|In 1756 Benjamin Franklin,
the Commander for defense, arrived with over 200 men in force
to the deserted and devastated New Gnaden Huetten settlement
where his men proceeded to build the Fort Allen (the present
site of the original Franklin Well). Settlers began to establish
homes in and around the fertile land of the Gnaden Huetten area.
In 1742 the first school
opened, organized by the Moravians in the Gnaden Huetten settlement.
Informal church services were held in the early 1800s
with the first formal chapel built in 1816. After that many
faiths began to meet in the area making Lehighton the "city
In 1784 Col. Jacob Weiss
arrived from Philadelphia and purchased 700 acres between
what is now Parryville and Long Run. In 1792 Col. Weiss
and William Henry, a surveyor from Philadelphia then
planned the town of Lehighton west of the Lehigh River.
The new town was named after the Lehigh River which
is derived from the Indian word "Lecla" or
left fork of the river.
In 1805 the first wooden
bridge was built over the Lehigh River between Lehighton
and Weissport. Other replacement bridges followed after
being destroyed by floods.
The first post office opened
in 1812, followed by the establishment of taverns, a general
store, a furniture store and a bank.
In 1827, the Lehigh Canal was
dug by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Co. and transportation
of goods to Philadelphia and points south became feasible.
Forty years later the Lehigh Valley Railroad was extended
from Easton to Mauch Chunk, changing the popular mode of transportation
from canal to rail.
|The Borough of Lehighton
was incorporated in 1866. In 1867 industries such as the
Lehighton Stove Works, Oberts Packing House and
the Central Carriage Works moved into the Lehighton area.
Later the Rolling Mills came as well as the Lehigh Valley
Energy-Wheel Co., the Fort Allen Foundry, the Baer Co.
and the Lehigh Wagon Co. The first newspaper was started
in 1872 and the towns first fire company established
The Lehighton area has survived Indian attacks in the mid
1700s and many devastating floods whose raging waters
on occasion destroyed lives, homes and businesses. In 1955
the Francis E. Walter Dam was built up river to protect the
Lehighton area from future destruction.
The mid 1900s brought the creation of a Community Library
and the Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital. The PA Turnpike
Northeast Extension Mahoning Interchange was built linking
the Lehighton area to other large metropolitan areas. Many
civic organizations formed to support the town as the community
began to grow both in population and in new businesses.