Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites

In association with the Smithsonian Institution


About Us

Board Message on Diversity

As the pandemic continues to swirl around us and there is so much sadness from all the Covid-19 deaths, we are confronted with another crisis in our land. The growing protests against racial discrimination and senseless deaths have challenged us all to examine ourselves and our institutions. Our hearts reach out to all who have lost family and friends. Our hearts reach out to those who do not feel safe in their own homes and neighborhoods. We at Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites respect every individual and celebrate the rich diversity of Bethlehem and the United States. Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites will not tolerate discrimination or racism in any form.

Bethlehem was founded by the Moravians who were known for their inclusiveness and peacefulness as well as their commitment to education for men and women alike. The Moravians built the Sun Inn to cater to visitors, and during the French and Indian War, Bethlehem took in and protected refugees regardless of their race. In the old Moravian cemetery, God's Acre, the bodies of African, Native American, and European Moravians lie side by side, reminding us today that we share a common humanity.

As Bethlehem works toward becoming a World Heritage site, we are reminded that we are part of a world-wide community of diversity - in race, faith, and heritage. We want all people on the streets of our cities and around the world to be respected and valued as human beings. Like the founders of Bethlehem, we stand opposed to injustice and abuse. The Moravian motto is “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things love”. In these times of physical and emotional distress, we must reach out and love our neighbors – all of them. All are welcome at Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites.

The Board of Trustees of Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites

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.

A Smithsonian Affiliate:

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


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.




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74 West Broad Street, Suite 310, Bethlehem, PA 18018 | Phone: 610-882-0450 | FAX: 610-882-0460 | info@historicbethlehem.org

Historic Bethlehem Partnership, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Registration and financial information about Historic Bethlehem Partnership, Inc. may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999, or on the web at www.dos.state.pa.us. Registration does not imply endorsement.