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Moravian Historical Society
Museum Music & Lecture Series

An Establishment of Order and Prosperity:
Outsider Visitation to Moravian Bethlehem
Sunday, April 21, 2024 at 2:00 pm

Tickets are $8| Free for MHS members and students under 18

Between 1741-1762, the Moravian town of Bethlehem changed from a church-controlled communal society to an open society. In this talk, Christopher Malone will discuss how outsider visitation precipitated this change. Outsiders flocked to Bethlehem for their health, entertainment, and for the church’s international trade connections, introducing the Moravians to the world’s changing tastes. Malone will illustrate how outsider visitation influenced Bethlehem's development from an economy based on supporting the Moravians' missionary goals to one that focused on providing goods and services to those outside of the Moravian community. 

Christopher Malone completed the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture in 2021. His thesis won the 2021 E. McClung Fleming Thesis Prize for the most distinguished thesis. A former staff member at the Moravian Historical Society, Malone is currently the curator at the American Swedish Historical Museum, a columnist for Maine Antiques Digest, and the creator of The Daily Antiquarian, a blog focusing on the history, architecture, and material culture of the Mid-Atlantic. 

Sunday, March 10 at 1:00 p.m.
Talk by Sara Cedar Miller
A Rest from Mental Toil: Central Park & Moravian Pleasure Gardens

Moravian pleasure gardens pre-date the creation of Central Park by over a century, yet the need for them in their respective cultures is similar. This illustrated talk by Sara Cedar Miller, historian emerita of the Central Park Conservancy, will discuss the history and design of New York’s celebrated Park and how it was related to the pleasure gardens for the Moravian community.

Sara Cedar Miller has been the Historian emerita of the Central Park Conservancy since 2017. She was the Conservancy photographer from 1984 and also its historian from 1989 to 2017. Miller is the author of Central Park: An American Masterpiece (2003), Strawberry Fields, Central Park’s Memorial to John Lennon (2011), Seeing Central Park: The Official Guidebook: Updated and Expanded (2021) and Before Central Park (2022).

Miller's photographs have been distributed world-wide and she had appeared on radio, TV and many documentaries on Central Park. She gives specialized tours and lectures on the prepark and the Park’s history and art. In 2020, Miller was honored with the “Preservation Hero” award by the Library of American Landscape History and an honoree at the Conservancy’s Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon in May. Before Central Park has been awarded the 2023 John Brinkerhoff Jackson Book Prize, University of Virginia Center for Cultural Landscapes.

Following the talk, the Moravian Historical Society invites guests to attend the opening reception of the new special exhibition, Grounds for Meditation: Moravian Pleasure Gardens, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. 

Please note that the museum galleries, where the talk will take place, are on the second floor of our historic Whitefield House and are accessible only by stairs. The special exhibition galleries and Museum Store on the first floor are accessible via ramp. 

Tickets are $12| $6 for MHS members | Free for students under 18

Sunday, February 18 at 2:00 p.m.
Talk by Joel Hoffner & Tom Bross:
Early Schoolhouses of Northampton County Pennsylvania

Join local historians Joel Hoffner and Tom Bross for an informative presentation based on their new book, Early Schoolhouses of Northampton County Pennsylvania, 1749-1926. This collaborative community project maps the location of 418 schoolhouses, highlights images and provides historical snapshot data for many of the now repurposed and older existing schoolhouses across the county. 


After the presentation, copies of the book will be available for purchase.

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This event is free. Seating is limited.

Joel Hoffner is a Lehigh Valley native who has cataloged collections at the Moravian Historical Society, Moravian Archives, Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society, and National Museum of Industrial History. He has a passion for local maps that began when he worked for the Lehigh Valley Joint Planning Commission while a student at Lehigh University. In 2023, he initiated the project to identify, map, and document 413 early schoolhouses in Northampton County. Tom Bross, a retired school teacher, joined Hoffner's team and collected information from Bushkill Township and Moore Township. 


Please note that the museum galleries, where the talk will take place, are on the second floor of our historic Whitefield House and are accessible only by stairs. The special exhibition galleries and Museum Store on the first floor are accessible via ramp. 

Sunday, January 28 at 2:00 p.m.
Talk by Dr. Scott Paul Gordon:
Even in the Whitefield House: Enslaved Moravians in Nazareth and its Vicinity

Join the Moravian Historical Society for a talk by Dr. Scott Paul Gordon about his research on enslaved Moravians in the eighteenth century. More than a dozen enslaved men, women, and children lived in the eighteenth-century Moravian congregation at Nazareth and the nearby settlements of Christian's Spring and Gnadenthal. Some even lived in the Whitefield House. What were their lives like? Did any of these enslaved people, all of whom became members of the Moravian church, gain freedom, and if so, how? This talk will explore these questions and others about slavery in eighteenth-century Moravian communities.

This event is free. Seating is limited.

Scott Paul Gordon is currently the Andrew W. Mellon Chair at Lehigh. He has served as chair of the Department of English and as chair of the Department of History. In 2018, he published The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America, and in 2022, he wrote Tracing the Earliest Moravian Activity in the Mid-Atlantic: A Guide for the Moravian Historical Society. His current research focuses on forms of unfreedom in eighteenth-century Moravian communities. 

Sunday, December 3 at 3:00 p.m.
Holiday Concert on the Tannenberg Organ with Thomas Dressler


Join us for this special holiday concert in the museum on the historic 1776 Tannenberg organ. Thomas Dressler has performed for more than thirty years, often on historic instruments, including some of America's oldest and most historic organs. He earned a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance, cum laude, from Susquehanna University, and a Master of Music in Performance, with honors, from Westminster Choir College. Dressler has held large church positions in Philadelphia and New Jersey. Currently, he is the Director of Music at College Hill Presbyterian Church in Easton, Pa.

The 1776 Tannenberg organ is one of the oldest surviving pipe organs in North America. It was made by David Tannenberg (1728-1804), one of America's best known organ builders, for the Moravian Single Brethren's House in Bethlehem. Among the organ's most famous audience members was General George Washington, who heard the organ played during his visit to Bethlehem in 1782. Only nine of Tannenberg's organs still exist today. 

The concert will take place in the Museum on the second floor of the Whitefield House and is accessible only by stairs. 


Seating for this concert is limited—advanced reservations are strongly recommended.

Sunday, October 29 at 2:00 p.m.
Laurence Juber in Concert

Join us for a special concert in the Museum with Grammy® winning guitarist Laurence Juber. A solo performer, recording artist, composer and arranger, his playing fuses folk, jazz, blues, pop and classical styles. First internationally recognized as lead guitarist in Paul McCartney’s Wings, with whom he won a Grammy, Juber has since established himself as world-renowned guitar virtuoso and entertainer.


He has recorded more than two dozen albums spotlighting his unique touch and tone on acoustic guitar. His LJ Plays The Beatles was voted one of Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s all-time Top Ten albums. His solo arrangement of The Pink Panther Theme earned him a second Grammy.


Following the concert, there will be a closing reception for the special exhibition, Heartstrings: John Antes - America’s First Luthier.

Seating for this concert is limited—advanced reservations are strongly recommended.


Photo Credit: Michael Lamont

Tickets are $20 | $10 for MHS members | Free for students under 18

This concert is supported by a generous grant from the Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation.

Sunday, October 15
166th Annual Meeting & Reception
2:30 p.m.: Annual Meeting
3:00 p.m.: Labor of Love: The Early Conservation Work of James Henry with Jim Wilson

Members of the Moravian Historical Society are invited to attend its 166th annual meeting. Following a brief business meeting, Jim Wilson will give a talk about James Henry (1809-1895), who was a founding member of the Moravian Historical Society and its first president. Wilson’s talk will focus on Henry’s work to protect and restore the Commonwealth’s streamside forests and water quality.

The talk is free to attend but reservations are required.

Sunday, September 17 at 2:00 p.m.
Talk by Andrea Lynn Smith
Memory Wars: Settlers and Natives Remember Washington's Sullivan Expedition of 1779


Join us for a talk by Dr. Andrea Lynn Smith, Professor of Anthropology at Lafayette College about her recent publication. Memory Wars explores the public memory of the Sullivan Expedition (1779) of the Revolutionary War. This expedition, the brainchild of George Washington, led to the destruction of some forty Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) villages. Today it is the subject of over 60 historical markers in Pennsylvania and well over 200 in New York. In Memory Wars, Smith contrasts settler accounts with how the Sullivan story is expressed at Haudenosaunee cultural centers. 

Smith’s previous books include the award-winning Colonial Memory and Postcolonial Europe: Maltese Settlers in Algeria and France (2006, Indiana); and Rebuilding Shattered Worlds: Creating Community by Voicing the Past (Nebraska, 2016).  She is currently working on a book on the public memory of the 1737 Walking Purchase Lenape land treaty in Pennsylvania.

Northampton County Seal

 The Moravian Historical Society Museum Music & Lecture Series is sponsored in part by the Northampton County Hotel Tax Grant. 

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