Bethlehem Historic District
Bethlehem Historic District is significant as an intact historically African American urban neighborhood located in the southern section of Augusta. During the 1870s, three families owned the area of the Bethlehem community: the Jacksons, Steiners, and Picquets. By 1876, all three property owners had begun to subdivide their land to accommodate new interest in settlement of the area due to its favorable location.
The Central of Georgia Railroad runs along the east side of the neighborhood and two early roads, Martin Luther King, Jr Blvd. (Milledgeville Road) and Savannah Road, merge near the center of the neighborhood. Because the district had both rail and road related transportation, industries located in the area. These industries included the Georgia-Carolina Warehouse and Compress Company, the Southeastern Compress and Warehouse Company, brick yards, lumberyards, and the Central of Georgia railroad yard. They employed those who settled in the neighborhood. The district also had a number of stores located along the intersections of major streets including grocery stores, barbershops, shoe repair shops, gas stations, and drug stores.
The district is architecturally significant for its excellent collection of historic residential, commercial, and community landmark buildings in a variety of styles - Shotgun, Folk Victorian, Colonial Revival and Craftsman. The residential housing stock was built around the roads and railroad lines. Most of the houses were small so that a large number could fit into a small area. Some of the later homes are larger. - NPS