Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites presents the 2nd Annual Apple Days

Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites announces the second annual Apple Days at Burnside Plantation on Saturday, September 12, from 10-4 p.m. Join the fall family fun activities including an apple bobbing contest, cider press demonstrations, apple stamping, hard apple cider tastings, colonial cooking demonstrations featuring apple recipes and fiddlin live music performances.

apple pieThey are now accepting pre-orders for freshly baked apple pies, apple dumplings, and mums. Don’t wait until they sell out; visit HistoricBethlehem.org today to place your order. Apple pies, dumplings, and other sweet treats will be available on a first come first serve basis.

New this year, guests can participate in an Apple Pie cooking contest at 11am. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. For more information about the contest please contact Mary Mulder at mmulder@historicbethlehem.org or by calling 610-882-0450 ext. 27.

Guests can relish in the array of apple trees that reside in the Burnside Plantation orchard. Apples in the orchard include; Rhode Island Greening, Spitzenburg, Roxbury Russet Rhode Island Greening, and Newtown Pippin.

Rhode Island Greening is regarded as the finest American cooking apple in early colonial times. Extremely popular apple in the eastern United States for over 200 years, they were sold in markets right up until the 1930s. The Rhode Island Greening is a cooking apple when it’s freshly picked packing plenty of tartness and later as an eating apple that keeps well right into spring. Fruit medium to large, round and symmetrical with green skin and occasional orange flush. Firm, rich, juicy, greenish-yellow flesh with peculiar, tart, refreshing, pleasantly acid flavor. One of the best pie apples and excellent for fresh eating if tree-ripened.

Spitzenburg apple was discovered in the late 1700s by an early Dutch settler of that name. It was found at the settlement of Esopus, on the Hudson River, in Ulster County, New York. Much attention was bestowed upon Spitzenburg apple when Thomas Jefferson ordered a dozen trees for his orchard in Monticello. Unexcelled in flavor or quality, the fruit is great off the tree, but flavor radically improves in storage. Medium apple with crisp, yellow skin covered with inconspicuous red stripes and russet freckles. Flesh is tinged yellow, firm, aromatic, and complex in flavor; a perfect balance between sharp and sweet.

The first Roxbury Russet tree sprung up around 1635 in Roxbury near Boston. It’s the oldest American apple still being grown today. Excellent old cider apple, a keeper and good for eating fresh. Large greenish, sometimes bronze tinged skin almost covered with yellowish-brown russet. Remarkable for its amount of sugar. Firm, slightly coarse, fairly tender, yellowish-white flesh. Tree medium to large, a good cropper on rich soils. Roxbury Russet displays resistance to scab and cedar apple rust.

Newtown Pippin is the oldest commercially grown variety to have been bred in the U.S. The variety sprang from a seed in Newtown, Long Island around 1750. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were two noted admirers of this fine fruit. Skin is green to yellow, often russeted, with white dots. Newtown Pippin flesh is yellowish or tinged with green, firm, crisp, moderately fine grained, and sprightly aromatic with refreshing piney tartness. Some find a light tangerine scent. Does best in warm summer locations. The fruit develops full sugar and rich flavor after a few months of cold storage. A self-fertile variety that also serves as a pollinizer for other apple trees.

Apple bobbing 4Pipers RequestThroughout the day, guests can participate in the bobbing for apples contest, colonial dress up, apple-themed crafts, hard apple cider tastings of Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat and Stella Artois Cidre, guided wagon rides of the scenic plantation and more. For a small donation, tours of the historic house will be available. Live music will include Piper’s Request, a popular traditional Irish band who jam on Scottish, Irish and American folk tunes.

Clean out those hidden gems in your basement, attic, or garage and rent a table at Apple Days for $15 to sell your own vintage goods or wares. You set the prices and you keep the proceeds! Contact Mary Mulder at mmulder@historicbethlehem.org or by calling 610-882-0450 ext. 27 to rent a table.

mums and wagonFresh fall mums from Lehigh Valley Home & Garden Center will be available for sale along with a variety of delicious apple treats including apple butter, apple cider, apple vinegar and other apple specialties.

Bethlehem Foodways group will have a colonial cooking demonstration with apple themed selections.

The event takes place Saturday, September 12 from 10am-4pm. Admission to Apple Days is free.

Supporting this event helps preserve Bethlehem’s Farm in the City, Burnside Plantation, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Burnside Plantation lies along the Monocacy Creek, six-tenths of a mile north of the Colonial Industrial Quarter, America’s first industrial park. Burnside Plantation is home to one of the few remaining high-horse powered wheels in the country.

 Historic Bethlehem is a not-for-profit institution that brings to life three centuries of American history. Historic Bethlehem tells the story of a small town of great influence, home to some of our nation’s earliest settlers, to America’s first municipal water pumping system, and to one of the world’s greatest industrial companies. Historic Bethlehem is located in Eastern Pennsylvania, only a 1.5 hour drive from Philadelphia to the north and 2 hours west of New York City. Historic Bethlehem is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and is distinguished as a National Historic Landmark District for Historic Moravian Bethlehem. For more information please call 610-691-6055 or visit www.historicbethlehem.org.