Allentown, the Queen City of the Lehigh Valley, is the youngest but largest of the three cities in the valley. Founded in 1762 by William Allen, it was little more than a crossroads and small market town along the Lehigh River until it became the county seat in 1812. Heavy industries based on iron developed in the mid-eighteenth century along the Lehigh River and, by the 1860s, Allentown had become the largest community in the Lehigh Valley. In 1867, Allentown became a city. In Allentown, readers nostalgic for times past will find photographs showing the places they remember from years ago, the Pennsylvania Power & Light tower, and the effects of the devastating floods on the Lehigh River. Equally, newcomers who have heard about the great department stores of Hamilton Street, the trolley systems, Central Park, the breweries, and the iron and silk industries will treasure the images in this volume. Many places that still exist are shown in Allentown as they appeared in their earlier days. Perusing these pages will evoke memories and will provide opportunities for parents and grandparents to introduce a younger generation to the city as it was in their youth.
Author Bio: Local historian and author Ann Bartholomew has compiled a riveting photographic record of the vibrant city of Allentown. She was inspired by coauthor Carol M. Front, a noted industrial photographer and manager of the Raymond E. Holland Regional and Industrial History Collection, from which the images in Allentown have been chosen.