Gracedale’s origins date back to 1837 when the Northampton County Commissioners purchased a 365 acre farm from the Moravian Congregation. In 1951, the Moravian Church of America gave permission to use “Gracedale”, the English translation of “Gnadenthal”, which translates to “Dale of Grace” or “Kindness”. Previously, Gracedale was referred to as “The Northampton County Home”. Originally, Gracedale was designed to care for the poor and wards of Northampton County. Today, Gracedale enjoys a reputation as one of the finest long term care facilities in the state of Pennsylvania.
Gracedale GardensBefore becoming the cherished area it currently is, the space currently known as the Gracedale Gardens was a 1 ½ acre pond. It was, at times, stocked with fish and used as a site for fishing contests sponsored by Northampton County. In the years leading up to 1988, the Canadian goose population grew, the pond was plagued by algae growth, and insect infestations forced the County to consider an alternative to the pond.
The concept of the Gracedale Gardens arose from discussions among County officials from Gracedale, County Administration, and the Parks Division. The Gracedale Gardens encompasses approximately three acres with 1400 feet of lineal paved pathways. The garden includes a wide variety of trees and shrubs, an above ground container gardening area for residents, five gazebos, two bridges and numerous sitting areas. The project started in 1988, with the Gracedale Gardens being dedicated on October 4, 1993. Today, the area is enjoyed by residents, family members and staff throughout the year.