History of Allentown, Pennsylvania

History of Allentown, Pennsylvania


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Allentown, the county seat of Lehigh County, is located 50 miles north-northwest of Philadelphia on the Lehigh River. The surrounding agricultural area is part of the Pennsylvania Dutch region.The land on which Allentown later developed was obtained from Thomas Penn, son of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania. Allen built a private lodge on the site but the town itself did not begin to develop until the 1760's. In 1770, William Allen's son James Allen built Trout Hall, which is now a museum.The community was incorporated as a borough in 1811 and became the county seat of newly formed Lehigh County the following year. Allentown Seminary opened its doors in 1848, changing its name to Muhlenberg College in 1867. Lehigh was given city status in 1867.


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