Waterworks

Waterworks (HMI2H)

Location: Bethlehem, PA 18018 Northampton County
Country: United States of America

N 40° 37.147', W 75° 22.973'

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Inscription

1762

"They have a Sett of Pumps which go by Water, which force the water up through leaden Pipes, from the River to the Top of the Hill, near an hundred feet."
John Adams to Abigail Adams
1777

A bountiful spring supplied Bethlehem's water needs from 1741 to 1912. At first the Moravians carted this springwater in buckets and wagons up the hillside to the residential area of the town.

In 1754, millwright Hans Christoph Christensen designed and experimented with a pumped system housed in a small log building on this site. The system and building were both enlarged in 1762.

Three pumps, powered by an undershot waterwheel turned by the Monocacy Creek, forced the spring water to a water tower at the top of the hillside above where Central Moravian Church now stands. From the water tower, the water flowed by gravity into four cisterns at various locations in the town and from the cisterns by gravity into many of the buildings. Bethlehem's system is regarded as the first pumped municipal water system in the American colonies. It operated in this building until 1832 when the pumping system was moved to the adjacent oil mill.

The waterworks was restored in 1976. It is an American Water Landmark, an Historic Civil Engineering Landmark and a National Historic Landmark.

[Marker is damaged]
Details
HM NumberHMI2H
Tags
Placed ByHistoric Bethlehem, HistoryWorks!, and Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 1:24am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 467614 N 4496547
Decimal Degrees40.61911667, -75.38288333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 37.147', W 75° 22.973'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 37' 8.82" N, 75° 22' 58.38" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)267, 610, 484
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 413 Main St, Bethlehem PA 18018, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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Nearby Markersshow on map
Old Waterworks
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Oil Mill
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Bark Shed
0.02 miles
Colonial Industrial Quarter
0.03 miles
Pottery
0.03 miles
Smith Complex
0.04 miles
West Hall
0.04 miles
Moravian Community
0.05 miles
Tawery
0.05 miles
Brethren's House
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