Things to Do in North Carolina: Bethania
The historic town of Bethania is famous for being the first Moravian community that settled and established itself in North Carolina and one that still exists today. The Bethania National Historic Landmark district in which the town of Bethania lies spans over 500 acres and is the only known Germanic-type Linear Agricultural community of its kind in the southern United States.
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Established in 1759 as a self-sufficient farming community, Bethania was modeled on town designs used in Medieval Europe and featured a Moravian church, a school, tradesmen shops, and clusters of individual homes and estate with beautiful gardens, many of which have been expertly preserved for 250 years to the present day. An agricultural and trades community by design, the historic town of Bethania is the only example of an ‘open-field’ agricultural village akin to those in Europe remaining in North Carolina.
The little town, which is the largest National Landmark in Forsyth County, and its beautifully preserved 18th and 10th-century buildings, museums, galleries, shops, and restaurants are open to the public to explore and enjoy.
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2.Wolff-Moser House and Alpha Chapel
Built in circa 1799, the Wolff-Moser House is an outstanding example of a 19th-century hand-hewn dwelling with plastered walls, brick noggin, six-paneled doors, and arched mantels with raised single friezes. The house was lovingly restored to its former glory using stone from the original site and the original interior woodwork and pulled back from the sidewalk to create a small front yard.
The Alpha Chapel is a small church that was built for the Bethania congregation in 1894. The gorgeously restored Chapel is a perfect location for special occasions such as weddings, celebrations, and special events.
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Bethania has four beautiful hiking trails that run through lush forests and rolling farmlands in conservancy-protected lands. The 0.7 mile Graveyard Trail starts in the parking lot of the Mill Shoppes loops behind God’s Acre, while the 1.4 mile Black Walnut Bottoms Trail begins beside Alpha Chapel and winds through Black Walnut Bottoms forest and farmlands areas. The Orchard Trail is 0.8 miles and starts at Bethania-Rural Hall Road and winds through the preserved lands of Old Orchards and the 1.42 mile Reuter Trail includes a forest walk and a loop that borders Muddy Creek.
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Bethania hosts several festivals and activities throughout the year, including the Black Walnut Festival, which celebrates the arts, culture, crafts, and food of Bethania, as well as the community’s connection to the region’s incredible landscapes.
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The Historic Bethania Visitor Center is located at 5393 Ham Horton Lane in the heart of Bethania and is open year-round on Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The Visitor Center property includes a beautifully restored Moravian farmstead home, the circa 1799 Wolff-Moser House, the Alpha Chapel, built in 1894, and a gift shop.
Self-guided walking tours of the town can be enjoyed with maps provided at the Visitor Center, which show walking routes past historic homes, stores, and museums. Group tours are available by appointment at the Bethania Visitor Center, and the facilities are handicap accessible.
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5393 Ham Horton Lane, Bethania, NC 27010, Phone: 336-922-0434
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Things to Do in North Carolina: Bethania
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