Bethlehem has a deep historical connection to the Christmas holiday. Nicolaus Zinzendorf, a Moravian bishop, christened the city Bethlehem on Christmas Eve, 1741. Bethlehem was the first U.S. city to hang a Christmas tree in 1747. During the Great Depression, on December 7, 1937, the city adopted the nickname Christmas City USA in a grand ceremony. It is one of several Lehigh Valley localities, including Emmaus, Egypt, Allentown's Jordan Creek, and Nazareth whose names were inspired by locales recorded in the Bible. Learn more about the history of Bethlehem, PA.


SteelStacks is a 10-acre complex devoted to the arts, culture, family activities, community festivals, education, and recreation. The location, originally the home of the second-largest steel factory in the United States, Bethlehem Steel, has been revived via music and art, with over 1,000 concerts and eight festivals held yearly.

As guests arrive at the SteelStacks campus, the towering'stacks' after which the campus is named are typically the first thing they observe. What many people may not realize is that these famous structures are actually a series of five blast furnaces utilized at Bethlehem Steel for decades in the iron-making process.

National Museum of Industrial History

The National Museum of Industrial History (abbreviated NMIH), located at the former Bethlehem Steel complex in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is a Smithsonian Institution-affiliated museum that works to preserve, educate, and exhibit the nation's industrial history. It has a collection of textile, steel and iron, and propane gas industry artifacts. A substantial collection of industrial machinery on loan from the National Museum of American History is housed at the NMIH. The museum also features an extensive collection of Bethlehem Steel records, machinery, pictures, and other archival materials.

The museum opened in August 2016 with the mission to "create a bridge between America's industrial past and the inventions of today by educating the public and inspiring the innovators of the future." Each of the four displays at the $7,5 million museum focuses on a distinct part of industrial history that affects both Pennsylvania and the rest of the country. The museum displays the nation's industrial past by emphasizing the technology and working conditions of the era.

Illick's Mill Park

Illick's Mill, often referred to as Peters' Mill and Monocacy Milling Company, is a historic grist mill located in Monocacy Park in Bethlehem, Northampton County, Pennsylvania. It was constructed in 1856 and is a four-story, vernacular stone mill with an interior timber frame. The original structure was approximately 34 by 40 feet in size. In the 1880s, a 20-foot extension, a fourth floor, and a monitor roof were added to the structure. The mill previously housed the Fox Environmental Center.

2005 saw its addition to the National Register of Historic Places. Through a leasing agreement with the City of Bethlehem, the Appalachian Mountain Club's Mid-Atlantic Conservation Office has occupied a portion of the facility since October 2015. The Parks, Recreation & Public Properties Department of the City of Bethlehem manages the building's maintenance and its use.

Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum

The Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Club was founded in 1994 on Bethlehem's S. New Street. After two years, the group lost their lease and were forced to relocate. In November 1996, they purchased a building at 705 Linden Street in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where they continue to conduct business today.

The Club's members have spent over two decades building a model railroad layout portraying the historic routes of local railroads. They founded the Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum in 2006 in order to share their creation with the world. The Museum is operated and maintained by club members. They continue to improve museum exhibits. Contributions to the Museum, which is a 501(c)(3) organization, are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

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