1741, Founding of Bethlehem

Bethlehem’s first house, completed on March 9, 1741.


After failing to secure a long-term establishment in nearby Nazareth, the Moravians acquire five hundred acres in the “Forks of the Delaware.” through the efforts of Henry Antes.  The land purchase, acquired from William and Margaret Allen on signed on April 2, 1741, gives the Moravians a permanent home.  On December 24, 1741 Count Zinzendorf and a group of Moravians toast the new colony and ascribe the settlement “Bethlehem.”


Sources: Levering, Joseph M. A History of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 1741-1892. Times Publishing: Bethlehem, 1903. Schwarz, Ralph G. Bethlehem on the Lehigh. Bethlehem Area Foundation: Bethlehem, PA, 1991.

Count Zinzendorf , Bishop of the Moravian Church and proponent of communal, family-centered life.
"Father" David Nitschmann, one of the early leaders of Bethlehem
Bishop Nitschmann, first leader of the Moravian settlement of Bethlehem.