Moravian Historical Society
Whitefield House
214 East Center St.
Nazareth, PA 18064
(610) 759-5070

Places Nearby:
Martin Guitar Co
Hugh Moore Park
Crayola Factory
Moravian Museum of Bethlehem
Lehigh County Historical Society
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The handsome three and a half story limestone building that was planned and begun by George Whitefield in 1740, is today home to the Moravian Historical Society. Throughout the centuries the building has served the Moravian community in several capacities. It was the first place of worship in Nazareth. It served as a boarding school for Moravian girls, a nursery for the children of missionaries, and as the Moravian Theological Seminary. Until recently, missionaries on furlough or in retirement lived here.

Today the Whitefield House provides outstanding educational opportunities for those interested in history, religion, art, and natural history. Many of the items on exhibit are one of a kind or extremely rare. Among these treasures are scenes from the nativity and passion of Christ, by John Valentine Haidt.

Haidt lived in Bethlehem from 1754 to 1780, where he produced at least 29 religious canvases and 41 portraits. His classic works were used as visual aids in Moravian schools and among Indian settlements to preach the Gospel.

The Museum houses a large collection of musical instruments, including one of the first violins made in America. One of the nation's first pipe organs (c. 1746) can be seen, and a variety of other mid-18th century instruments are displayed.

A Clothing and Textile exhibit features beautiful religious objects, pictures embroidered in silk by members of the Bethlehem Female Seminary around 1800, and uniforms of the Nazareth Hall Military Academy.

Household Items on display include a rare Huebener tile stove made in Lititz, pottery and Stiegel glass, handwrought and cast bells of early Moravian settlements and churches, an 18th century sea chest, and more.

Other exhibits draw from the Museum's outstanding collection of Native American Indian and foreign mission artifacts from around the world. Areas such as Tibet, Australia, Surinam, Nicaragua, the West Indies, Alaska, and Labrador are represented.

The Museum also boasts an important collection of 236 engravings, lithographs, etchings, pen and inks, watercolors, and flat and rolled maps. These items illustrate the lifestyles and people Moravian communities from the 18th through the 20th centuries. A research Library is also available to serious scholars by appointment.

The Moravian Historical Society can be toured by individuals, families, or groups. School Groups can enjoy a customized educational program on Colonial American Life, Early American Music, Local History, and other topics. Any age from 5 years old to adult can be accommodated.

Hours: Open Every day, 1 - 4pm -- opens at 10am on Saturdays. Other hours by appointment. Closed most major holidays. Call to confirm before visiting.
Adults $5.00
Seniors (65+) $3.00
Children (6-18) $3.00
Children under 6 FREE
Same. No additional fee for programs.
Group Reservations: At least 2 weeks in advance.
Lunch: Group can picnic on lawn (bring blanket). Local restaurants.
Handicapped Access: Limited. Call.
Directions: Rt. 9/PA Tpke NE Ext. (Northwest) to Rt. 22 east to Rt. 191 North into Nazareth. (Or Rt. 611 North to Easton to Rt. 248 West to Rt. 191 North.) Continue on 191 (Broad St.), following signs to Center St. Turn right onto Center, Museum is 1½ blocks on right. 60 - 90 minutes north of Philadelphia.

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.