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Lehigh Valley

The Lehigh Valley is comprised of the metropolitan areas of Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton.  Counties include Carbon, Lehigh, and Northampton in Pennsylvania and Warren County in New Jersey.  As of 2018, the population of the Lehigh Valley was approximately 841,914 people.  Lehigh Valley residents enjoy a lower cost of living with easy access to New York City and Philadelphia, both approximately 90 minutes away.  

History

When European settlers first came to the Lehigh Valley, they found Lenni Lenape people living in the area and mining jasper, a stone prized for making arrowheads, knives, and jewelry.  Archaeologists believe that some of the area's jasper mines date back 8,000-12,000 years.  More than 100 jasper mines have been discovered with some being quite large - over 100 feet in width and 50 feet in depth. 

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Polished Jasper Pebble

European settlers first discovered the Lehigh Valley by way of the Minsi Trail, a Native American pathway that stretched from Philadelphia to Shawnee-on-Delaware and beyond.  These settlers recognized the importance of the Lehigh Valley's bountiful natural resources and chose to build communities here, particularly along the Lehigh River and Delaware Rivers.  The Minsi Trail, later renamed "The King's Road," was critical to the Lehigh Valley's economic growth by way of supplying Philadelphia with produce, timber, coal, and furs.  

The early 1800's brought many changes to the Lehigh Valley including the discovery of coal, stagecoach service to and from Philadelphia, and the construction of the Lehigh canal.  Prosperity in the Lehigh Valley brought a surge of new residents and businesses of all kinds.  By the mid 1800's train lines were being built and expanded to expedite the delivery of goods and people to and from the Valley.

 

In 1857, the Saucon Iron Company was founded and eventually became the famous Bethlehem Steel Company.

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