Friends of Johnston Calls on Expresswrite
Archibald Johnston was a visionary and philanthropist dedicated to serving his fellow citizens.
He sought to make sure the people of this town had clean water, decent housing, a healthy environment and quality education. He believed in the public service, saying “…nothing comes to you in this world that is thoroughly appreciated unless it is obtained by a sacrifice on your part.”
So, he stepped forward to help prevent Moravian College from closing its doors in its darkest hour. When neighbors began to lose their farms in the Great Depression, Johnston bought their properties and placed them in a trust for the families to repurchase when times improved.
He also knew that people need natural sanctuaries to remain connected to their cultural heritage and community.
The Johnston estate was entrusted into our care to preserve for our children and for their children. Friends of Johnston want to continue that legacy of public service and cultural awareness.
Camel’s Hump Farm is the heart of the Johnston estate and the cornerstone for its survival.
Friends of Johnston are seeking to be good stewards of the farm, not as a dusty old museum piece, but as a living link between our community and its history, because saving what is best about the past prepares us for the future.
The farm is one of a kind. There is no other place like it in Bethlehem, with its unique architecture, 350 year old trees, and the Monocacy Creek running through it. Friends of Johnston envision the farm being used as a park, a school, a summer camp, an environmental education center with community programs and cultural events, and providing demonstration projects for agricultural experimentation and innovation.
When we lose something this special, we lose a piece of ourselves and it’s gone forever.
We believe that every person is an important thread in the fabric of our community and together we can accomplish great things. We were given a great gift by Johnston, and with it a great responsibility.
It’s our turn to step forward to preserve that legacy and our history for the next generation.
Do you ever wonder how your charitable donations are used? Monies usually disappear into the bureaucratic operations of a giant organization and you don’t know how they were spent.
There is an opportunity right here in Bethlehem for you, your children, and future generations to see and enjoy the results of your charitable giving. Lying just off Route 191, this historic farm and its unique buildings form the estate of Bethlehem’s first mayor, Archibald Johnston. It was all slated to become another strip mall and high density apartments. The Friends of Johnston endeavor to continue Johnston’s generous legacy by preserving, restoring, and reusing the estate for the benefit of the local Bethlehem community.
Beyond cultural and historic preservation, FOJ will offer nature based early childhood education, summer and after school camps, workshops and classes, community gardens, and a perfect local site for cultural community events. There will be plenty of opportunities for community involvement with mentorship programs, habitat restoration, job skills training, and sustainable agricultural pilot projects. Food grown on the farm will donated to local food banks to aid in hunger relief. Also, the Monocacy Creek and the hiking trails of the estate invite discovery and exploration.
The Friends of Johnston need help now to prevent this land from going to developers. If you really want to see your charitable giving work for you and your community, please consider donating to this worthy effort.