Walk through history as we guide you to things to learn, places to discover, and events that help connect us to our rich heritage.
Burnside featured at Lehigh Valley Open Gate Farm Tour this weekend. Learn more now!
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 original buildings and sites, rare collections that are available through exhibits and research, and illuminating educational programs, we show the important role Bethlehem’s community played in forging our American nation.
In 1993, Historic Bethlehem Partnership, Inc. was created to consolidate the operations of several local museums and historic sites. These sites included Burnside Plantation, Inc., Historic Bethlehem Incorporated, Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, Inc. and Moravian Museum of Bethlehem, Inc. HBP provided property management, financial management, fundraising, curatorial services, educational services, public relations/marketing, and oversight of daily operations to our affiliated member institutions.
In 2022, these five organizations officially merged into a single organization and were renamed as Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites, Inc. (HBMS). HBMS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
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), 1782 / 1834 Grist Miller’s House, 1869 Luckenbach Mill, 1750s Springhouse (reconstructed), and the archeological remains of the 1740s Pottery, 1770s Dye House, 1750s Butchery, and 1760s 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, and 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. This prestigious partnership allows members of HBMS the option of purchasing a Smithsonian membership for a nominal fee in addition to their HBMS membership.
Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational, and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. More information is available at www.affiliations.si.edu.
We are part of an effort to bring World Heritage Site status to Historic Moravian Church Settlements—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 Church Settlements — Bethlehem the same global status as the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids at Giza, the Acropolis in Athens and the Sydney Opera House as well as Independence Hall, the Statue of Liberty, and the Grand Canyon here in the States.
Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites is supported in part by a General Operating Support grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
HBMS marketing is supported in part by Northampton County Hotel Tax grant.
Burnside Plantation is funded in part by Lehigh County.
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