The Oldest American-Made Piano Finds Its Voice
This is the full program presented on May 12, 2021 and includes questions and discussion with John Watson, Thomas Winter, and Michele Winter.
The Moravian Historical Society is excited to share the results of a remarkable project—to build a working, playable replica of the 18th century upright piano in our collection. The original instrument is believed to be the oldest extant American-made piano, a powerful example of the importance of music to the Moravian settlers in colonial America.
John Watson, Tom Winter, and Michele Winter conducted an on-site examination of the original piano with the intention of both uncovering the instrument’s history and creating a playable replica for the Moravian Historical Society. After nearly a full year of work, the replica is complete and is now on display in our museum. Through the process of examination and documentation we heard the original tell its story. Through the replica we hear its song.
This brief video explains the project but does not include the live program discussion.
The Remarkable Life of Anna Kliest
Anna Rosina Kliest Gambold was an early American botanist whose published works still serve as foundational knowledge for studying native plants of northern Georgia. Her work as a Moravian missionary among the Cherokees still resonates today. Anna Rosina's mission diaries provide insight into the tradition of Cherokee healers whose work has been threatened over centuries of forced removal, family separation, and cultural loss.
So how did this Bethlehem-born and raised Moravian come to live among the Cherokees? Join Victoria Starbuck, the Moravian Historical Society's Collections Assistant and Education Coordinator, to learn about the life and legacy of Anna Rosina Kliest Gambold.
Unearthed: Archaeological Discoveries
A landscape can be changed by man or by nature, but remnants of the past will always remain behind buried in the earth. Archaeology is the scientific study of human activity through material remains. By looking at the material remains, the past can be reconstructed for the present and preserved for the future. The four archaeological investigations conducted on the site of the Moravian Historical Society’s property have determined that the site still contains its historical, sensitive core.
This program tells the story of these archaeological investigations and what they found beneath the earth. From locating the First House built by Moravian settlers in 1740, to finding abandoned wells and garbage pits, to searching for evidence of fortifications of the site during the French and Indian War, archaeology of the Ephrata Tract in Nazareth has unearthed some fascinating finds.
This program is presented by Susan Orr, Curator of Collections for the Moravian Historical Society.