Statement of Significance (as of designation - January 20, 1999):
Bethabara was the first colonial townsite established in the Carolina Piedmont. The town was intended to be a temporary town from which the central Moravian town of Salem and outlying farming communities would be developed within the Moravian lands of Wachovia. However, Bethabara continued in operation as a Moravian community long after Salem was established. Bethabara was the only "House of Passage" built by the Moravians at any of their colonial settlements in the New World. Archeological investigations have demonstrated the Bethabara archeological remains at the townsite are intact and this work has contributed to a significant understanding of the Moravian culture, in particular the manufacture of Moravian pottery.