After lunch with some co-workers on Tuesday afternoon, we decided to stop in at the Liberty Bell Museum (622 W. Hamilton St.) in Allentown since I hadn’t been there yet. It’s located in the basement of the Zion’s Reformed Church, that huge building with the red doors. I’d walked by it plenty of times, but the FREE admission sign (which is apparently every day!) drew me in.

If you don’t already know the history of the Liberty Bell in Lehigh Valley, I’m going to give you the quick rundown ... During the American Revolution, the invading British soldiers were running low on ammunition. Thinking ahead, some crafty individuals sent 11 bells out of Philadelphia (including the most famous one) for safekeeping in a distant settlement so that they wouldn’t be melted down. They chose Allentown, but back then (1777) it was known as Northampton Towne. The bells were hidden under the floor of the Zion’s Reformed Church, where they remained safe in hiding until the following July.

The museum tells the story of the bells, the Revolutionary War, and has quite a collection of artifacts and relics from the war, including letters written by soldiers to their loved ones. A visitor favorite seems to be the replica bell that has the exact same dimensions, weight and tone of the original Liberty Bell. They even painted a crack onto it to look more authentic!

So I know you've probably been to see the actual Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. If you're a Revolutionary War buff and you're really into history, I suggest you check this place out. It's well worth the trip. Oh, and you know how I mentioned that admission is free? It can only stay that way with generous donations from visitors like you, so don't be shy!

What’s your favorite historical site in Lehigh Valley?