Did you know that Lower Saucon Township has a ghost town of sorts? Buried in the brush–consumed by the ravages of time–along a section of Riverside Drive known as “the Narrows” is the former settlement of Redington, which thrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a miniature center of industry.
It’s been nearly 20 years since the last piece of steel was forged in Bethlehem, but for some of the people who proudly worked there–men like Roger Malitzki Sr.–it could have been yesterday. Malitzki spoke about his 31-year Bethlehem Steel career and witnessing the end of an era during a recent men’s group presentation at Steel City Mennonite Church in Lower Saucon Township, where he and his wife are members. He worked there from 1964 until the main plant’s closing in November 1995, when he immediately qualified to receive a pension since he had worked for the company for more than 30 years. Some of his co-workers fell just shy of that work anniversary and received no pension, which left many with understandable bitterness, he noted. In two videos produced by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation shortly before the plant’s closing, however, those feelings were not apparent.