Brief timeline of the

Wiley House in Bethlehem

1882 – Bethlehem Iron Company Vice-President William W. Thurston founds The Thurston Home for Children in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, renting a home on Cherokee Street in South Bethlehem.

1888 – A new home on Cherokee St. is built with a land donation from Thurston and donations from the communication to build the structure.

1895 – Captain James Wiley donates enough money to build a new, larger home on Broadway in Salisbury Township. The new home is dedicated The Annie Wiley Children’s Home in honor of the captain’s late wife.

1930 – The organization shifts focus from orphanage to foster care services, to deal with growing numbers of children in need during the Great Depression.

1943 – The Children’s Home of Bethlehem and Allentown becomes known as Wiley House.

1961 – Children’s mental health services become the primary focus of Wiley House services.

1974 – The 79-year-old Wiley House structure is demolished, clearing the way for the new Child Development Center and several residential cottages.

1991 – Wiley House opens a residential treatment campus on Graham Lake in Ellsworth, Maine. Wiley House unveils a plan for a new, state-of-the-art campus in Orefield, Pennsylvania, which opens in 1993.

1992 – As the organization continues to grow, the name is officially changed to KidsPeace.

2006 – KidsPeace begins programming for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Bethlehem.

2013 – Outpatient Services offices open in Allentown and Tobyhanna, PA. Orchard Behavioral Health (programming for adult clients) begins in Orefield.


Source:; Wiley House, The Wiley House Story. 1910

Photos of the Wiley House in 1910