Abraham Loesch


Born: August 22, 1765
Died: October, 17, 1843

Brother Abraham Loesch was a master mason in Salem, North Carolina, during the late 18th Century in Salem and Bethabara, North Carolina. When he was two years old his family moved to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Loesch attended school in the Nazareth Hall in Bethlehem. He was trained as a mason in Christiansbrunn, Pennsylvania after finishing his schooling. Sometime between 1782 and 1785 his family moved to the Moravian town of Salem, North Carolina.

In 1785 he aided in the building of Bethabara Church, as a mason.

Loesch had an interesting personal life that led to butting heads with the local leaders. However his work was of such quality he was named master mason at a young age at the behest of master mason Johann Gottlob Krause.

He is recorded in 1786 as beginning to do the mason work on the Single Sister’s House. The records indicate that the chimney on the side of the building was constructed, likely for the bake and dry-house. However it is also mentioned he had also not decided on whether or not to stay in Salem as a mason. Later that year he was listed as a mason of the Single Brothers in the Brotherhood. Around this time as well Loesch built the bake oven in the Gemeinhaus in Salem.

In 1787 Johann Krause expressed his desire to name him a master mason. This was done in part because Loesch wished for higher pay, and Krause needed help on all the building projects going on in Salem at the time. In 1787, Loesch was consulted to raise the stone bridge to the town gun shop.

In later 1787-early 1788 Abraham Loesch was named roadmaster in Salem. He began repairing the ways in town. Loesch was not content with this position and his appointment was short lived.

In 1788 he traveled back to Pennsylvania and learned the fulling trade. In 1789 Loesch had returned to Salem and constructed his own fulling mill and house. He became a full-time fuller, holding the rights to indigo dye in Salem, and only did mason work on the side when time allowed.

In the summer of 1791 Loesch was hired to do the mason’s work on the Peters Creek Bridge. He seemed adept at bridge building as there is mention of his bridge being the only bridge across Muddy Creek that was accessible during flooding. By 1793 Loesch had built a house on the northwest end of the Bethany Trace, located on the west side of Dorothea. He also located his new fulling and saw mill near this location as well.

In 1807 Loesch was appointed to oversee the construction of the Bethania Church. He also was in charge of hiring the workers who would construct this building. In 1815 and 1816 Loesch placed advertisements for platforms, water pumps and piping as far as Raleigh in the Raleigh Star and the North Carolina State Gazette.

Abraham Loesch lived on until October 17th, 1843. His work can still be seen today in the still standing Bethabara and Bethania Churches in and around Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Several buildings in Salem in which he had a hand in remain standing, giving a tangible testament to his life’s work.