Wachovia Series LbNA # 18145
|Placed Date||Sep 17 2005|
|Last Update||May 1 2009|
German speaking Protestants of the Moravian faith community came to this area of North Carolina in the 1700s. They settled in the place they named Wachovia. The earliest community established was Bethabara (Be-THAHB-a-ra)--hebrew for "house of passage". In the forest surrounding this National Historic Landmark you will find the Wachovia Series, each a depiction of an aspect of Moravian cutoms. Make sure you tour the exhibit buildings, especially the Geimenhaus (or community house) which is the oldest colonial Moravian church with attached living quarters still standing in the US. Beautifully preserved! The extensive park trails are always open, but the buildings and museum have set hours. $2 charge to go through the museum. I was there for the Apple Festival on September 17. What a treat! Great bluegrass band playing while I hiked.
For more info:http://www.bethabarapark.org/
Box #1: MORAVIAN STAR
This many pointed star is a tradition began in Germany in the late 1800s. It symbolizes the greatness of the creator who made stars on the 4th day, the Star of Bethlehem, and the Divine Star. It is often displayed during Christmas.
Begin by walking the lane through the center of Bethabara until you find the colonial garden. Enter the gate and pass beneath the grape arbor and through the back fence. Just beyond the 1763 Tavern Well you will find the Wagon Road Trail used to reach the mill in colonial times. Turn left and follow the pavement behind the settlement until you come to the first bridge on your right. Cross it and turn left. Follow the path up a steep, cross-tie hill until you come to the entrance of "God's Acre" where those of the faith are buried in the old tradition of women on the right, men on the left. Find grave 46 beneath a large cypress: Johannes Schmidt born 1769, died 1771. From there site a double tree at 150 degrees. Standing directly in front of it, look through the V to spy a large poplar. Moravian Star is at its base behind a large rock.
Box #2: SINGSTUNDE
Literally translated as “hour of song,” the Singstunde is a service consisting almost entirely of hymns -- more specifically, of hymn stanzas, carefully chosen to develop a theme. Most Moravians in the 18th and early 19th century had several hundred hymn stanzas committed to memory. Thus the pastor would select stanzas from many different hymns, place them in order, and the service would proceed without printed program or announcement. The pastor would simply begin singing a stanza, and the congregation joined in, by memory.
To find the Singstunde Box, exit God's Acre the way you came in. Turn right at the first spur trail. Turn left at the next spur which leads to a paved trail. Take the pavement east a short distance, and again take the next spur trail left. This path leads you down hill on a sunken road. Keep to this path. As it flattens out stop and site a large poplar over your right shoulder. Take the next spur trail up the ridge behind this tree. Singstunde is inside a a pile of sticks beside the spur-trail facing the poplar.
Box #3: LOVEFEAST
The custom of Moravian lovefeasts is based upon the early Christian’s gathering after Pentecost and breaking bread together. The first recorded Moravian lovefeast was in 1727.
Lovefeast is a service of hymns and prayer accompanied by a simple meal usually consisting of a sweetened bun and a mug of coffee.
To reach Lovefeast return to the main trail and continue down hill. When you reach the creek stop and look for an enormous double-trunked oak just atop a ridge. Climb behind it and find your treasure wedged in the V beneath a stone and sticks. After you stamp-up and rehide, you'll follow the creek NE until you reach the bridge where you began. You may cross the pavement of the wagon road trail and enter the village from the back of the old Indian Fortress at that spot, or continue your walk in the woods of Wachovia. There are 20 miles of nature trails!