Charlene Donchez Mowers, President, Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites
The year was 1937. Bethlehem was still suffering from the effects of the Great Depression. The city and the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce were seeking ways to attract visitors to our city. Vernon Melhado, then President of the Chamber conceived the idea of branding Bethlehem as “Christmas City USA.” The Bethlehem Chamber sent letters to 2,500 Chambers across the country asking them to publicize this goal in their local papers. Melhado also invited their residents to send their Christmas cards to Bethlehem to be hand-cancelled with the stamp of the Christmas City. 185,000 pieces of mail from all over the country arrived that Christmas. (more)
With Our Appreciation
The BHDA Welcome Committee would like to express its sincere gratitude to the following merchants and service providers for participating in the new Welcome Program:
-Historic Hotel Bethlehem
-Just Born, Inc.
-Moravian Book Shop
-Seasons Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom
-Steel Fitness Riverport
-The Chocolate Lab
-The Granola Factory
*Photo courtesy of Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites
From the Archives of the Bethlehem Daily Times
“Seats of Pantaloons Painted – For some time past, Marcus C. Fetter and family, residing at the corner of Main and Canal streets, have been considerably annoyed by rowdies who loaf nightly in that vicinity. The loafers generally squat on the fence which surrounds the property. Last evening the top of the fence received a fresh coat of paint, and the loafers who sat thereon will no doubt recall the sitting for months to come.” – September 23, 1885. More from the archives.
Oral History Project: What We’re Learning from Our Neighbors
Did you know that…
During WWII, when Bethlehem Steel was booming night and day, our neighborhood was showered with so much soot that people had to sweep off their houses, cars, and porches every day. –
At one time, there was a reflecting pool on the south side of the library that was filled in because kids kept putting soap in it to make mountains of bubbles. (more)
Important Information about Street Trees
Before you remove, plant, prune, or use pesticides on any trees along our city streets, please visit the Bethlehem’s Bureau of Urban Forestry website for important information including: a list of licensed city arborists, tree planting guidelines, and the list of trees approved for street use.
Permits, available for download, are required for nearly all tree work.
Available Now: Historic Plaques
Enhance the historical ambiance of our neighborhood with a date plaque for your home or business in Bethlehem’s Historic District. The cost for a plaque is $25 for BHDA Members and $45 for non-members. This cost covers the production of your plaque and does not include research or installation.
To apply for a plaque, click here for more information and to download printable versions of application materials including the Guide to Researching Your Home.
Why Everyone Should Be a Member of the BHDA
by Terry Theman
When it comes to community involvement I suppose it is our human nature to ‘watch from the sidelines’ while our friends and neighbors carry out various civic duties. I certainly find it easier and less stressful. While we appreciate the work done on our behalf, it is rare that we feel the need to pitch in and offer help. Strange how this works, this all-too-human nature of ours. (more)
The Bethlehem Historic District Association promotes the historical ambiance and high quality-of-life in our special neighborhood by supporting the preservation and restoration of original architectural features and landscapes.