Digital Collection Spotlight #21: Map of Emmaus

Posted June 28, 2021 in Digital Access

Digital Collection Spotlight #21: Map of Emmaus


As part of an ongoing series of posts, we’re highlighting different collections and items from the Moravian Archives, Bethlehem. Check out our earlier posts in this series at

Since last year we at the Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, have been working with the Lehigh Valley Historical Maps Consortium, a group formed to facilitate access to and use of historically significant maps of the region. Recently they have launched the website, “Historical Maps of the Lehigh Valley,” which includes information on cartography in the Lehigh Valley, an inventory of maps in local collections, and access to a selection of these maps that have been digitized. In light of this we thought it a good opportunity to highlight one of the maps included from our collection, specifically a 1760 map of Emmaus, PA, and look briefly at this community’s history.

The modern town of Emmaus can trace the story of its founding to 1742 when three people, Sebastian Knauss, Jacob Ehrenhardt, and Andreas Schaus, who already lived in the area and had been introduced to the Moravian Church through contact with the community in Bethlehem, asked Count Zinzendorf that the Moravian Church provide religious leadership for them. Count Zinzendorf, who had preached at Ehrenhardt’s home the year before, agreed on the condition that the new church would have Moravian ministers but follow Lutheran practice, in line with his goals of bringing Christian denominations together, and it was soon built on land donated by Ehrenhardt and Knauss. They were then formally organized as a congregation in 1747, and in 1758 the leadership of Bethlehem began discussing the creation of a new community that, like Bethlehem, would be restricted to members of the church, in the belief that this would protect the residents from corrupting outside influences. By the following year, the first two houses of the community had been constructed and in 1761 Bishop August Spangenberg named it Emmaus. This map was made by Georg Wenzeslaus Golkowsky, a Moravian from Poland who surveyed both Bethlehem and Emmaus, and shows how the land had been divided into lots as of 1760. The community would grow over the succeeding decades and in the 1830s it was opened to non-Moravians and remains a vibrant town to this day.

Image Source:

Town map of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, 1760, DP f.033.3, Accessible Online

Further Reading:

Barba, Preston Albert, They Came to Emmaus: A History. Emmaus, PA: Borough of Emmaus, 1959.

Historical Maps of the Lehigh Valley. Lehigh Valley Maps Consortium, 2021, Accessed June 16, 2021.

Knehl, Henry A. “The Beginnings and Development of the Moravian Settlement at Emmaus, Pennsylvania.” Transactions of the Moravian Historical Society 14, nos. 1-2 (1947): 145-183.