Gunsmith Shop in Old Salem

The Moravian church is a Protestant missionary church that began in what is now known as the Czech Republic.  Members immigrated to America from Germany because of persecution. The first missionary settlement in North Carolina was Bethabara, just north of Salem, and it was primarily an agricultural community. Old Salem, located in the heart of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was founded in 1766 and was  the central administrative, spiritual, craft, and professional settlement. Five outlying congregations in all surrounded the town. This building was built in 1831. After being used by Timothy Vogler as a gunsmith shop until the 1890s, it was enlarged and modified for use as a residence. This free-standing trade shop was restored and returned to its original size and appearance in 2002. The Moravians kept meticulous records and diaries which have been an invaluable aid in the restoration of Old Salem.

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These two gentleman are actual gunsmiths and they really do craft  longrifles here in the shop.

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It was in this shop that many of the most finely crafted North Carolina longrifles were produced during the second half of the 19th century.

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This antique European style longrifle hangs over the shop window.  The rifles first crafted in the American colonies were patterned after European rifles because the immigrants to the new world were, in fact, Europeans.

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The shop includes a working forge for metal work although the hardware for the guns made here at the shop is made elsewhere.  It is possible to contract for the gunsmith’s to actually make the hardware themselves but they said it would add about $8000 to the cost of the rifle!  So how much would it cost to have them make you a rifle????

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Tools of the trade for forging.

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