Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites

Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites has year-round member events and activities. Visit our page and share your experience around Bethlehem's rich history.
Historic Bethlehem Partnership, Inc. is a non-profit organization that makes history relevant to the present times. Come celebrate the past and hear the stories of the people who helped shape the culture of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and beyond. Our museums and historic sites present remarkable stories about our unique and curious town and its people. Join us for historic walks through downtown Bethlehem, the Colonial Industrial Quarter,or the Old Moravian Cemetery. Take a Segway tour of our town, see the sparks fly in our Blacksmith Shop, spend time at our "farm" in the city at Burnside Plantation. Visitors of all ages are invited to open our doors and step inside to experience three centuries of history. Go back in time with living history programs, special exhibits, lectures, and experience the Blueberry Festival.

Curator Lindsey Jancay has been busy today setting up this fabulous pop-up purse exhibit over at AmericaOnWheels.com! As...
07/11/2019

Curator Lindsey Jancay has been busy today setting up this fabulous pop-up purse exhibit over at AmericaOnWheels.com! As part of our upcoming Out & About: A Collection of Purses and Clutches exhibit opening in September, we’re partnering with American On Wheels to showcase historical fashions with historical cars - two things that often went hand in hand! Special thanks to Ilene Wood for opening up her amazing collection to be displayed and thank you to the wonderful interns and volunteers who worked hard to help install over 100 purses in one day!

Throwback Thursday! Interested in learning more about the history of Burnside Plantation? Read on! James Burnside, origi...
07/11/2019

Throwback Thursday! Interested in learning more about the history of Burnside Plantation? Read on!

James Burnside, originally from County Meath, Ireland, traveled to Georgia, and in two years suffered much tragedy - two devastating fires and the death of his first wife. He befriended a member of the Moravian Church in Georgia and came north eventually becoming a Moravian missionary.

His daughter Rebecca died at the age of six of smallpox. The following year, he married Mary Wendover, a Moravian widow from the Moravian congregation in New York. In 1747, James and Mary Burnside decided to not follow the choir system of Moravian Bethlehem and purchased 500 acres just north of the Moravian settlement of Bethlehem. Their farm, Burnside Plantation, was the first privately held property in the settlement and first private home.

In 1752, James was elected as the first representative to the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly from the newly formed Northampton County. He was a contemporary of Benjamin Franklin serving with him on the Committee for Indian Affairs. Three years after his death, Mary sold the farm to the Moravian Church and it became Plantation #4 in the Moravian farming system.

The Lehigh Art Alliance Annual Summer Juried Exhibition is now open at the 1869 Luckenbach Mill!Now through August 8, co...
07/10/2019

The Lehigh Art Alliance Annual Summer Juried Exhibition is now open at the 1869 Luckenbach Mill!

Now through August 8, come view a variety of artwork on Fridays 11am-4pm and Saturdays & Sundays 1pm-4pm.

Join us this Friday, July 12, for an opening reception as part of Design After Dark. Meet the artists and enjoy light refreshments from 5:30 to 8:00pm.

Admission is pay what you wish, but you can skip the lines by heading to: https://go.activecalendar.com/historic-bethlehem-museums-and-sites/event/design-after-dark-lehigh-valley-art-alliance-opening-reception/

Who bakes the most delicious blueberry dessert in the valley? Wow our judges with your most tantalizing treat in the Blu...
07/09/2019

Who bakes the most delicious blueberry dessert in the valley? Wow our judges with your most tantalizing treat in the Blueberry Festival Culinary Contest! The adult competition will be held on Saturday July 20 at 2pm. The Kids 15 and Under competition will be Sunday July 21 at 2pm. Showcase your baking skills and bring your blueberry best to this year’s Blueberry Festival! Entry to the competition is free but does not include admission to the festival. To register and for more details, visit our website: https://historicbethlehem.org/blueberry-festival/blueberry-culinary-contest-form/

"When I saw the little square advertisement in Historic Bethlehem for Blacksmithing 101 lessons I had no idea it would b...
07/08/2019

"When I saw the little square advertisement in Historic Bethlehem for Blacksmithing 101 lessons I had no idea it would become as engrossing a hobby as I now hold it to be. You get 1-on-1 time with an experienced smithy and private access to a historic forge and workshop, as well as all the materials you could possibly need for the lesson. You won't need to pay a dime more for an exciting afternoon or morning banging hot metal against an anvil in the ways the Founding Fathers did nearly 300 years ago! I couldn't recommend it highly enough. All of the staff is friendly and whatever you imagine the experience will be, the actual thing is even better. I forged a Christmas gift for my mother during my 3rd visit! There is a veritable ocean of knowledge and skill right here in Historic Bethlehem and this is a great opportunity to sample the flavor of it." -Anthony Murphy Blacksmithing 101. Learn more on our website for how to sign up for our Blacksmithing 101 classes! https://historicbethlehem.org/programs/blacksmithing-101/

Two weeks until Blueberry Festival! Not that we’re counting…do you have your tickets yet? Don’t worry there’s st...
07/07/2019

Two weeks until Blueberry Festival! Not that we’re counting…do you have your tickets yet? Don’t worry there’s still time, avoid the lines and order ahead online. Enjoy blueberry everything: pies, pierogies, coffee cake, beer, wine, strudel, ice cream. Can’t get enough? Take home your very own blueberry bush so you can enjoy blueberries at home. Limited quantities available, order your blueberry bush today. Photo credit to Scott Piccotti. https://historicbethlehem.org/blueberry-festival/blueberry-festival-food/

Tomorrow at Free Sundays kids can enjoy creating their own puzzle, story time with a reading of Wacky Wednesday, and art...
07/06/2019

Tomorrow at Free Sundays kids can enjoy creating their own puzzle, story time with a reading of Wacky Wednesday, and artifact show and tell! Join us Sunday August 7th 1-4pm for a relaxing Sunday that’s full of fun. Free Sundays at the Museum take place at the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, 427 North New Street, Bethlehem. Learn more here: https://historicbethlehem.org/programs/free-sundays/

Happy Fourth of July! Celebrate in Presidential Style this week at Design After Dark and walk the same streets some of o...
07/04/2019

Happy Fourth of July! Celebrate in Presidential Style this week at Design After Dark and walk the same streets some of our founding fathers did. See Bethlehem through John Adams’ eyes as your costumed guide explains the role Bethlehem and the Moravian community played during the Revolutionary War. End your tour at the Luckenbach Mill for some light refreshments and mead, courtesy of Colony Meadery. Learn more here: https://historicbethlehem.org/programs/design-after-dark/

Blueberry Festival is so close we can almost taste it! Join us for the 32nd year of this sweet festival! July 20th & 21s...
07/03/2019

Blueberry Festival is so close we can almost taste it! Join us for the 32nd year of this sweet festival! July 20th & 21st will be packed with fun at Burnside Plantation. We have pie-eating contests, a pet parade, food vendors, live demonstrations, a culinary contest and so much more! Grab your friends and family and come out to the 2019 Blueberry Festival. $5 for children ages 4-17 and $10 for adults. Value and combo packs are available online only, so don’t delay. We can’t wait to see you this year! Photo credit to Scott Piccotti. https://historicbethlehem.org/blueberry-festival/

Looking to take a tour? Our John Adams Walking Tour is just one of many offered! See Bethlehem through John Adams' eyes ...
06/29/2019

Looking to take a tour? Our John Adams Walking Tour is just one of many offered! See Bethlehem through John Adams' eyes on this tour led by a costumed guide & discover the role historic Bethlehem played during the American Revolutionary War. Learn more about who the Moravians were, as well as the visits of John Adams and the Marquis de La Fayette to our city. June and July only, Saturdays and Sunday at 1pm. More information here: https://historicbethlehem.org/visit/historic-bethlehem-tours/#JohnAdams

Trying to find plans for this weekend? Join us at the Kemerer Museum for Free Sundays and enjoy fun activities for the e...
06/28/2019

Trying to find plans for this weekend? Join us at the Kemerer Museum for Free Sundays and enjoy fun activities for the entire family! This week we’ll be offering kid’s crafts, a reading of ‘Take the Lead, George Washington,’ and artifact show and tell. You can find more details here: https://historicbethlehem.org/programs/free-sundays/

Introducing the Presidential Gnomes for your decorative pleasure! Meet Lincoln, Sam, Benjamin, and Theodore! For just $2...
06/27/2019

Introducing the Presidential Gnomes for your decorative pleasure! Meet Lincoln, Sam, Benjamin, and Theodore! For just $25 you can take one of these handsome fellows home from the Historic Bethlehem Visitor Center just in time for the 4th of July! #hbms #presidentialgnomes #independenceday #visitorcenter @ Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites

Extra extra! Read all about it! 32nd Blueberry Festival to feature blueberry beer, bushes, ice cream, and more!Thank you...
06/27/2019
Bethlehem’s 32nd Blueberry Festival to feature blueberry beer, bushes, ice cream and more

Extra extra! Read all about it! 32nd Blueberry Festival to feature blueberry beer, bushes, ice cream, and more!

Thank you to The Morning Call for the fabulous article!

https://www.mcall.com/entertainment/food-drink/mc-ent-32nd-annual-historic-bethlehem-blueberry-festival-20190626-mmprxwaz7bc2tlgth2kszsvhw4-story.html

There’s nothing sweeter than a bushel of fresh-picked blueberries in the summer and Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites hopes you’ll indulge in everything blue at its 32nd Annual Blueberry Festival, July 20-21 at Bethlehem’s historic Burnside Plantation.

The 1762 Waterworks, recognized as a National Historic Landmark, Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, and an American Wa...
06/26/2019

The 1762 Waterworks, recognized as a National Historic Landmark, Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, and an American Water Landmark, was the first pumped municipal water system in America. This building housed the mechanical system for pumping water from a nearby spring, which flowed at the rate of 1,200,000 gallons of water a day. Using only the water power of the Monocacy Creek, an 18-foot diameter undershot waterwheel turned a mechanism which pumped water from the spring up 94 vertical feet to a tower (where Central Moravian Church now stands) and, by gravity, fed five cisterns in the living areas of the town. Interested in learning more about Waterworks? Follow the link: https://historicbethlehem.org/?historic-site=waterworks Photo credit to K Yaglowski.

Bid farewell to the pop-up arcade at the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts with one last Friday. Play the classic arcade...
06/25/2019

Bid farewell to the pop-up arcade at the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts with one last Friday. Play the classic arcade games or try again to be crowned Mario Kart champion. Enjoy the beautiful Kemerer garden while playing a friendly game of Sorry! or making Pac Man out of perler beads. More information here: https://historicbethlehem.org/programs/design-after-dark/

Did you know? The Tannery was constructed in 1761 and resides in the Colonial Industrial Quarter next to the butchery to...
06/24/2019

Did you know? The Tannery was constructed in 1761 and resides in the Colonial Industrial Quarter next to the butchery to tan hides into leather. Moravian tanners produced about 3,000 hides a year for use by the community and as a product to raise funds to support the community. Here the craftsmen created a variety of leather goods such as clothing, shoes, harnesses, and machinery parts. The Monocacy creek was used as a washing station for cleaning the hides. The hides were then soaked in lime juice and water in wooden vats. This process took up to three months to complete! Want to learn more about the 1761 Tannery? Click here: https://historicbethlehem.org/?historic-site=1761-tannery Photo credit to Paul S. Bartholomew.

Have you joined the Blueberry Festival Facebook Event Page? Stay up to date on all thing’s blueberry with regular upda...
06/23/2019

Have you joined the Blueberry Festival Facebook Event Page? Stay up to date on all thing’s blueberry with regular updates on the Sweetest Festival of the Summer, July 20th and 21st! Photo credit to KWalsh. Join here: https://www.facebook.com/events/382609955894290/

Looking for a place to spend a Sunday afternoon that both the kids and the adults will enjoy? Have trouble convincing yo...
06/21/2019

Looking for a place to spend a Sunday afternoon that both the kids and the adults will enjoy? Have trouble convincing your kids to join you in a museum visit? We are proud to open the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts for free! Enjoy a range of exciting activities like Career Corner, the Family Room, and Museum Storytime, which are kid-friendly, but also intriguing for adults alike. Take a tour of our permeant museum collection filled with local history and decorative arts from the past, or check out our seasonal changing exhibit on special topics! Learn more here: https://historicbethlehem.org/programs/free-sundays/

Design After Dark is back with a new theme this week! Comic Book Trivia Night with Steven Bost is coming to the Kemerer ...
06/19/2019

Design After Dark is back with a new theme this week! Comic Book Trivia Night with Steven Bost is coming to the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts! From 5:30 – 8pm this Friday night test your comic book knowledge and win prizes including original artwork by Marvel artists Gerado Sandoval and a Captain America cardboard cutout. Prizes and comics generously donated by Comic Masters! Learn more here: https://historicbethlehem.org/programs/design-after-dark/

"The oldest dollhouse in the collection is from circa 1830. It had been constructed inside a mahogany cabinet. Although ...
06/17/2019
KEMERER MUSEUM | Bethlehem Press

"The oldest dollhouse in the collection is from circa 1830. It had been constructed inside a mahogany cabinet. Although there are windows on the cabinet sides, a pair of solid doors in front concealed the four-room miniature world inside when it wasn’t in use. According to the collector’s note, Sten explained, it is a “Rare Empire American Dollhouse” built by a carpenter for the Towell family from Warren County, Pennsylvania. The furniture and accessories are believed to be original. The piece may have floated down the Allegheny River on a raft in 1870 to Rochester, Pennsylvania, by a family who had purchased it second-hand."

If you missed this past Sunday's exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Dollhouse Collection Walking Tour, don't worry! The tour is offered three more times this year: June 16, Aug. 18, and Oct. 20 from 1 - 2 pm.

Read more about the nation's largest dollhouse collection, residing right here in historic Bethlehem!

http://bethlehem.thelehighvalleypress.com/2019/06/11/kemerer-museum

press photos by ed courrier0159: The tour group gathers outside the second-floor climate-controlled vault that is home to the Elizabeth Johnston Prime Dollhouse and Toy Collection. At right is Keith Sten with a photo of the late collector with one of her larger dollhouses. Left of Sten are four gene...

Fun Fact! Moravian buildings, many still standing today, reflect the ingenuity, creativity, and universality of Moravian...
06/16/2019

Fun Fact! Moravian buildings, many still standing today, reflect the ingenuity, creativity, and universality of Moravian thinking and philosophy. The Moravians believed that all people, both men and women, should receive the same education; that all people should receive health care; that women should have equal rights with men in the community; and that all people should work together for the good of the community without prejudice regarding race, gender, or ethnicity. At one time in the mid-18th century, 15 different languages were spoken in Bethlehem. During the first 20 years of the settlement, Europeans, African-Americans, and American Indians lived, worked, worshiped, and went to school together. Learn more here: https://historicbethlehem.org/about/historic-sites/

Elizabeth Johnston Prime once said, “The dollhouses, furniture, and dolls I have acquired have survived for generation...
06/15/2019

Elizabeth Johnston Prime once said, “The dollhouses, furniture, and dolls I have acquired have survived for generations because they are loved. I feel this tug from the generations: from the talented hands of the artisans who have created the pieces, to the excited hands of the children opening the packages containing the pieces. I am the next set of hands to touch, care, and love these pieces.” Before she died she asked the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts and Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sites to be the next set of loving hands to care for this collection.” Learn more about Elizabeth’s life and the wonderful collection of dollhouses on our Behind-the-Scenes Dollhouse Tour, June 16th at 1pm at the Kemerer Museum. Learn more here: https://historicbethlehem.org/visit/historic-bethlehem-tours/#BTSDollhouse Photo credit to K Yaglowski.

Are you craving your favorite childhood snack right now? Come enjoy a lunchbox snack as well as a beer at our Pinball To...
06/14/2019

Are you craving your favorite childhood snack right now? Come enjoy a lunchbox snack as well as a beer at our Pinball Tournament at the Kemerer Museum for Design After Dark at 5:30pm tonight! We can’t wait to see you there! For more information, visit: https://historicbethlehem.org/programs/design-after-dark/

Address

505 Main St
Bethlehem, PA
18018

General information

Check out our video! https://historicbethlehem.org/visit/visit-historic-bethlehem-video/

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

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(610) 691-6055

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