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One Dozen Firsts

Historic Bethlehem is a town of countless firsts. The 18th century Moravians pioneered many things and boast two national landmark buildings within its national landmark district. Some of these milestones that Bethlehem has achieved might actually surprise you. Learn about a few of the firsts that help make Historic Bethlehem a compelling authentic colonial destination for heritage travelers.

1740s

Earliest Industrial Park in America’s original 13 Colonies

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1741

Largest 18th Century log building in continuous use in America

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1742

Moravian University was the first to educate women

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1743

Oldest continuously operating apothecary in the U.S. when it closed in the 1950s

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1744

First school to teach Native American Languages

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1745

Oldest continuously operating bookstore in the world - The Moravian Book Shop

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1747

First documented Christmas Tree in America

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1747

Oldest continuously operated Town Clock in America

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1754

Oldest continuous Trombone Choir

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1762

First municipal pumped water system in America

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1898

Oldest Bach Choir in America

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1900s

First National Register Historic District in Pennsylvania

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