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flag  History of Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA

Journey back in time to Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA

Visit Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA - Hospital

In June 1778, a 700 wagon caravan escorted the Liberty Bell on its return to Philadelphia from Allentown along Towamencin's Allentown Road. Nine months earlier, when British troops threatened to capture the city, the bell had been whisked into hiding via the same route.

There is MUCH more to discover about Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA. Read on!

Allentown Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA

Albert High School
Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA

Albert High School
Public Square
Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA

Public Square
Lehigh Bridge
Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA

Lehigh Bridge

Discover Allentown: History, News, Travel, and Stories

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1762 - Allentown, Pennsylvania founded
Incorporated as Northamptontown.
1854 - Allentown
Allentown, formerly Northampton, a thriving borough, capital of Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, on Jordan creek, an affluent of the Lehigh, half a mile from the latter ; 85 miles E. N. E. from Harrisburg, and 61 miles N. by W. from Philadelphia. It is pleasantly situated on an eminence ; the streets are wide and straight, and the dwellings are substantially built of brick and stone. It contains a court-house, an academy, 2 public libraries, 5 churches, a bank, and 6 newspaper offices. A substantial stone bridge crosses the Jordan creek, and another the Lehigh, near this place. The canal of the Lehigh Coal Company, which passes through Allentown, contributes largely to its prosperity. The proposed railroad leading from Easton to Mauch Chunk will, when completed, pass through this town. The adjacent country is fertile, and highly improved, forming part of the great valley which is enclosed between the Blue Mountain and the South Mountain, and abounds in excellent limestone. The county also ... Read MORE...

1884 - A SHOCK OF EARTHQUAKE Felt Over a Large Region – A Vibratory Motion from Washington to Maine
...At Allentown, Pa., there was a general rocking of houses, and in some instances the motion was so violent as to throw persons sleeping upon lounges to the floor. A party of gentlemen who were playing poker in a club-room rushed into the street hatless and coatless, under the impression that an attempt had been made to wreck the building...
The Landmark
Statesville, North Carolina
August 15, 1884
1888 - A fire on the 25th in Barber & Co.'s thread-mill at Allentown, Pa., caused a loss of $250,000.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
January 28, 1888

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1895 - Allentown
Allentown, a handsome city, capital of Lehigh co., Pa., on the right bank of the Lehigh River, and on the Lehigh Valley Railroad, about 60 miles N. by W. from Philadelphia, 90 miles E.N.E. of Harrisburg, and 16 miles S.W. of £ It is the E. terminus of the East Pennsylvania Branch of the Reading Railroad. The Lehigh & Susquehanna Railroad passes along the other side of the river. Allentown is built on high ground and is surrounded by a beautiful and fertile country. The houses are mostly built of brick and stone. The streets are wide, straight, and lighted with electricity and gas. It has about 25 churches, 2 high schools, 2 national banks, a trust company, 3 daily and 6 weekly papers, of which 4 are in German. Here is Muhlenberg College, which is under the direction of the Lutherans; also Allentown Female College. The prosperity of the city is largely derived from the manufacture of pig iron and forged and rolled iron. Here are several extensive furnaces, rolling-mills, forges, and... Read MORE...

1909 - ALLENTOWN MAN KILLED. Alfred Ashley Thrown to Death From Wagon When Horse Bolted.
Allentown, Pa., Jan. 29.- Alfred Ashley, twenty-nine years old, was driving the delivery wagon of his brother, Ernest Ashley, a florist, on Gordan street, when the horse shied at a train and ran away. Mr. Ashley was jolted off the wagon on a crossing and was run over by the wagon. His skull was fractured and three ribs were broken. He died within an hour at the hospital.
Adams County News
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
January 30, 1909
Allentown, Pa., March 4. - The Tenth ward school house was damaged to the extent of $20,000 by a fire, starting probably from a defective or and overheated flue. The entire west wing was gutted.
Tyrone Daily Herald
Tyrone, Pennsylvania
March 4, 1909
Allentown, a city, capital of Lehigh co., Pa., on the right bank of the Lehigh River and on the Lehigh Valley and other railroads, about 60 miles N. by W. of Philadelphia, 90 miles ENE. of Harrisburg, and 16 miles SW. of Easton. It is built on high ground, surrounded by a beau tiful and fertile country. It is the seat of Muhlenberg College, which is under the direction of the Lutherans. The Allentown College for Women is also located here. The prosperity of the city is largely derived from the manufacture of pig-iron and forged and rolled iron. Here are extensive furnaces, rolling-mills, forges, iron-foundries, and manufactures of furniture, shoes, cigars, silk, hardware, fire-brick, barb-wire, linen-thread, etc. Pop. in 1860, 8025 ; in 1890, 25,228 ; in 1900, 35,416.
Lippincotts New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns, Resorts, Islands, Rivers, Mountains, Seas, Lakes, Etc., in Every Portion of the Globe, Part 1 Angelo Heilprin Louis Heilprin - January 1, 1916 J.B. Lippincott - Publisher
Allentown, Pa., Jan. 23 - Eleven persons are known to be dead, from five to seven other victims are believed buried in the ruins and fourteen guests were injured, when a fire swept through the five floors of the Lafayette Hotel, a hundred year old structure here, shortly after 2 a.m. today.

Four of the bodies of the dead have been identified. Three were guests and the fourth, MISS ANNA NOVAK, was an employee of the hostelry.

The smoldering ruins were being searched late today for further victims by firemen. Two guests were killed by leaps from their bedroom windows in attempts to escape the flames, and the others were suffocated or burned in their rooms and in the hotel corridors.

Many of the guests, trapped in the 100-year-old structure by the flames, hung from window ledges clad only in night clothing until firemen were able to put up ladders to rescue them. The temperature when the fire broke out was 10 degrees above zero.

All the dead were trapped in their rooms,...

Allentown, (INS) - The great stone walls were all that remained today of the 43-year-old administration building of Muhlenberg College which was destroyed by a general alarm fire of undetermined origin.

The fire, discovered last night about 10:30, brought virtually all Allentown equipment to the scene, but raged out of control until early this morning. Two students were overcome by smoke as they sought to salvage college records.

One of the, LESLIE WARGER, was taken to Allentown Hospital, where his condition was described as serious. The other, JOHN ROGERS, of Philadelphia, was treated at the scene. Several others were cut and bruised by flying glass.

HOWARD MacGREGOR, college treasurer, and the night watchman, ELMER FREY, were the only persons in the three-story structure when the blaze was discovered. It apparently started in the bell tower.

Less than an hour later, Fire Chief CLARENCE MARCKS turned in the general alarm, as the blaze raged furiously through the... Read MORE...

Allentown, Pa. (UPI) - A series of gas explosions destroyed the Mountainville Inn Sunday, killing six persons including a newspaper employe apparently trying to photograph the incident.

Some 24 persons were injured, two of them critically. The injured included some of the crowd attracted to the scene by the first blasts.
The first explosion in the street in front of the tavern routed about 30 patrons and employes and brought residents running from nearby homes. As they gathered outside, the second blast shattered the building, killing the six victims and injuring the others.

The building formerly was a hotel but in recent years the first floor housed the tavern and the upper floors the home of the owners.

One of the dead was identified as LESTER KRAFT, JR., 29, a dark-room technician and photographer for the Call-Chronicle. Police said KRAFT apparently stopped at the fire en route home from work to photograph the blaze.

The other victims were identified as WILLIAM BRUBER...

1965 - September 29 - WLVT TV channel 39 in Allentown, PA (PBS) begins broadcasting
2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Allentown:
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom: This popular amusement park features thrilling rides, water attractions, and entertainment for the whole family.

Coca-Cola Park: Catch a Lehigh Valley IronPigs baseball game at this modern stadium, and enjoy America's pastime in a lively atmosphere.

Allentown Art Museum: Explore a diverse collection of art, including American, European, and Asian pieces, right in the heart of Allentown.

America on Wheels Museum: If you're a fan of automobiles, this museum is a must-visit. It showcases a wide range of vehicles from different eras.

Liberty Bell Museum: Discover the history of the Liberty Bell, which was hidden in Allentown during the Revolutionary War.

Da Vinci Science Center: A fun and educational experience for the whole family, with interactive exhibits and hands-on science activities.

Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum: Dive into the rich history of the Lehigh Valley, from its industrial roots to the present day.

Muhlenberg College:...

Discover MY Roots: Allentown Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were born or died in Allentown.

View Them Now (sorted by year of birth)

male ancestorThomas A WILLENBECHER (17 August 1872, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA - 1963, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA)
female ancestorIrene L WEISE (3 November 1876, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA - December 1971, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA)
female ancestorFlorence BLOOM (8 July 1880, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, USA - 18 April 1959, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA)
female ancestorOlive Hazel MOULTON (9 April 1885, Sanford, Maine, USA (Springvale) - 3 April 1971, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA)
male ancestorGeorge Henry TROXELL (28 March 1886, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA - 12 June 1947, )
female ancestorMargaret Elizabeth (Marguerite) HARRISON (9 November 1890, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA - 1 June 1968, Troy, New York, USA)
male ancestorFrederick T WILLENBECKER (15 September 1893, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA - 26 February 1923, Sebring, Florida, USA)

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Updated: 1/29/2024 11:52:49 AM