THE STREETS OF BETHLEHEM
Part 2 of 7
This tour through the streets of Bethlehem will begin near Liberty HS and take us north up the old Nazareth Pike. Let’s see what we can learn.
Hottle Avenue – This street is a nod to the old village of Hottlesville, which was located north of Elizabeth Avenue roughly between Center and Linden streets, extending a quarter of a mile. When St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church began ministry in the area in 1896, the village’s population was over 1,000 people. Hottelsville was annexed to North Bethlehem in 1905.
Grenadier Boulevard – In 1970, Pine Street between Elizabeth Avenue and Fairview Street was renamed Grenadier Boulevard to honor the Liberty High School Grenadier Band. Mayor Gordon Payrow recommended the name change after the band became the first two-time winner of the Governor’s Cup at the Festival of States competition in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Edgeboro Boulevard – Receives its name from a suburb in the northeastern part of Bethlehem that was on the “edge of the borough.” Development really took off after the Minsi-Trail Bridge was opened in 1915. The cornerstone of Edgeboro Moravian Church was laid in 1917 and the Edgeboro School opened in 1924.
Melrose Avenue – Named for the pretty rural home and farm called Melrose lying along the Nazareth Road (Linden Street) one half-mile from the Bethlehem Fairgrounds. Gen. W.E. Doster acquired this farm and in 1899 purchased a well cultivated, 23-acre fruit farm adjoining it.
Cloverleaf Street – This street is named for the former Clover Leaf Farm that reached on both sides of Washington Avenue, extending from the William Penn Highway (Easton Avenue) to the Nazareth Pike (Linden Street). In 1925, the Dodson Realty Corporation opened this land for development. Another interesting note: Millard Street in this development was first called Ash Street.
Greenhouse Drive – Greenhouse Drive and Jamann Court are nice reminders of what used to stand on this property: Jamann’s Greenhouses. The business began in 1928 when German immigrant Simon Peter Jamann and his wife Margaret purchased a 5-acre patch of farmland so they could sell flowers to area cemeteries. Plans to develop the property into townhouses were approved in 2005.
Altonah Road – Named for a small village that was north of Bethlehem. It is said to come from the corruption of the German “all zu nah” meaning “all too near.” A farm had been cut into building lots with the idea to start a small settlement, but when there was trouble selling the lots the failure was attributed to being too near to Bethlehem. Another explanation is that its church was too near to Bethlehem to be justified.
Macada Road – This name was chosen by William H. Best, who operated a general store along the Nazareth Pike. The area called Altonah was growing and needed a post office, but since the name was too close to Altoona it was suggested to pick something unique to avoid confusion. At this time the Nazareth Pike was being macadamized, so Best dropped the “m” from macadam and from then on the area was known as Macada.
Johnston Drive – Planned as a major East-West link for residential traffic in North Bethlehem, the name was selected in 1954 in honor of Archibald Johnston. Johnston was a mechanical engineer who rose through the ranks of the Bethlehem Steel Company and became first mayor of Bethlehem. Johnston had owned a large farm and estate on nearby Quaker Hill, which he renamed Camel’s Hump.
Santee Mill Road – Named for an 18th-century grist mill operated by the Santee family that sat on the north-east corner of Santee Mill and Township Line roads. When Archibald Johnston acquired the property in 1919, he reactivated the mill. In 1978 it was gutted by fire and razed in 1980.
Christian Spring Road – Derives its name from a Moravian colony of Single Brothers, Christiansbrunn (Christian’s Spring), located just off the Bethlehem-Nazareth road. It was named in 1749 in honor of Count Zinzendorf’s son, Christian Renatus.
Pine Top Trail – Originally called Nuttletown Road, which means needletown in Pennsylvania German, this road supposedly received its name because of all the needlework done by ladies at the grange building along St. Thomas UCC on Macada Road. The spelling eventually changed to Knuttletown, and story goes that a local farmer lost his sheep after a bad storm, but found them after following their droppings – Knuttle being stool in Pa. German. In 1937, a group of residents petitioned for the road to be renamed Pine Top Trail, as the summit was covered with pine trees.
Brodhead Road – This name was derived from the village of Brodhead, sometimes called Brodhead Station because the train stopped there. The community was located between Bethlehem and Nazareth on the Nazareth Pike.
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