About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, May 19, 2014

Camel's Hump Farm Has Open House

Archibald Johnston, Bethlehem's first Mayor and one-time President of Bethlehem Steel, retired in 1927 to what he called "Camel's Hump". It's a large tract along the Monocacy Creek between Santee Road in Bethlehem and Route 22. Part of that land, which includes a three-story mansion and 55 acres, has been preserved as Housenick Park. But there is much more. Fundraising efforts are under way to preserve lands next to the park, 44 acres once owned by Johnston, for a nature school, environmental center and community farm. If the open house on May 17 is any indication, there is a great deal of public support for the proposal.

There is no shortage of public interest in preserving this farm. 
The proof of that is the packed parking lot at the the First Baptist Church on Linden Street. That was the rendezvous place for farm visitors, who were picked up and returned by trolley. On a winding return trip, visitors even passed the site of the first-ever lynching in Pennsylvania, near Monocacy Creek. 

In February, the Friends of Johnston, kicked off a $2 million campaign  to complete the purchase of what the Sierra Club's Bob Adams has called "a breath of life that will come to Bethlehem." Northampton County has already contributed $657,000, and a matching grant is expected from the state.

At the farm, there was music, farm animals and food, along with an opportunity to walk the grounds.

One of those visitors was Gene Smith, a former Easton High School coach and phys ed teacher who spent 17 years on Bethlehem Township's Recreation Board. "It's nice, but it could be combined with Housenick Park," he suggested. "Make it the way it was."

A calf, sitting close to Smith, declined comment.

For more information about this historic are, visit http://www.friendsofjohnston.org/.


Anonymous said...

dolan is licking her lips

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's the biggest knock on this group.

Anonymous said...

Too bad Bethlehem Township hasn't done anything similar with the Housenick Estate. I drove by a couple of weeks ago and it was sad. The mansion is boarded up, has crumbling stucco and it looks straight out of a horror movie. The whole park looks vacant.I don't think the Township has the expertise or the money to take care of this property. They should sell or give it to someone who will manage it better.

Anonymous said...

This blog is dead

Bernie O'Hare said...

You wish.