Forging Ahead 3: City in a City

Steel Street in Bethlehem.  John Rennison, Hamilton Spectator

Steel Street in Bethlehem. John Rennison, Hamilton Spectator

The city within steel city

Bethlehem Steel was a city within a city.

The 1,800 acres offered more than jobs. There were company stores, a company-run barber and a grocer.

The mill also organized after-work activities for employees.

The company brass band was made up of 60 musicians, led by the conductor of the Lehigh Valley Symphony Orchestra.

Other employees played on a corporate soccer team that was so good, one of its players set a world record for goals. In 1925 Archie Stark scored 70 times in a single season. That record stood until 2012 when it was broken by Lionel Messi, a professional soccer player from Barcelona.

You can find relics throughout the ArtsQuest Centre, an entertainment complex built on the former steel site.

An entire wall is printed with a black and white photo of the band. Nearby, a steelworker tribute wall lists the names of former employees. Names are added monthly and a special Father’s Day service draws the children of steelworkers from as far away as California and Florida.