Churches, Blacksmith Shop and College: A View of Salem
Oil on canvas
Virginia Historical Society
Gift of Lora Robins, E. Claiborne Robins, Jr., Bruce C. Gottwald,
Paul Mellon, D.
Tennant Bryan, Henry F. Stern, Mrs. E. Schneider, and Thomas Towers.
Nineteenth-century Salem was a market town, where produce from nearby plantations was
sold, and with the income from the sales planters bought hard and soft goods of every
description as well as farm equipment, seed, and feed. In the late 1800s a visitor described
the town: it "lies in a broad valley, is surrounded by large estates, and an air of prosperity and
pleasant home-life pervades the whole scene." Some twenty residents of Salem commissioned
Edward Beyer to paint this panorama. He shows us the buildings of the town, their positions in
the landscape, and how people dressed, worked and traveled. We view the canvas almost as if
it were a moving panorama.
Image rights owned by the Virginia Historical Society. Do not use without permission.
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