Nestled in the Saucon Valley, Hellertown lies just south of Bethlehem, bordered on the west by the Saucon Creek. While the creek derives its name from the Native American word sakunk, meaning "place where a small stream enters into a larger stream," the town inherited its name from Christopher Heller and his descendants who settled the area in the mid-1700s. The 1800s brought a wave of Deutsch (German) immigrants to this corner of Pennsylvania Dutch (Deutsch) country. During the latter years of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, Hellertown resembled any small town in America. Residents participated in world wars and suffered through the Great Depression while keeping their faith in democracy. Hellertown tells the story of these residents through more than two hundred photographs that have been donated to the Hellertown Historical Society during the last century. It shows the long-gone train station, Wagner's Grist and Saw Mill, and the Thomas Iron Company. Hellertown also offers snapshots of "Big Bertha," the 1920 Dewey Fire Company No. 1 in action, a Sears home, the Hellertown girls' croquet team of the early 1900s, and some of the most influential residents from the past one hundred fifty years.
Author Bio: Lee A. Weidner, resident of Hellertown and member of the Hellertown Historical Society, has made local history his passion since returning to his hometown and retiring from Nazareth Area Middle School, where he taught for thirty-three years. He is the author of numerous articles for the historical society and the Valley Voice.