Lehighton, Pennsylvania

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Lehighton is a borough in Carbon County, Pennsylvania, 86 miles (138 km) north by west of Philadelphia. In the past, it developed early industries because of water power from the Lehigh River. With the location of a repair facility here and its regional operations, the Lehigh Valley Railroad became for years a major employer of thousands of people from the area. Post-World War II railroad and industry restructuring led to job and population losses.

From a peak of nearly 7,000 in 1940, the population was 5,537 at the 2000 census. Lehighton is the most populous borough in Carbon County and still the business hub of the county.

Lehighton is located in northeast Pennsylvania 26 miles (42 km) north/northwest of Allentown and 35 miles (56 km) south of Wilkes-Barre.

Lehighton's elevation varies from 470 feet on Routes 443 and 209 up to 725 feet near the northwest part of town by Mahoning Township border

Contents

History

At the time of European encounter with historic American Indian tribes, this area was part of the territory of the Lenape (also called Delaware, after their language and territory on the Delaware River. Their bands occupied much of the coastal mid-Atlantic area in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.)

Lehighton was built on the site of the German Moravian Brethren's mission station Gnadenhütten (cabins of grace) founded in 1746. It was established as a mission to the Lenape by Moravians from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, lower on the Lehigh River.[2] The German name was transcribed as "Canatanheat" by missionary John Brainerd.[3]

During the French and Indian Wars (Seven Years War), Native allies of the French killed 11 missionaries and Lenape (Delaware) converted Christians at Gnadenhutten on 24 November 1755. They destroyed the mission village[4] and only four of the fifteen residents escaped.[5] (During the American Revolutionary War, in 1782 Pennsylvania militia raided another Moravian mission village, also called Gnadenhutten, in present-day Ohio. Suspecting the Lenape of being allied with the British, the militia killed 96 unarmed men, women and children in what became better known as the Gnadenhutten Massacre.)

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