A Look into Historic Bethlehem’s Newest Exhibition
Did you know that human hair used to be a treasured commodity that was bought and sold, imported from around the world, and used for jewelry and home décor? In 19th and early 20th century England and America, it was common for people to save the hair of friends or loved ones and transform it into wearable tokens of affection or framed ornaments for the home.
The craft of creating unique jewelry and art using human hair as the principal material is called “Hairwork.” It’s an ancient tradition, but took root in a big way in 1700s Scandinavia, then spread through Europe, England, and the U.S. By the 19th century making hairwork items at home was all the rage among Victorian ladies!
Love is in the Hair
I know what you’re thinking – why hair? Well, the Victorians were sentimental souls who loved to save reminders of the past, and hair was the perfect souvenir of a child, a friend, or someone who had passed away. In fact, hair made a nearly indestructible physical token that could be worn or displayed as a memento, something like the way we use photographs today.
Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
Because war, illness, and poor sanitation made life expectancy far shorter than in today’s world, the Victorians were often in mourning and treasured a hairwork ring or brooch as a memorial. It may seem a bit morbid today, but back then they took comfort in knowing that at least one small part of a loved one would always be with them.
The hair of a loved one was also woven into framed mourning scenes. Sometimes hair from all the members of a family were combined to create intricate wired flowers and leaves, then combined into wreaths, horseshoes or bouquets for shadow box displays!
Before it could be used, hair was carefully prepared and combined into “strands” which could be braided into intricate miniature chain designs, wrapped around wire, or attached to small or large backings. In the 1850s, women could find inspiration in Godey’s Ladies Book, and other magazines of the time. In 1875, Mark Campbell published more than 100 patterns in “The Art of Hair Work: Hair Braiding and Jewelry of Sentiment.”
By 1900, hairwork was so popular, tons of hair were imported every year from around the world to meet the demand. Just imagine! What we leave on the hairdresser’s floor today would have been worth real money to its owner during the Victorian Era.
Love for Sale
Victorian hairwork pieces are still available today in antique shops and online auctions. Plus, some artists are reviving, adapting, and drawing inspiration from the craft. Local contemporary artist Rebecca Reeves uses Victorian hairwreaths as a muse for her art! Reeves cocoons miniature furniture with thread in order to contain and preserve, like in her piece above entitled, Gathering My Ghosts.
See & Experience Hairwork For Yourself!
Don’t miss these fascinating programs:
- Pet Hair Felting Workshop, Thursday, March 30 from 6 – 8 pm, where you will craft unique felt miniatures of your pets using their hair led by local artist Diane Hutchinson.
- Horsehair Jewelry Demonstration, Saturday May 6 from 10 am – 4 pm, see local jewelry artist Susan Newquist demonstrate how she creates such intricate necklaces, bracelets, and other adornments from horsehair at our Community Heritage Day.
- Victorian Hair Art Workshop, Saturday, June 17 from 2 – 5 pm, where you will design and create your own hairwork jewelry with this contemporary technique taught by Master Jeweler Karen Bachmann!
- Hair Fashion Show, Thursday, August 24 from 6 – 9 pm, a trendsetting evening that will blow your hair back with its breathtaking blend of inspiring contemporary hairstyles and elegant Victorian-Era outfits. Watch models showcase this marvelous mix on the Kemerer catwalk!
Discover more about this amazing craft at HairWork: Relics of Remembrance, an exhibition displaying more than 130 examples of Victorian hairwork at the Kemerer and Moravian museums from March 16 to Sept. 3.
Calling all pet lovers! This summer Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites is going to the dogs!
Jon us for our Dog Days of Summer, packed with pet and family-fun activities, exhibits, merchandise, and more. From our Creature Companions exhibit, to Pet Adoption Days, Kid’s Clubs activities, and more, our Dog Days of Summer will show you a barkin’ good time.
July 15 – October 30, 2016
Flashback through time and see pet painted portraits, photographs, home décor, and more spanning across a century at Creature Companions at Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts.
Explore how animal roles in Bethlehem have changed… or stayed the same!
Enjoy the petite pets and miniature animal scenes from the Elizabeth Johnston Prime Dollhouse Collection. Find unique antiques from an inscribed copy of Margaret Marshall Saunder’s “Beautiful Joe” to a Steiff Jointed Bulldog.
Check out the fun pet-themed work by our featured artists Lauren Beauchner and Andrew Frank Baer. Love their work? Purchase Baer’s paneled pet prints at our museum store or commission a pet portrait from Beauchner!
Don’t wait! See the Creatures Companions exhibit today. Click here for more information.
Pet Adoption Days
Tails are wagging in anticipation for our next Pet Adoption Day. Come say hello to these cute, furry faces in need of a loving home! Find your new best friend through Logan’s Heroes Animal Rescue and the Center for Animal Health and Welfare.
Click here to RSVP.
Kids will create their perfect pet with our No-Sew Sock Creature Activity with an upcycled sock, colorful felt, and stuffing (no needles and thread necessary). Use your creative imagination to bring your creatures to life!
Visit the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts on Saturday, August 27 from 11 am – 2 pm. Click here for more information.
Pet Merchandise Extravaganza
Bring all the wonderful Creature Companions memories home with you by purchasing these charming pet-themed wares. Great as gifts for friends, family, or yourself!
From colorful pig totes to ceramic mouse cheese platters to yummy dog treats, this collection contains items for every animal lover! Call our Visitor Center Museum Store at 1-800-360-TOUR or order cat pins online here.
Looking for a sweet way to spend two beautiful summer days in July? Join us for the Blueberry Festival, “The Sweetest Festival of the Summer,” on Saturday, July 16, 10 am to 7 pm and Sunday, July 17, 10 am to 6 pm at the Burnside Plantation. Jam packed with great family-fun activities, fantastic regional crafters and artisans, and all things blueberry, this festival has something for everyone.
# 1 Reason: The Food
Blueberries, nature’s fruit, are sweet, colorful, and incredibly healthy for you. They are filled with Vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, proving that good things do come in small packages. “The Sweetest Festival of the Summer” will have all things blueberry to taste and expand your culinary palate: blueberry almonds, kiffels, pierogis, ice cream, pie, gluten-free treats, and so much more.
Do you have a great blueberry recipe? Enter the 2nd annual Blueberry Festival cooking contest. We’re looking for 2016’s Best Recipes for Gluten Free Blueberry Bars or Cookies, Blueberry Pie with Crumb Topping, Double Crust Blueberry Pie, No Bake Dessert, Blueberry Muffin, and Kids under 15 category. Prizes will be awarded for each category. The registration deadline is July 13, register here.
Enter our pie eating contests being held Saturday and Sunday, July 16-17, 2:15 pm at the community stage. Not ready to dig in? Stop by and cheer on the contestants.
Not only are blueberries are the perfect sweet ingredient for food, they make the most refreshing drinks.
# 2 Reason: The Drinks
We don’t stop experimenting with blueberry food recipes. The fun continues with blueberry-themed drinks. Our Blueberry Brewery keeps expanding with new recipes. Start off with sampling blueberry beer, wine, mead, and new this year vodka. After you find a favorite drink, grab a glass, listen to the live music, and enjoy.
# 3 Reason: Live music
Listening to music is a proven stress reliever, and what better place to relax than the Blueberry Festival. Get ready for sounds as versatile as our selection of blueberry dessert. More than 15 bands will be spread across the Blueberry Brewery Stage and the Community Stage both days. Tune in for Latin jazz, soulful blues, rock, country, and more while snacking on blueberry treats. Check these award-winning artists like folk singer Dave Fry, named “Best Folk Performer” in the Lehigh Valley Music Awards and “Bethlehem Fine Arts Artist of the Year,” or new-comer country singer Erin Kelly, winner of the Lehigh Valley Music Award’s “Best Album of the Year” for 2016. Folk-rock group Dina Hall Band has won “Best Singer/ Songwriter” at the Lehigh Valley Music Awards.
# 4 Reason: Kid and Pet Friendly Activities
Now the whole family can participate in the fun with activities for kids and our furry friends. Kids can go on pony rides, visit the petting zoo, make a pet bandana craft, compete in pie eating contests, and enter their own recipe in a cook-off.
Pets can join in the fun with Blueberry Festival’s first Pet Parade on Sunday, July 17 at 4 pm. Bring your furry friend dressed in anything blue. The best costume will win a prize. Register here to join the fun.
Looking for a furry member of the family? Meet your new best friend at Pet Adoption Day Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm. Logan’s Heroes Animal Rescue and Tails of Valor will bring dogs in need of a loving home.
And the # 5 Reason: Nature
Are you one with nature? The Burnside Plantation is a perfect venue for an outdoor festival. Burnside Plantation’s 6.5 acres of greenery adds another hue to complement the festival’s shades of blue. Just a quick drive away from the hubbub of Allentown, Philadelphia, New Jersey, or New York, come out and enjoy Burnside’s relaxing atmosphere, a stroll through the colonial summer garden in full bloom, and all the fun and excitement the Blueberry Festival has to offer. If you have a green thumb, consider adopting a garden plot to grow produce for the community. Learn more here.
Come check the Blueberry Festival out- it’s really the “Sweetest Festival of the Summer!”
For more information, click here.
As spring blossomed into summer and the celebration of Bethlehem’s 275th anniversary is in full swing, Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites is making every month count!
Check out our top 5 highlights of June:
1. Kicking off the summer in style with Rooms to View
Historic Bethlehem commenced the Rooms to View celebration with a fabulous Preview Soirée on Friday, June 3 at Foxfield. This gorgeous Preview home wowed guests with Peter Williams’ oil painting, “The Last Race, Churchill Downs”; the late 18th century oil on canvas, “Admiral of the Fleet Lord Hugh Thorpe/Chippenham Wiltshire”; an early 19th century English regency two-pedestal banquet table, fantastic décor and more.
With beautiful weather and magnificent, truly #historic homes, the House Tour was a blast! The celebration ended on a perfect note with the wine & cheese reception at the Apothecary Garden, where guests enjoyed a delicious colonial-inspired menu and the freshly-planted Apothecary Garden. Click here for more photos!
2. Burnside in Full Bloom
Now turning to the outdoors, with the flowers in bloom and the days getting longer, the #BurnsidePlantation is the perfect place to spend a sunny summer day. Here’s why:
The Burnside Open House invited guests to explore the expansive beauty of Burnside through guided tours and the #Colonial #Cooking #Demonstrations showcased delectable colonial recipes in the Summer Kitchen! Click here for our July dates.
Penn State hosted Master Gardener workshops to teach kids and adults more about plants and insects at work in a #garden. Missed our June Master Gardener workshops? Not to worry. Sign up for Butterflies for Children on Saturday, July 23, 10 am – 11 am here.
Garden lovers get together to socialize and garden every Thursday evening from 5:30 – 7:30 pm for Evening Gardening at Burnside. If you’re not a current Burnside garden #volunteer, stop in to learn about the garden and how to get involved or email Pat Corpora at email@example.com.
3. Stroll through History
For more ways to enjoy the #outdoors during the summer, June offered these fantastic walking tours:
The Apothecary Tour explores the medical practices used in early Bethlehem and Bethlehem’s oldest standing building. For example, did you know only trained physicians could treat patients in Bethlehem? Physicians and nurses regularly met to discuss their patients’ health in the #Moravian community.
The John Adams Walking Tour reveals Bethlehem through the eyes of the second president, John Adams, with great fun facts like during the #RevolutionaryWar the General Hospital of the American army was moved to #Bethlehem in 1776.
Miss the Apothecary or John Adams walking tour? Click here to schedule an appointment to take the tour today.
Check out our tours at the Steel Stacks! See the heart of Bethlehem Steel with our Hoover Mason Trestle tour or experience a day in the life of a Bethlehem Steel worker with the Rise and Fall of Bethlehem Steel tour. Both tours are held Thursday through Sunday. For more information, click here.
Missed our Apothecary and John Adams Walking Tours? Schedule an appointment today by calling 1-800-360-TOUR.
For a relaxing way to pass an afternoon, visit one of Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites’ exhibitions.
Stop by and see the Bethlehem Back When exhibit, a volunteer-driven project featuring a selection of photos donated by #BethlehemSteel in 1980, at the Luckenbach Mill, which hasn’t been open to the public for tours in over a decade! Click here to learn more about Bethlehem Back When exhibit.
Tracing My Roots: A Family Narrative features 20 prints by artist Lucy Gans displayed on the second floor of 1810 Goundie House. Gans, recipient of the National Association of Women Artists’ Medal of Honor, uses a process called photogravure to explore a sense of self featuring the hands of multiple generations of women in her family. Click here to learn more.
5. Upcoming Events
Independence Day Weekend Celebration
For a perfectly #patriotic weekend, take our John Adams walking tour on July 2 & 3 at 3 pm to see Bethlehem through the eyes of the 2nd President of America. Purchase your tickets now!
Looking for a fantastic way to spend your 4th of July? Start your Independence Day with a blast and take the Hoover Mason Trestle tour at 11 am on July 4 or the Rise & Fall of Bethlehem Steel tour at 1 pm on the same day! To purchase your tickets, click here. Tickets must be purchased in advance or online as the Historic Bethlehem Visitor Center will be closed for the holiday.
Are you ready for the Sweetest Festival of the Summer? Because we’re going #blue for blueberries!
Here’s a sneak peek of how we’re #turningtonguesblue this year.
The #BlueberryFestival2016 will feature:
Skip the line and purchase your tickets now, click here!
Community Day, presented by The Morning Call, is a free event hosted every year by Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about this year’s event!
Location, Date, Time
Where: Colonial Industrial Quarter
459 Old York Road
Bethlehem, PA 18018
Date: Saturday, May 14th, 2016
Time: Drop by anytime between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.
Parking: Available at the Spring Street parking lot.
STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math Activities
Put your problem solving skills to the test with a variety of fun activities that highlight the science and engineering principles used by the Moravian settlers, brought to you in partnership with the DaVinci Science Center! This is part of our new education program America’s First Industries: Along the Monocacy Creek.
This program focuses on the physical sciences, including chemistry and physics, as well as engineering and technology. Discover the scientific and technological achievements of early Bethlehem and explore the science behind the processes used at the 1762 Waterworks and the 1761 Tannery, exploring the engineering principles which allowed the Moravian settlers to create the first pumped municipal water system in America.
- Log cabin construction – explore how logs can be used to create buildings and see if you can build a sturdy one
- Grist mill assembly – figure out how to get a grist mill working
- Archway building – discover how to create strong stone buildings like the Moravians did
- Exploring Bethlehem’s water system – explore the engineering use to create Bethlehem’s early water system and visit the working water wheel in the Waterworks
- Tin punching – create decorations by punching holes in sheets of tin
- Experimenting with Dye – learn how dyes are used to color clothing by making your own colorful fabrics
Food, Fun & Games
Play like a Moravian with a variety of outdoor colonial games such as Jacob’s Ladder, Graces, and more!
Live music from the students at The Learning Center
Blacksmith & 1762 Waterworks demonstrations
Kid’s crafts & activities like weaving and making a leather pocket
Heritage Trail tours
Docents on Main
Stop by the Springhouse for hot dogs, popcorn, and water. While you’re there, check out our 275th merchandise, along with other Museum Store top sellers, which will be available for purchase.
The Bethlehem Back When exhibition will be opening at the Luckenbach Mill. This volunteer-driven exhibition will feature a selection of 50 photographs from the collection donated by Bethlehem Steel in 1980.
This is the first ever exhibition dedicated to showcasing the impressive photo collection, which spans decades and captures moments, big and small, in the lives of Bethlehem residents.
Over the past 8 months, the dedicated volunteers from the Bethlehem Historic District Association have been working with Lindsey Jancay, Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites’ curator, to digitize, catalogue, and identify key themes for the spring exhibition.
Bethlehem Back When is a great way to celebrate the 275th anniversary of the founding of Bethlehem, and will run from May 14 to November 1, 2016.
Take a peek back in time to the daily lives of Bethlehem residents!
Don’t miss your chance
See inside the newly renovated 1869 Luckenbach Mill, which hasn’t been open to the public for tours in over a decade! Bring the family out for a day of fun. Snap a pic and tag us in your photos using #communityday and #happy275th.
For more information, visit http://historicbethlehem.org/2016-community-day/.
It’s spring! The daffodils are popping up in gardens, cafés on Main Street are opening their patios, and Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites is preparing its biggest spring event lineup yet. We’re excited about celebrating our 275th year and can’t wait for all that’s ahead.
We love the outdoors at this time of year, where April brings us warm weather and sunny skies. From the Burnside Plantation to the Heritage Trail, we’ve got activities for you and your family.
Want to step outdoors and explore Historic Bethlehem? Let’s go!
- Visit the Burnside Plantation
The sprawling 6.5 acres of lush greenery and blossoms showcase this magnificent 18th century
farmhouse and other buildings, once owned by James Burnside and his wife, Mary. Burnside purchased the original 500 acres after moving to Bethlehem from Georgia. It’s perfect to walk around the gardens or peek inside the Summer Kitchen
Want to see the beauty for yourself? Request a tour by appointment by calling 1-800-360-TOUR. Come to our Open House on April 30 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and explore the grounds with the family.
Love to cook? Our Colonial Cooking Demonstration will show you what it was like. Get your ticket here to have a delightful experience!
Also on April 30 at 10 a.m. at the Burnside Plantation, join us for our Penn State Master Gardener Workshop! The Master Gardeners can show you how to maximize your space by picking the perfect plants to invite great pollinators such as bees! You don’t want to miss these fantastic gardening tips!
Take a Stroll Through History
Get out and enjoy that fresh spring air with one of our walking tours! From Bethlehem Steel to John Adams, we’ve got something for the history buff in you.
2. Bethlehem Steel Tours
Rise & Fall of Bethlehem Steel
Want to know more about the life of a steel worker? Why was the production of steel dangerous? What are those brass checks anyway? This tour talks about this and more! The Rise & Fall of Bethlehem is a great walking tour that encompasses the history of the Bethlehem Plant. Click here to purchase tickets online.
The Hoover-Mason Trestle
If you could get up close and personal with
the Bethlehem Plant, what would you see? What would you want to know? Stand over the Hoover-Mason Trestle, where ore cars brought in raw materials to produce steel. See the leftover pieces of iron ore and coke, 100-ton flywheels, and huge blast furnaces. This is a tour that you don’t want to miss! Click here to purchase tickets online.
3. John Adams Bethlehem Walking Tour
Why was John Adams in Bethlehem? Find out in this walking tour on April 23rdat 1 p.m. Trace the steps through Adams’ eyes with our docent. You’ll learn about God’s Acre, the Sun Inn, the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem, and more. Discover why John Adams praised Bethlehem in a letter to his wife, Abigail.
4. Heritage Trail
Go for a stroll at your own pace! Enjoy taking your pet to the park? We have the perfect trail for you! Blue signs self-guide you through all of Historic Bethlehem. Six trails to choose from? Oh my! Don’t worry, with all of this nice weather, you’ll definitely want to experience them all! Want more information about trails? Visit here to make your choice!
Can’t wait to get started? Lace up your sneakers, clip on your Fitbit, and start walking
Love gardening – become a volunteer! We need your help! All our sites could use some attention, and you are the right person to help us. Yes, definitely you! We have sites ready to be raked and planted. Get your exercise in and spend a day preserving Historic Bethlehem!
For more info on how you can help, contact Michelle Stern at firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Upcoming Events You Don’t Want to Miss!
- Capturing the City: Artists Talks will take place on April 21 at 6 p.m. at the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts.
- Meet the Brewer will take place on April 23 at 6 p.m. at the 1810 Goundie House.
- Kid’s Club: Mappy Mother’s Day will be held May 7 at 11 a.m. at the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts.
- Community Day 2016 will be held May 14! Bring the family for games, blacksmith demonstrations, free tours, and a preview of our STEM education program – America’s First Industries!
Make sure to stop by our Historic Bethlehem Visitor Center & Museum Store to check out our cool new spring things!
Get out and enjoy the spring weather with Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites! From tours to gardening to lending a hand, there’s something for everyone here!
Visit Burnside Plantation and discover its Irish roots
James Burnside traveled from County Meath, Ireland to America and eventually settled in Bethlehem, Pa. Instead of living in the Moravian choir system with his wife, he bought 500 acres north of the Moravian settlement, upon which they built Burnside Plantation in 1747.
It was the first private farm in Bethlehem. Burnside was elected as the first representative to the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly from the newly formed Northampton County, notably serving with Benjamin Franklin on the Committee for Indian Affairs. When he died, the farm became part of the Moravian communal farming system.
Today, Burnside Plantation is a beautifully preserved historic farm run by Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites. Wander the grounds or join us on April 30th for Burnside Plantation Open House & Colonial Cooking Demonstration and the Penn State Master Gardener Workshop.
Burnside Plantation makes a beautiful site for your event! Find out how to host your event at Burnside here.
Take the Rise & Fall of Bethlehem Steel Tour
Irish immigrants comprised a substantial portion of the early workforce at Bethlehem Steel. Bethlehem Steel also provided steel for some of America’s greatest landmarks – the Golden Gate Bridge, George Washington Bridge, and Chrysler Building.
Tour the site and learn the history of Bethlehem Steel with the Rise & Fall of Bethlehem Steel Tour or the Hoover Mason Trestle Tour.
Click here for information on the tours and tickets.
#catchadocent during the Allentown St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Did you miss our Docents at the Parade of Shamrocks in Bethlehem? You can still indulge in your Irish spirit at the Allentown St. Patrick’s Day Parade., which is one of the oldest Celtic celebration in the Lehigh Valley. The parade starts at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 20th.
Want to win two tickets to Blueberry Festival on July 16th and July 17th at Burnside Plantation? Take a picture with a Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites docent and tag it #catchadocent to be entered.
Visit http://allentownstpatricksparade.com/ for more information on the parade.