flags, and apparently this is George Washington's Personal Position Flag (U.S.).  It is accepted by some experts as being General George Washington's Headquarters Flag and the standard of the army in 1781.  It has 13 stars, probably representing the 13 colonies. The original of this flag is in the collection of the Valley Forge Historical Society.

I always refer to the building below as the Salem Tavern; I guess it's the Salem Tavern Restaurant.

The community of Old Salem is popularly represented by a tin coffee pot, located at the north entrance of Old Salem.  The coffee pot was originally built by Moravian Julius Mickey in 1858 as an advertisement for his tinsmith shop.  According to Wikipedia, it is said to hold "740 gallons of coffee".  :)

 Some close-ups of the flowers around the coffeepot -- gorgeous, bright pink Knock Out Roses.

I took bunches of pictures -- I couldn't resist.  I'll just let you look now.

Pink Zinnias ...

Purple Phlox...

...and Sweet Peas

I like the shutter dogs on these windows...

Apple trees, loaded with green apples...

I love the symmetry in this next picture.

This last picture was my favorite photo of the day.  The gate was standing open, inviting me to look inside; and I found an ornate, iron garden bench, soft morning light, and a building with pretty, scalloped roof tiles.  Such a serene little spot. 

Thanks so much for visiting me today!  I'm linking to Pink Saturday hosted by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound, and Seasonal Sundays hosted by The Tablescaper.  Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.



  1. This place looks so charming Denise! I imagine it must be equally as lovely in the fall. Do they decorate for Christmas? xo,

  2. It is a lovely town & you certainly captured the essence of beauty well.

    Happy PS weekend ~
    TTFN ~

  3. Denise, your photos are lovely. I am so thankful you chose to share this with us. I would love to see this quaint town for myself.. until then your photos are my travel guide. xo Marlis

  4. hi Denise, this is an amazing post. I love all the photographs. The homes, shops, inn, the buildings so beautiful and historical. The flowers are beautiful. I want to visit Old Salem. I've added it to my I hope to visit, list. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed each pic. I'm visiting over from SS.

    The French Hutch

  5. Hi Denise,
    What a charming town! Love al the flowers and the rustic fence, so pretty!

  6. Fabulous photography, Denise. I love historical and old places and you captured them so well...Christine

  7. Thank you so much, Denise, for the wonderful walk in Old Salem. I loved every image! The beautiful flowers, the history, the buildings ... wowowow! Have a delightful week!

  8. You have inspired me to visit Old Salem....your photographic skill amazes and I admire your patience to take these wonderful pictures to share with us... loved all the architectural details and the beautiful flower shots... that coffee pot is so stunning! The teal house with the period shutters looks so lovely.... enjoyed each and every picture. Thanks for sharing and a Happy Sunday to you!~Poppy

  9. Such dedication -making sure to use "just the right light!" It was well worth it, lovely, lovely photos. Fun to "walk" with you. :)

  10. What a beautiful stroll through Old Salem. When we live so close by we forget what a treasure we have in our own backyard. Your photography is getting better and better. Love you, Mom

  11. Denise

    I spent several enjoyable minutes reviewing your photos. They're all GREAT!!!

    Great work.


  12. Good eye for catching the Shelton wine label i my post. We enjoyed the Yadkin trip. We have a condo near Bryson City, NC and enjoy exploring the area when we are there, If you have any suggestions pass them along.
    Great pictures of Old Salem. It's like looking at a history book.
    Cheers! Rita

  13. Denise,

    I want to come with you on one of these photo expeditions. I really enjoyed seeing Old Salem through your lens.

    Thank you for sharing,

  14. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I'm COMING to Old Salem if it's the last thing I do.
    It's just beautiful. My favorite thing, without a doubt, is the variety of fences. I'm nuts about fences.

    I'm trying to get a better grip on lighting for my pictures, too. It's slow coming!

  15. Such wonderful photos and such a wonderful visit over the marvelous the internet! Thanks for brining this wonderful post to Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  16. Your beautiful photographs make me want to visit this town!

  17. I love Old Salem. I've been a couple times now. I've never been in the spring or summer though. I need to make that a priority next year. I would really love to see all the flowers in bloom. Last year, during the fall, I went with my sister and my niece. It was my niece's school field trip so it was difficult to get a photo with a bunch of kids running around, but I did manage to get a few of some of the leaves. Old Salem is really beautiful in the fall. Even on a drizzley day. I pasted a few pics of the leaves on my blog last year. Gotta get there this next year in the summer.

  18. Thank you for the wonderful stroll through Old Salem, NC. It is one of my absolute favorite places! I can almost taste the lemon ice cream at the Tavern...

  19. Beautiful houses, I really enjoyed these pictures. Salem looks like a lovely place to visit. Your blog is wonderful, Ann - Australia.



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