In 1766, 16 brave young women walked from Bethlehem, Penn., to their new home in the wilds of North Carolina. These Single Sisters, unmarried women of the Moravian community, later established their own house in the village of Salem. They moved into their new home on April 1786, 20 years after that 500-mile trek. The structure sheltered dedicated teachers and female students who were eager to learn mathematics, science and geography, along with the arts of music, drawing and needlework. The Single Sisters operated the school for many years as one of their successful entrepreneurial enterprises, a lasting reminder of the value of equal education and opportunity for women.

Single Sisters, in fact, is the founding site of the oldest continually operating educational institution for women in the United States.


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