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On April 2nd, 1741 William Allen who Allentown would later be named, deeded 500

acres of land along the Monocacy Creek and Lehigh river to the Moravian Church. 

This land would be home to what we call Bethlehem today.  Originally founded  by

David Nitschmann and Count Zinzendorf, Bethlehem was originally a missionary

community.  Also settling just south of the land deeded by William Allen was a small

settlement of Huguenots who set up the historic Calvins Grist and Saw Mill.

As the Revolutionary War came Bethlehem saw a large increase of refugees that had

fled Philadelphia as Great Britain was marching on it.  Even George Washington

himself made a stop here to store his personal effects behind Burnside Farms, which

today houses a museum and is registered on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bethlehem’s facilities stretched from coast-to-coast, with numerous steelmaking and

manufacturing plants, coal mines, quarries, ore mines, and shipbuilding and ship

repair yards supplying the nation’s needs.

Image by Kristaps Ungurs

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