Today was our free day to explore and experience Old Salem. There were plenty of special tours, activities, and other opportunities that one could sign up for, or you could go the route I did and just walk around and look at what you wanted. I started off the morning shopping for a few souvenirs to take home. With that accomplished, I headed straight to the gunsmith's shop. This place was pretty cool. It's the only one of its kind in the country; original building, in original location, with a complete inventory of what the 18th century gunsmith had in there. They build fowling pieces and hunting rifles, as well as maintaining muskets for the Old Salem Militia. "The Moravians were pacifists" you say? Well, yes, they were. They had to pay a state tax to avoid militia service, but by the early 19th century that tax had gotten quite high, so they formed a militia company to abide by the spirit of the law, if not the letter of it. They had three militiamen outfitted today and they portray the militia of 1831. It's pretty damn cool.
I also enjoyed the shoemaker's shop. The interpreter there was really knowledgeable and great to talk with. I got to see a reenactment of a fire drill, using Salem's reproduction fire engine. I did brief tours of both the Toy Museum and the Museum of Southeastern Decorative Arts. Finally, it was off to play a quite spirited game of vintage baseball (apparently an ALHFAM tradition). My team won 11-3, and a good time was had by all.
There was some business conducted today, mainly in the form of regional committee meetings during the lunch break. I attended the Southeast Region meeting, getting to meet a few folks I hadn't yet met, and hearing what future plans are for regional conferences. We have dinner again tonight, followed by another long-standing ALHFAM tradition, the auction (which raises money for the organization). Though I have no money to buy anything, I hear the auction is quite entertaining. One more day to go, and then heading home Wednesday morning.