Camera icon.This link bypasses navigation taking you directly to the contents of this page.

How to Use the Images


Inquiry Question

Historical Context



Drawing 1
Photo 1
Photo 2 &
Drawing 2
Photo 4


Table of

Visual Evidence

Photo 3: The Bethlehem Waterworks.
[Graphic] Photo 3 with link to higher quality photo.

(Photo by Diane LaBelle)

Originally constructed in 1754, the Bethlehem Waterworks is likely the first municiple pumping system ever built in the United States.  The limestone building houses an 18-foot waterwheel designed to capture water from the Monocacy Creek.  In colonial times, the waterworks pumped fresh water through 94 feet of pipe to a water tower located on a nearby hill.  Gravity then pulled the water from the tower to cisterns located in the town of Bethlehem, below.  The waterworks building was restored in the early 1970s.

Questions for Photo 3

1. Locate the waterworks on Drawing 1. Which buildings in Bethlehem existed before the waterworks was constructed? Why do you think the waterworks was built later than these other buildings?

2. How do you think the people of Bethlehem got fresh water to their homes and businesses before the waterworks was built? Why might a water pumping system be preferable to earlier methods?

2. Compare the waterworks with the Single Brethern House (Photo 2).  What features do you see on either that might help you distinguish one as a residence and one as a non-residential building?

* The photo on this screen has a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a high quality version of Photo 3, but be aware that the file will take as much as 30 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.



Comments or Questions

National Park Service arrowhead with link to NPS website.