Coplay, Pennsylvania

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Coplay is a borough in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, six miles (10 km) northwest of Allentown. It is part of the Lehigh Valley region of the state. In 1900, 1,581 people lived in Coplay; in 1910, 2,670 people lived there. The population was 3,387 at the 2000 census.



Coplay is located at 40°40′14″N 75°29′43″W / 40.67056°N 75.49528°W / 40.67056; -75.49528 (40.670521, -75.495395)[1].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.6 square miles (1.7 km²), of which, 0.6 square miles (1.6 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (3.08%) is water. The Borough of Coplay is situated along the Lehigh River, about 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Allentown.


Coplay was part of the 400 acres (1.6 km2) of land John Jacob Schreiber bought from the William Penn heirs in 1740. For a long time it was known as Schreibers. Later it was known as the Lehigh Valley, because of the Lehigh Valley Iron Furnaces that were located here. Lehigh Valley was then changed to Coplay. This name came from "Kolapechka". The son of the Indian chief, Paxanosa, who lived at the head of the creek near Schnecksville. The Borough of Coplay was formed out of a part of Whitehall Township in 1869 and was incorporated as a borough on April 7, 1869.

Gradually Coplay changed from a farming area into an Industrial Community. The Thomas Iron Company started the change. They brought in workers and built homes for them. When the Iron Company was liquidated, other industries gradually came to Coplay; the Cement Mill, the Silk Mill, the Cigar Factory and Knitting Mill.

Coplay became a "melting pot" of many nationalities. The Pennsylvania Dutch and Germans, who were the agricultural element. Due to growth of the Iron Industry, immigrants from Ireland came. Then, in the early nineteen hundreds, the Cement Mills attracted immigrants from Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland and the Ukrainian Countries. It was thus that our town had its early beginnings.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 3,387 people, 1,431 households, and 953 families residing in the borough. The population density was 5,373.1 people per square mile (2,075.8/km²). There were 1,484 housing units at an average density of 2,354.2/sq mi (909.5/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 96.84% White, 1.56% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.53% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.27% of the population.

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