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The Liberty Bell, an iconic symbol of American independence, was originally cast in England in 1752 and cracked during its first use. It was recast twice in Philadelphia, and the current bell has been on display in Independence National Historical Park since 2003.
Lehigh County, Pennsylvania has a rich history spanning back to its founding in 1812. The area was originally settled by Native American tribes, including the Delaware and Shawnee, who utilized the region's fertile land for farming and hunting. European settlers began to arrive in the 18th century, drawn by the promise of natural resources and fertile soil.

The county's development was heavily influenced by its proximity to the Lehigh River and the growth of the coal and iron industries in the 19th century. The discovery of anthracite coal in the nearby mountains fueled the growth of the mining industry, leading to the establishment of coal mines and the construction of the Lehigh Canal to transport coal to Philadelphia. The presence of vast iron ore deposits also gave rise to the iron industry, with numerous foundries and rolling mills being established throughout the county.

Lehigh County saw significant growth and urbanization during the industrial revolution, with the city of Allentown becoming a major center for manufacturing and commerce. The arrival of the railroad in the mid-19th century further contributed to the county's development, facilitating transportation and trade. As a result, Allentown became known as the "City without Walls," reflecting its economic prosperity and diverse population.

In the 20th century, Lehigh County continued to experience growth and diversification. The decline of the coal and iron industries led to a shift towards other sectors, such as healthcare, education, and technology. The county's central location in the eastern part of Pennsylvania has also made it a transportation hub, with major highways and a regional airport serving the area.

Overall, Lehigh County's history has been shaped by its natural resources, industrial growth, and strategic location. Today, the county is known for its thriving economy, cultural attractions, and historical significance as a key player in the industrialization of America.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.

  • 1730s – European settlers, mainly of German descent, begin to arrive and establish farms in the region now known as Lehigh County.
  • 1812 – Allentown, the county seat, is officially incorporated as a borough.
  • 1816 – The first courthouse is built in Allentown.
  • 1818 – Lehigh County is formed from part of Northampton County.
  • 1830s – The development of canals and railways in the county fosters economic growth and attracts more settlers.
  • 1850 – Allentown becomes a city.
  • 1862 – The American Civil War leads to a decline in agricultural productivity in the county.
  • 1870s – The industrialization of Allentown and the surrounding area begins, with the establishment of factories and mills.
  • 1889 – The official seal and flag of Lehigh County are adopted.
  • 20th century – Lehigh County experiences continued growth and diversification, becoming a center for manufacturing, healthcare, and education.
  • 2019 – Lehigh County celebrates its 200th anniversary.