HOUSE OF PASSAGE - 1753
|GEMEINHAUS - 1788|
MILL CREEK TRAIL
We decided to take the hike before we wrapped ourselves in history. The trail is off the Greenway which runs parallel to the back of the palisades in the historic park. To take the hike first you will need to drive through the park passing the garden on the left. Soon thereafter is a sharp turn and on the right is a small parking lot.
The hike is an easy 2.5 miles. On a cool and overcast day the trail was humid but not uncomfortably so. I would not want to take this hike on a hot day but I would not want to miss the flowers either. Rating the hike is difficult. Access to the marsh is a must. Trail access is a 8; would be higher but no signage telling you where you are is a problem; the trails are also rated low 7; they are well maintained but for the marsh access; scenery is a 9 only because we got to see the marsh blossoms. Effort to view ratio leans toward easy....overall an 8 rated hike.
But you got to add in a visit to Bethabara...
Bethabara was the first congregational town for the Moravians in North Carolina. Their industrious nature soon turned this highspot between two marshes into a thriving farming community. Bethabara was an oasis of culture in the backwoods of North Carolina.
It was a key trading post and an important place for artisans to ply their trade. In the French and Indian War it was a sanctuary for settlers and boasted a wooden palisade fort. Moravians were people of an abiding faith and trust in Jesus Christ. They initially lived in a communal society, with each member of the community assigned important tasks. They worshiped daily and played horns, violins and organs, often to melodies of Bach and Beethoven. To the surrounding settlers they were an odd bunch....but they also made the best pottery, boasted one of the best blacksmiths and the only doctor in the area.
The original homestead has been reconstructed. This cabin housed 15 early settlers for over a year. Their simple farm bears witness to the hard life they lived.
The second building is the Gemeinhaus-the congregational house where church services were held. This was the center of the village. Just outside the palisade is the 1788 Gemeinhaus preserved and restored to its original state.
Just down the street is the Log House which is just as photogenic as the Gemeinhaus.
The Bethabara Historical Village is a real hidden gem for the City of Winston-Salem. It is located in the northwestern part of the city near Wake Forest University. If you have not visited this place, take time to hike the Mill Trail and visit the marsh but also spend time thinking about the history of this area. Walking among the excavated foundations and reconstructed farm, you can get a sense of what it was like to build this community in which we live and enjoy.