I live in northeast Pa. and recently a New Jersey friend asked me if the reason the towns in middle east Pa. had names like Nazereth and Bethelhem is because they are in middle east Pa. and are named after the cities in the other middle east. Does anyone know if this is the case ?
How, then, does one explain Intercourse, Pa???
Nazareth PA was settled by Moravian Protestants, a religious group from Germany. The Moravians kept the town in private hands from the late 18th Century until 1858.
The Moravians also founded Bethlehem. According to town history, the Moravians’ patron, Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf of Saxony, Germany, visited the new settlement on Christmas Eve and decided to call the town Bethlehem.
Sure. Sail in here and give a REAL answer. Harumph.
I grew up in Philly, and never knew this. Cool and well done, BobT !!!
For the record, each town has its own website with a little history section on it.
For a second, I thought you meant North East, Pennsylvania. Conveniently located in northwest Pennsylvania.
Consider also that the term “Middle East” first became common around WWI. I believe these towns are a bit older.
Actually, Middle East came into its present meaning between the World Wars, but the term had been used previously. Alessan’s point is still valid, however, since Palestine, Egypt, etc, were firmly in the Near East. The Middle East began at the Persian Gulf and extended to southeast Asia.