The community dates back to 1753, when the first Moravians in North Carolina settled on 100,000 acres known as the Wachovia Tract. These German-speaking Protestants established the first colonial town in the Carolina Piedmont in an area known today as Historic Bethabara Park. In 1766, the Moravians established Salem, which means "peace", a congregational town and trading center founded to house professional Moravian craftsmen. Their vision of creating a self-sufficient community made Salem a haven for entrepreneurs. Within a few years, the town included a pottery, tannery, brickyard, flour mill, bakery, slaughterhouse, brewery, iron works and cloth and furniture makers.