Bethlehem, PA: A Local Guide

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The sexual harassment attorneys in Bethlehem, PA, present this article to share a detailed excerpt about the area.

Bethlehem is a city in Northampton and Lehigh Counties in the eastern portion of Pennsylvania. Nicknamed the Christmas City, Bethlehem is home to approximately 74,983 residents with a population density of 3,966 per square mile. The city is within ZIP codes 18015-18018 and area codes 610 and 484.


In early history, Eastern Pennsylvania, including the area of Bethlehem, was long inhabited by indigenous peoples of various cultures. By the time European settlers found the land, it was the historical territory of the Algonquian-speaking Lenape Nation.

The Algonquian-speaking Lenape Nation had three main divisions, including the Unami, Unalachtigo, and Munsee. These three divisions traded with the Dutch and then English colonists in the mid-Atlantic area.

The area of Bethlehem has always had religious ties. In 1741, William Allen, a wealthy Philadelphian merchant, and political figure, deeded 500 acres of land along the Monocacy Creek and Lehigh River banks to the Moravian Church, one of the oldest Protestant denominations in the world.

On December 24th, 1741, David Nitschmann and Count Zinzendorf led a small group of Moravians and founded the mission community of Bethlehem. Nitschmann and Zinzendorf went to set up missionary communities among the Native Americans and unchurched German-speaking Christians.

They named the missionary settlement after the Biblical town Bethlehem of Judea, the birthplace of Jesus. It is recorded that upon the declaration of this missionary community, Count Zinzendorf said, "Brothers, how more fittingly could we call our new home than to name it in honor of the spot where the event we now commemorate took place. We will call this place Bethlehem."

On that day, Bethlehem was named after the birthplace of the 'Man of Peace.'

In 1762, Bethlehem built the first waterworks in America to pump water for public use.

In 1777, the town of Bethlehem saw an influx of fleeing Patriots as the British advanced upon Philadelphia. During the time, Americans were fighting the American Revolutionary War. While George Washington and his troops stayed in Valley Forge, Washington stored his personal effects at the farm of James Burnside in Bethlehem.

The farm has since been deemed a historical museum (1998), known as the James Burnside Plantation.

In 1845, the village of Bethlehem was incorporated into a free borough in the County of Northampton. Soon after, Bethlehem became the headquarters of the Northern Province of the Moravian Church in North America in 1848.

Following the Civil War, the Borough of South Bethlehem was formed, and in 1904, the boroughs of West Bethlehem and Bethlehem merged. By 1917, the Borough of South Bethlehem and Bethlehem merged to become the City of Bethlehem.

The Bethlehem Historic District

The city of Bethlehem holds deep history. In Historic Bethlehem, a National Historic Landmark District and a designation to the US Tentative List for nomination to the World Heritage List, you're able to see firsthand the plethora of historic sites within the city of Bethlehem.

Some of the most notable historic sites include,

The Moravian Museum of Bethlehem Complex

  • Located at 66 W Church St, Bethlehem, PA 18018, you can visit The Moravian Museum of Bethlehem to learn more about the area's history and take a tour to visit 1741 Gemeinhaus, Single Sisters House, Nain-Schober House, and the 1752 Apothecary.

The Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts

  • Located at 427 N New St, Bethlehem, PA 18018, the quaint museum is a local favorite and is known for its friendly staff and unique exhibits

1810 Goundie House

  • Located at 501 Main St, Bethlehem, PA 18018, the house currently features a pop-up shop from Marche Maison Vintage Market. Here you can learn all about a quintessential early Bethlehem family who made beer and get a tour of the historic site.

If you ever find yourself in the charming city, you can plan your visit with the Historic Bethlehem Museum & Sites Visitor Center to make sure you don't miss a single attraction.

Enjoyed this article? See related: The Timeline of Lehigh Valley, PA

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