David Bower was the owner of the Bethel General Store. The house was built in 1846 and is presently occupied. One of Bower's descendants, Lucille Bower has been a moving force in trying to preserve both Bethel's buildings and its history.
Built in 1846, Das Grosse House (The Big House) featured of local restaurant downstairs with upstairs rooms for bachelor men. Today there is an antique shop in part of the building, but it didn't look like it was regularly open?
This house predates the colony, being built about 1842. Supposedly the foundation was laid down according to the position of the North Star and is said to be the only house in town 'straight with the World'. The original colonists spent their first winter in this house. Locals call the house, the Crooked House and it does appear at an angle to how the streets and other houses were laid out afterwards, but its 'crookedness' is all in the eyes of the beholder.
About a mile east of town was Keil's house. This grand 2 ½ story house was also a center for much of the social life of the community. Music was an important part of the colony's life and the band would lead processions of colonist out to the Doctor's house. Keil maintained medicinal herbs on the third floor. Keil's family used the first floors and the second floor had a ballroom that was used by the whole colony. The house is now privately occupied but you can see the house from the road. With its majestic trees, it appears more dramatic than in early photos where the house was alone on the hill.
This was the last house built by the colony - presently occupied - and was built for the teachers of the colony school. It is along Main Street.
Today, there are only 117 people living in Bethel and many are old. The town is quiet exceptfor the occasional dog and rumbling trucks that sometimes respect the 35 mph speed limits.
On the northeast edge of town, this is the old original colonial schoolhouse, slowly, but inevitably being taken over by vegetation.