Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania- Christmas City

What better place to visit at this time of year than a town called Bethlehem... The town was settled and founded in 1741 by the Moravians, a Christian religious sect which originated in Central Europe. Unlike most religious sects that came to the new world during this time period, the Moravians did not come here to to escape religious persecution, but rather, came as missionaries. And unlike many other sects, they sought only to spread their faith, not to change the culture of indigenous peoples.

Bethlehem has lots of beautiful, interesting old buildings. Everything was decorated for Christmas and looked lovely. One of the most interesting places we visited was the Sun Inn, established in 1758. It has been documented that George Washington did indeed sleep there. The inn was also visited by the likes of John Adams, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and General LaFayette, among others. If only walls could talk- can you imagine the conversations that must have taken place there? Talk of the troubles with the mother land? Plans for revolution? Or, as my husband wondered, maybe George complained a little about Martha??
The kitchen has a walk-in fireplace. It was originally 4 ft deeper, but the back wall was moved forward to allow for duct work when the building was modernized. Can you imagine the size of that fireplace? It's no wonder that fire was the second leading cause of death for women during that time, as their skirts would catch on fire while cooking. (Lucky for me, the microwave does not pose that threat.)


  1. Now I want to go there too! Love that history. My husband's Grandparents were Moravian on his Mom's side. We always loved the traditional Christmas Eve service.

    Becky K.

  2. Hope you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving!!

  3. I live not too far from Bethlehem, Georgia. Many people like to go there to mail their Christmas cards.
    Hope you're feeling better!

  4. I just found your this blog post about the Sun Inn while search on line for some pictures of it. I am happy to say that my husband and I live in Bethlehem and we are members of the Sun Inn's preservation society! We will have a new website soon and have gotten the restaurant open again for business. Thank you for your nice post about our lovely old Inn! --Holly in Bethlehem



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