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Historical Markers in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Bethlehem is in Lehigh County
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“...16 of our Brethren, who are to go to Upper Places[?] to peel bark for our tanner, had lovefeast.”
Single Brethren's Diary
April 16, 1757
The large forest located north of early Bethlehem contained great quantities . . . — — Map (db m26923) HM|
Newly slaughtered cattle provided fresh, or “green,” hides for the tanner to process into leather. The tannery stood directly to the south, or left; of the butchery so that these two industries could work together in Bethlehem. . . . — — Map (db m26927) HM|
“They have carried the mechanical Arts to greater Perfection here than in any Place which I have seen.”
John Adams to Abigail Adams
Early Industrial History
By 1745, only four years after they founded . . . — — Map (db m26917) HM|
| “Br. Schenk began erection of new dye shop.”
Single Brethren's Diary
June 27, 1771
Early Bethlehem's dyers used natural materials such as indigo (blue), madder (red), logwood (purple), and fustic (yellow) to add . . . — — Map (db m27068) HM|
| The high quality flour produced by the Luckenbach Mill was obtained from grain grown in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, and other parts of the mid-west. After processing in Bethlehem, the flour was marketed throughout the Lehigh Valley and the . . . — — Map (db m27069) HM|
| “Last night about 11 o-clock the alarm of fire was heard in our streets...It was occasioned by the discovery of fire in the old Bethlehem Mill,...A narrow escape of a sick lady was among the serious events of this memorable night...” . . . — — Map (db m27075) HM|
| As early as 1754, water was pumped from a spring to a water tower, that stood east of here, through hollowed trunks of trees. It then flowed by gravity to five cisterns or reservoirs. Original engine house stands about 60 yds. S.W. — — Map (db m27146) HM|
“...The houses of the congregation were well built, and there were all sorts of manufacturing establishments there...There were good carpenters, cabinet-makers, steel-workers, and very good blacksmiths...”
Baroness von Riedesel's . . . — — Map (db m26918) HM|
| In 1747, the Moravians fenced in the spring to keep out domestic animals and fowl. Early recoreds also state that one a year, two men were assigned to clean the spring “by the light of the moon.”
A bountiful spring was one of the . . . — — Map (db m27102) HM|
"The Tannery is one of our most paying and indispensable trades. It supplies all our shoemaking trades in Bethlehem. Nazareth, Friedrichstal and Gnadenhuetten and all our people with leather."
Bishop John Cammerhof . . . — — Map (db m157411) HM
| In the early years of Bethlehem, the tawer processed sheepskins almost exclusively. However, after the 1760s, inventories indicate that deerskins became the primary source of leather for the tawing industry.
The tawer used sheepskins and . . . — — Map (db m27103) HM|
"One thing, you were never bothered with insomnia. You rose about 3:30 a.m. and you wouldn't retire until 11:00 p.m.."
Joseph A. Lum
Imagine working 18 hours a day, six days a week! . . . — — Map (db m157392) HM
|Within this crypt rests the bones of an unknown soldier in the war for Independence. He was one of more than five hundred men who died in the hospital here at Bethlehem, and was buried on this hill side. — — Map (db m29795) HM|
| “They have a Sett of Pumps which go by Water, which force the water up through leaden Pipes, from the River to the Top of the Hill, near an hundred feet.”
John Adams to Abigail Adams
A bountiful spring supplied . . . — — Map (db m27191) HM|
|In February, 1910, over 9,000 steelworkers went on strike over wages, overtime, and work conditions. A striker was shot and killed here during hostilities that ensued. The subsequent federal investigation substantiated workers' claims and . . . — — Map (db m70518) HM|
The sprawling steel plant once occupied close to 1800 acres between South Bethlehem and the Lehigh River. After it shut down, the company took on a major environmental clean-up, leaving the site safe for future use. In the years that followed, . . . — — Map (db m114370) HM|
The streets that stretch up from the steel plant make up South Bethlehem. Over the decades, this community grew along with Bethlehem Steel's growing workforce. Generations of workers lived, shopped, attended school and church, played sports, . . . — — Map (db m113779) HM|
Look down at the walkway on the Trestle. Some workers signed their names in steel, welding the letters on the deck. Working at the Steel meant you were part of something important: a huge industry that served the needs of a growing . . . — — Map (db m113920) HM|
The Locks Are Key
Engineers on the Delaware and Lehigh canals installed over 70 locks to raise and lower canal boats onto stretches of level water. Although there were variations between individual locks, the process of "locking through" . . . — — Map (db m157402) HM|
Air Products, founded in 1940, revolutionized the supply of industrial gases on the novel concept of building a plant next to a steel mill and piping oxygen directly to the customer. That transformative idea was reflected in the "A" of Air . . . — — Map (db m111838) HM|
| An early Germanic type of building; erected in 1745. Used first as the Family House. Girls' School, 1749. Bell, still in use, was cast in Bethlehem. Turret had first town clock, 1746. Weathervane is the church seal in metal. . . . — — Map (db m27109) HM|
Across all its facilities, Bethlehem Steel produced over 1 billion tons of steel between 1905 and 1999-that's over 12,000 Golden Gate Bridges worth of material! A high quality of steel, dependent upon rigorous testing during the many . . . — — Map (db m113800) HM|
|Headquartered here, it was one of the most important iron and steel manufacturers in the nation. In 1863, Bethlehem Iron Co. began producing railroad rails. Steel manufacturing began in 1873 with armor plate and guns forged for the US Navy. The . . . — — Map (db m79612) HM|
Look around you, these five blast furnaces were the heart of the plant for many decades. Ordinarily up to three of the five furnaces would be operating at one time. They ran continuously-night and day, seven days a week-and required constant . . . — — Map (db m113751) HM|
| Built 1748 by Moravians as house for single men. Early industry center: bell foundry, silkworm culture, other crafts and trades. Military hospital in Revolution. Girls' school from 1815. Now part of Moravian College and a museum. — — Map (db m26904) HM|
The former headquarters
Lehigh Valley Railroad
Built 1886-1889 — — Map (db m159174) HM|
|Author & historian. Her works include books on Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. “Yankee from Olympus”, Sir Edward Coke “Lion and the Throne”, & the U.S. Constitution “Miracle at Philadelphia”. She lived here during her . . . — — Map (db m79688) HM|
| The annual festivals of the Bach Choir
of Bethlehem were initiated on
March 27, 1900 by the first American
performance of the “Mass in B Minor”
of Johann Sebastian Bach. — — Map (db m27140) HM|
|American industrialist and pioneer of the US steel industry. Schwab established Bethlehem Steel Corporation in 1904. By World War I, it was among the largest steel producers in the world and a major contributor to the war effort. Schwab's South . . . — — Map (db m79657) HM|
"We used to trade a lot along the canal. People who had vegetables and things. We'd give them coal and they'd give us cabbages, tomatoes and things like that. There were lock tenders whose wives made good bread. We'd give them coal . . . — — Map (db m157396) HM
of the soldiers of the
who suffered and died in this
building used as a military hospital
Dec. 1776 to April 1777 and
Sept. 1777 to April 1778 — — Map (db m27115) HM|
|A two-story log inn, built here in 1745, was Bethlehem's first public house. Located near the ferry that crossed the Lehigh River, it was visited by famous political and military leaders of the era. A bridge replaced the ferry, 1794, and the inn . . . — — Map (db m29831) HM|
|One of Americas foremost pipe organ builders. Tannenberg, born at Berthelsdorf, Germany, emigrated to the Moravian community at Bethlehem in 1749. From 1760-65 he lived at Burnside Plantation, where he built organs as an apprentice of Johann . . . — — Map (db m29781) HM|
|Drilled first oil well in America in 1859 at Titusville, Pa. Lived at Bethlehem in this house for last seven years of his life, 1873-1880. In 1902 his remains were moved from Bethlehem to memorial monument erected at Titusville. — — Map (db m26836) HM|
|President, Bethlehem Steel, 1913-45, & chairman, 1946-57, lived here. A protιgι of industrialist Charles M. Schwab, he helped make the company the U.S.'s largest shipbuilder & 2nd largest steelmaker - a formidable supplier in two world wars. — — Map (db m29826) HM|
| First Bethlehem
In Clergy House
1743 - 1752
Established at this
1752. — — Map (db m27154) HM|
|The first house of the Moravian settlement occupied March 9, 1741, stood on this site. In this house on Christmas Eve 1741 COUNT ZINZENDORF, conducting a love feast, named the place Bethlehem. — — Map (db m29793) HM|
"A few miles above Easton, the Lehigh was pocked with white water at almost every turning. To navigate it seemed impossible."
Josiah White, Co-founder of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company . . . — — Map (db m157399) HM
| Erected in 1741
The first house of worship in
Home for the clergy among whom were
Zinzendorf - Spangenberg
Nitschmann - Ettwein - Seidel
Scene of the Great Wedding July 15, 1749
Place of the only school for the . . . — — Map (db m27144) HM|
Erected in 1741. First place of worship in Bethlehem was on the second floor. Count von Zinzendorf had quarters here, 1742. Place of many notable conferences in the Colonial and Revolutionary periods.
————— . . . — — Map (db m27138) HM|
What is Heat Treating?
If you look towards the bridge to your left, you can see a tall and narrow building. This is the High House, or No. 3 Treatment Facility. Its tall shape accommodates the heat treating process, where gun barrels and . . . — — Map (db m114372) HM|
| One-half block south, stands the home of John Heckewelder, famed Indian missionary and interpreter, author of works on American Indians. House was erected in 1810. — — Map (db m27192) HM|
|The productivity of this Bethlehem Steel worker, referred to as "Schmidt," was key to Frederick W. Taylor's landmark book, "Principles of Scientific Management." Noll was credited with loading 45 tons of pig iron a day in 1899, to increase his day's . . . — — Map (db m29931) HM|
|The renowned poet was born here on September 10, 1886; died in Zurich, September 27, 1961. H. D. sought the Hellenic spirit and a classic beauty of expression. She is buried in nearby Nisky Hill Cemetery. "O, give me burning blue." — — Map (db m29796) HM|
| Built A.D. 1749.
First store in the
Opened A.D. 1753
in the west end of this
Torn down A.D. 1879. — — Map (db m27193) HM|
Steelworkers often labored six or even seven days a week in long and exhausting shifts. Accidents were common. Over 500 men died on the job between 1905 and 1941. Hundreds, if not thousands, were badly injured by burning metal, toxic . . . — — Map (db m113775) HM|
Imagine leaving behind all you know and starting a new life in a foreign place with few friends and little money. From the 1880s to the 1920s, millions of European immigrants arrived in the US in hope of finding work and a better life. Many . . . — — Map (db m113758) HM|
People have been producing iron and steel for thousands of years, heating up iron ores and limestone by burning charcoal, anthracite coal or coke (a fuel derived from coal) to create a sturdy metal. Iron-whether it is hammered ("wrought") into . . . — — Map (db m111844) HM|
"The boatsmen had a hard life. But the locktenders did too, because they couldn't go nowhere. They had to be on the job all the time."
It is early morning and still . . . — — Map (db m157397) HM
|Organist, composer, and conductor. A major interpreter of J.S. Bach's music. He founded the Bethlehem Bach Festival and conducted the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, 1898-1905 and 1911-1932. Wolle was born and raised here in Main Hall. — — Map (db m27164) HM|
|The famed mechanical engineer was superintendent of Johnstown's Cambria Iron Works, 1854-60, & Bethlehem Iron Company, 1860-92. Pioneered in production of rails and armor plate. A Lehigh trustee, he endowed the engineering laboratory here. — — Map (db m79837) HM|
|Here stood the George Frederick Beckel house, 1762-1872, famed as the place where General Lafayette convalesced from a leg wound suffered at the Battle of Brandywine, 1777. Beckel was then superintendent of the community farm here in Bethlehem. — — Map (db m26877) HM|
The Blast Furnaces reduced iron ore to metallic pig iron. The furnaces had differing production capabilities, ranging from 800 to 3300 tons of iron per day. Most of this would later be processed into steel.
1 Heating The . . . — — Map (db m113767) HM|
”Every municipality is morally bound to furnish to its inhabitants an abundant supply of pure water, and a well-drained soil... "
First Mayor of the unified City of Bethlehem
Monocacy Creek . . . — — Map (db m114647) HM|
|Repository for records of the Moravian Church, first organized in 1757. The Archives holds a unique collection of manuscripts, books, music and images relating to the history of the Moravians in North America from 1740 to the present. — — Map (db m29782) HM|
|Used as a burial place, 1742-1910. Site selected and consecrated by Count von Zinzendorf. Only flat gravestones were permitted. Here are the graves of persons of various nationalities and races. — — Map (db m29784) HM|
| Community organized June 25, 1742. The oldest buildings are on West Church Street. Those marked are; Gemeinhaus, Sisters' House, Bell House, Brothers' House, and Old Chapel. — — Map (db m26907) HM|
The walkway you're standing on
is the Hoover-Mason Trestle, an elevated rail line built to transport raw materials to the blast furnaces. Named after the engineering firm that designed and built it, the Trestle was in use from 1907 until . . . — — Map (db m111847) HM|
NON-NATIVE PLANTS ARRIVED HERE BY HUMAN ACTIVITY either deliberate or accidental. American colonists brought seeds and plants from their home countries for food production, medicinal purposes and ornamental gardening.
Seeds arrived in the ballast . . . — — Map (db m114091) HM|
| “Notice is hereby given to the Public, that the new oil Mill at Bethlehem for rubbing Hemp will be a going before Christmas. But the new Oil Mill will not be finished till the Latter end of Januario or in Febr. next year 1766...”
Oil . . . — — Map (db m27080) HM|
|The second place of worship, 1751-1806. Here many noted persons of the American Revolution heard early Moravian music and the Gospel. Prominent clergy were Bishops Nitschmann, Spangenberg, de Watteville, and Ettwein. — — Map (db m27165) HM|
Former steelworkers reflect on the challenges and rewards of their occupation:
"I remember the first day I was on the job and I was like 'Oh my god, this is hell! Smoke and fire, it was just incredible. I almost ran out of there, it . . . — — Map (db m113921) HM|
“Today we made the beginning in the ground breaking for our new potter's house, which will be built toward the Monocacy, westward from the Gemein and Choir Houses, in such a way that a row of still needed shops can be added later in a . . . — — Map (db m26919) HM|
|While Pulaski guarded this area in 1778, the Moravian women made a banner which his cavalry bore until he died at the Siege of Savannah in 1779. The banner was later immortalized in a poem by Longfellow. — — Map (db m27195) HM|
| This is the last remaining home from the American Indian mission village of Nain which existed from 1758-1765 in the vicinity of 12th and 13th Avenues in West Bethlehem. The house was originally built around 1758 by Moravian missionaries with help . . . — — Map (db m27194) HM|
|The engineer and philanthropist lived here. Directed construction, Lehigh Valley Railroad. A founder, Bethlehem Iron Co. Benefactor to St. Luke's Hospital, Church of the Nativity, and Bishopthorpe Girls School. Charter trustee, Lehigh University. — — Map (db m29825) HM|
|Chemist, industrialist, inventor, and Civil War officer. In 1852 he developed a process for extracting white zinc oxide directly from zinc ore. In 1853 he founded the Lehigh Zinc Co., with a plant here, pioneering the manufacture of zinc spelter and . . . — — Map (db m29932) HM|
| Built in 1744. Brothers' House until 1748. Here unmarried sisters plied many of the arts and crafts for women. In 1778, Pulaski's banner was made by them.
Erected A.D. 1742.
Prior to 1748 used as a . . . — — Map (db m27159) HM|
In memory of the more than 600
Bethlehem Steel Corporation
employees who lost their lives in
1905 - 1996
[names not transcribed]
Built and Dedicated in 2001
These memorial bricks were purchased by
family, . . . — — Map (db m159281) HM|
| Erection begun, 1758; enlarged and altered in 19th century. Considered one of the best inns of its time. Here many notable patriots and military leaders of the Revolutionary War period were entertained. — — Map (db m26878) HM|
The story of Bethlehem Steel begins in the 1840s when the Lehigh Canal and the coal it carried triggered the American Industrial Revolution in the Lehigh Valley. In the 1850s, newly-constructed railroad lines like the Lehigh Valley Railroad . . . — — Map (db m113743) HM|
The strong, lightweight structural beam makes up the framework of buildings, bridges, and other structures. These wide flange beams were first made in 1907 right here in Bethlehem, using inventor Henry Grey's innovative rolling . . . — — Map (db m113803) HM|
The large building to the left is the Blower House. This is where giant gas-powered engines pumped pressurized air into the blast furnaces. Every ton of iron takes about 200,000 cubic feet of air to produce!
1 Building Pressure
The . . . — — Map (db m113794) HM|
How did a small city in the Lehigh Valley become home to one of America's largest steel producers? In the early decades of the company, Bethlehem's location near major cities, raw materials, and transportation routes positioned it for . . . — — Map (db m113926) HM|
Inside this long building, workers turned forged steel into finished parts and products. Through a few basic cutting processes-including milling, drilling, turning, boring, planing-machinists shaped steel with incredible precision.
The size . . . — — Map (db m114366) HM|
| Before and during the American Revolution many noted patriots worshiped here, including George Washington, Martha Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Count Casimir Pulaski and the Marquis de Lafayette.
In 1792 . . . — — Map (db m27189) HM|
The long building in front of you is the No. 2 Machine Shop. Built in 1890, this was one of the largest industrial buildings in the world, stretching for nearly a third of a mile. Workers in this shop milled and drilled Bethlehem's steel into . . . — — Map (db m114093) HM|
| Built as an additional dormitory five
years after Main Hall during a period
of rapid expansion. Now occupied by
the Moravian College Music Department. — — Map (db m27163) HM|
How could an industrial giant for over a century fall into a drastic decline and close?
And what would happen to the workers and facility? Many who worked here asked these questions as the plant ground to a close. Workers cast Blast Furnace C . . . — — Map (db m114087) HM|