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Housing Facilities

The housing problem in Bethlehem, particularly for married people, was at times quite a serious one. Due to the unusual arrangements prevailing in the community, it was not always feasible for couples to live together in their own homes. Various expedients were resorted to, and from time to time large buildings were set aside for the use of families. One of hese was the "Family House," erected in 1754. This was a substantial stone structure, three stories in height, that stood until 1869, when it was removed to be replaced by a building which later became the home of the Moravian Publication office. On the present site of the Central Church, at the corner of Church and Main streets, stood the "Married People's House," a substantial log structure, which, as the name implies, was used for family purposes. It is recorded that, in 1752, the lower floor of the "Old Chapel" was equipped with a kitchen and a dining room for the use of the married people. On the site of the present main building of the Moravian Preparatory School, stood a large stone structure, which was at first utilised by the Seminary, and at a later date as a day school for girls. For some time prior to the removal of this building, in 1857, it was occupied, in part, by married people.

Ministers and their wives usually occupied quarters in the "Gemein House," now the oldest structure in Bethlehem, the corner stone of which was laid September 28, 1741.

These examples will serve to illustrate how the housing problem, so far as it related to the married people, was met from time to time, until conditions in the community became more stabilized, and it was possible to provide homes as the need arose.

Clarence E. Beckel

[Text above is from pages xvii-xviii of original]

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