Bark Shed

Bark Shed (HMHVZ)

Location: Bethlehem, PA 18018 Northampton County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 37.161', W 75° 22.988'

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"...16 of our Brethren, who are to go to Upper Places[?] to peel bark for our tanner, had lovefeast."
Single Brethren's Diary
April 16, 1757

The large forest located north of early Bethlehem contained great quantities of bark needed to produce the tannic acid used in tanning leather. While colonial tanners preferred black oak and hemlock bark, records show that the Moravians used mostly oak which gave the leather its distinctive reddish-brown color.

The Moravians chopped down the trees in the spring. They stripped off the bark, dried it, and hauled it back to Bethlehem where they stored it in bark sheds. These sheds were made of timber construction like the one pictured here built near this location around 1766. Inventories state that about 100 cords of bark were on hand at one time.

The bark was then ground fine using very large stones turned by animal power. In 1765, a water-powered bark grinding mill was included in the design of the new oil mill, a technological advance in the tanning process.

[The Bark Shed has not been reconstructed as of early 2010]

[Marker is damaged and defaced]
Placed ByHistoric Bethlehem, HistoryWorks!, and Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 at 11:06am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 467593 N 4496573
Decimal Degrees40.61935000, -75.38313333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 37.161', W 75° 22.988'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 37' 9.66" N, 75° 22' 59.28" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)267, 610, 484
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1 Ohio Rd, 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
Oil Mill
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Old Waterworks
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Colonial Industrial Quarter
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Smith Complex
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First House of Moravian Settlement
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West Hall
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