A Small Village Called "Emaus"

Longitude: -75.496849 and Latitude: 40.539543

How it all Began:

In 1680 William Penn, a Quaker, was granted land by King Charles II of England. He hoped to make this area “Penn Woods” a haven for religious sects being persecuted in Europe. German settlers moved into this area known by the Lenni Lenape as “maguntsche,” or "feeding place of the bears". 
Settlers, mostly German Lutheran and Reformed denominations, arrived in early 1700’s, probably coming up the South Mountain Trail where the Shelter House in Emmaus is located. T
he Moravians had established an industrial settlement of Bethlehem in 1741, and local settlers Jacob Ehrenhardt and Sebastian Knauss found themselves drawn to the church. 
In 1742, William Penn’s sons granted Jacob Ehrenhardt and Sebastian Knauss land which they in turn donated to a Bethlehem Moravian church. In 1759, a settlement was established as a closed community with strict rules governing all. They built a small log church on what would become the settlement’s  cemetery God’s Acre.  In 1746 a schoolhouse was built, and in 1747 the local Moravian congregation was founded. 
In April of 1761, the name Emmaus was given to the settlement by Bishop Spangenberg, from a hymn he’d written recalling Christ’s appearance to two of his disciples on the road to Emmaus. It was written in Pennsylvania German with one “m” and a dash above the “m” or Emaus. This dash signified two “m’s”, however, the name was recorded as Emaus.  In 1938, the second “m” was restored to it as Emmaus. 
The Moravian faith had strict adherence to the rules of the church.  One couldn’t travel without permission of the “Warden,” no meetings could be held in the dark, marriages had to be approved by the church elders, and restrictions against noise and youthful playing were strictly enforced.  The Moravians also refused to bear arms, swear oaths or to take part in political discussions.  
When trouble arose between the English king and the colonies, the community was faced with a series of events which sorely tried their faith.  They were asked to swear an oath which would break their allegiance to King George III, and they were required by the Continental Congress to join the Pennsylvania Militia.  Fines, imprisonment and confiscation of property faced those who refused to participate.  The church diaries kept by the Moravian ministers make no mention of the fact 12 men from Emmaus did enlist in the Continental Army.

Emmaus Events:

Emmaus Founders Day...[date and details coming soon]: In 2019 the Knauss Homestead and the 1803 House partnered to sponsor the Emmaus Founders Day in honor of the Knauss and Ehrenhardt families, founders of Emmaus. This is the day to remember a major event occurred to celebrate, give thanks and to reflect upon the evolution of our community. It is an event to reflect on the foundation of our 'village small' created by Sebastian Knauss and Jacob Ehrenhardt. It is a time to look back at our historical journey and to look ahead to sustain the welfare of all persons that call Emmaus home. A dinner is prepared by Licensed 2 Grill. 2019 East Penn Press article;

Emmaus Heritage Festival...[date and details coming soon]:
Live music, crafts, food truck, displays, games and so much more.at the Emmaus Historical Society 2018 Main Street, Emmaus. Historical Society Facebook Pictures

"Old Fashioned Christmas" in Emmaus...Saturday December 5, 2020 from 10am to 8pm: 
This event is always the 1st Saturday of December in Emmaus at the Triangle Park. All historic homes will be open along with many holiday celebration activities throughout the town of Emmaus. Winter Event Photo Gallery.

Attend an 1803 House Event:

      Please consider attending our fundraiser events.  In the Spring enjoy some food, wine, music; in Fall enjoy some more food, beer and music; and in winter enjoy an "Old Fashioned Christmas at the 1803 House."  For more information Go to Events

Emmaus Historical Sites

The Moravian Church and "God's Acre"...
in1742, both the church and the cemetery were built.  Emmaus Moravian Church Website; 

The Shelter House...
in 1734 this house was built along the South Mountain Trail heading into the Lehigh Valley. The Shelter House Society was established in 1963 with a goal to protect and preserve the Shelter House for many years to come. Shelter House Website;

The Knauss Homestead...in 1777 this home was built North of the Moravian Church.  The Knauss Homestead Preservation Society was established in 1993 with there mission to protect, preserve and maintain homestead for the enrichment and enjoyment for future generations. Knauss Homestead Website;

The 1803 House...in 1803 this house was built on approximately 70 acres of land and constructed from with the large stones and wood from the property.  "The Friends of the 1803 House was established in 1976 with their mission to preserve and maintain the 1803 House as a museum for the community of Emmaus. 1803 House Website.

The Moravian Church today...
was built in 1834 at Main and Keystone Streets. Moravian Church Website


The Emmaus Historical Society...was established in 1993 with the mission to collect, preserve and exhibit Emmaus artifact, documents, histories, photographs and genealogy for displays, research and educational programs and events. Emmaus Historical Society Website;

The Emmaus Remembrance Garden...this beautiful garden was established in 2002 and dedicated in 2004. This  garden offers a simple way of honoring loved ones or special event with engraved paver bricks which are surround by beautiful flowers and shrubs creating a sense of calm in our community. Emmaus Remembrance Garden Website;