Who We Are, What We Do:
Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites interprets three centuries of the history and culture of Bethlehem from its founding as a Moravian community in 1741 to the 21st century. By vividly telling the stories of Bethlehem’s people through well-maintained buildings and sites, rare collections that are available through exhibits and research, and electrifying educational programs, we show the zeal and commitment of Bethlehem’s community in forging our American nation.
A Brief History:
Historic Bethlehem Partnership, Inc. T/A Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites (HBMS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that formed in 1993 to consolidate the operations of several local museums and historic sites including Burnside Plantation, Inc., Historic Bethlehem Incorporated, Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, Inc. and Moravian Museum of Bethlehem, Inc. We provide property management, financial management, fundraising, curatorial services, educational services, public relations/marketing, and oversight of daily operations to our affiliated member institutions.
Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites maintains 20 historic buildings and sites in Bethlehem.
- The Moravian Museum of Bethlehem includes the 1741 Gemeinhaus, a National Historic Landmark, the 1752 Apothecary and herb garden, the 1744/1752 Single Sisters’ House, and the 1758/1765 Nain-Schober House.
- The Colonial Industrial Quarter, America’s earliest industrial park situated on a 10 acre site, includes the 1762 Waterworks, a National Historic Landmark, the 1761 Tannery, 1750 Smithy (reconstructed), 1780/1830 Miller’s House, 1869 Luckenbach Mill, 1750s Springhouse (reconstructed), and the archeological remains of the 1740s Pottery, 1770s Dye House, 1750s Butchery, and 1700s Oil Mill.
- 1810 Goundie House and Visitor Center which is housed in the 1830s Schropp Shop
- 1748/1848 Burnside Plantation, our 6.5 acre farm in the city, includes the 1748/1818 farmhouse, 1820s summer kitchen and corncrib, 1840s wagon shed and two 1840s bank barns, one with the only operating high horse-powered wheel in the U.S., a kitchen garden, an apple orchard, and two meadows.
HBMS has over 60,000 artifacts in its combined collections. In addition, the HBMS Library and Archives has 10,000 photographs, thousands of documents, letters, maps related to the history of our community. The library contains 2,000 volumes.
In 2003, Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites became a founding member of the International Moravian Heritage Network, one of six key 18th century historic Moravian communities in the world.
Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites is a proud Smithsonian Affiliate member. One of only 180 in the United States, this prestigious partnership allows members of HBMS the option of purchasing a Smithsonian membership for a nominal fee in addition to their HBMS membership. For more information and to become a member, click HERE.
A World Heritage Site candidate:
We are part of an effort to bring World Heritage Site status to Historic Moravian Bethlehem. The site preserves and advances the ageless values of education, equality, industry, integrity and spirituality that have been part of the timeless community since 1741. Joining the World Heritage List will give Historic Moravian Bethlehem the same global status as the Great Wall of China, Pyramids at Giza, Acropolis in Athens and Sydney Opera House as well as Independence Hall, the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon here in the States.
For more information
- Contact us
- Discover our historic sites
- Meet our staff
- Meet our board
- Watch us on PeakTV!
- Check us out on Lehigh Valley Visions
Funding for Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites is supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.