Growth of Bethlehem

     Bethlehem remained an exclusively Moravian community for well over a century.  Finally, in 1854, the Moravian church gave up its mandate to govern Bethlehem and its claim to exclusive control of the land.  Soon a new industrial town was laid out and built on the south side of the pre-Industrial BethlehemLehigh River, opposite the Moravian community.  In 1853, the Pennsylvania and Lehigh Zinc Company opened, and two years later Lehigh Valley Railroad was formed. (51)  The Saucona Iron Company opened in South Bethlehem in 1857.  Since Moravian religion accepts business as a way of participating in life, many Moravians invested in the new companies.  However, few wished to give up the orderly way of life in their community in order to move to South Bethlehem, so Bethlehem proper remained a distinct area.  (52)  Mary Procter observes that " a more rambunctious town was developing on the south side of the Lehigh as workers came to the Zinc and iron mills."  (53)  First came the Pennsylvania Germans, then the Irish.  In the 1870s a wave of Slovak and Hungarian immigrants came to the South Side.  Few company homes were built, so many various structures were built by the workers, scattered across the sides of South Mountain that had been farmland.(53)Jan 24, 1991 A1:2)