Emmaus, Pennsylvania

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Coordinates: 40°32′13″N 75°29′45″W / 40.53694°N 75.49583°W / 40.53694; -75.49583
Borough of Emmaus
Borough
Emmaus Moravian church.jpg
Emmaus Moravian Church, founded 1747, in downtown Emmaus, Pennsylvania
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Lehigh
Elevation 436 ft (132.9 m)
Coordinates 40°32′13″N 75°29′45″W / 40.53694°N 75.49583°W / 40.53694; -75.49583
Area 2.9 sq mi (7.5 km2)
 - land 2.9 sq mi (8 km2)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%
Population 11,313 (2000)
Density 3,918.8 / sq mi (1,513.1 / km2)
Established 1759
Mayor Winfield Iobst
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code 610 & 484
Location of Emmaus in Lehigh County
Location of Emmaus in Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Website: http://www.borough.emmaus.pa.us/

Emmaus (/ɛˈm.əs/ e-MAY-əs) is a borough in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is located five miles southwest of Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of the state.

The population of Emmaus was 11,313 at the 2000 census. In 2007 and 2009, Emmaus was listed as one of the top 100 "Best Places to Live" in the United States by Money magazine.[1]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 2.9 square miles (7.5 km2), all land, though parts of the Little Lehigh Creek, a tributary of the Lehigh River, flow just outside of the Emmaus border with Salisbury Township. Emmaus borders South Mountain, a large mountain range. The town's elevation is 436 feet above sea level.

Emmaus is located at: 40°32′13″N 75°29′45″W / 40.53694°N 75.49583°W / 40.53694; -75.49583 (40.536997, -75.495776).[2]

Roads[edit]

Emmaus is accessible by two Lehigh County highways, Cedar Crest Boulevard, located on the borough's west-side, and Lehigh Street, which is located on the borough's east-side and connects Emmaus with Allentown and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Both highways have junctions with Interstate 78, which spans from Lebanon County in the west to the Holland Tunnel and New York City in the east.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 381
1870 477 25.2%
1880 847 77.6%
1890 883 4.3%
1900 1,488 68.5%
1910 3,501 135.3%
1920 4,370 24.8%
1930 6,419 46.9%
1940 6,731 4.9%
1950 7,780 15.6%
1960 10,262 31.9%
1970 11,511 12.2%
1980 11,001 −4.4%
1990 11,157 1.4%
2000 11,313 1.4%
2010 11,211 −0.9%
Est. 2012 11,307 0.9%
Sources:[3][4][5][6]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 11,313 people, 4,985 households, and 3,155 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,918.8 people per square mile (1,511.4/km²). There were 5,186 housing units at an average density of 1,796.4 per square mile (692.8/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 95.89% White, 0.70% African American, 0.06% Native American, 1.81% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.88% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.51% of the population.

There were 4,985 households out of which 26.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.9% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.7% were non-families. 31.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the borough, the population was spread out with 21.2% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 19.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there are 91.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.8 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $44,181, and the median income for a family was $54,120. Males had a median income of $38,659 versus $25,331 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $23,245. About 2.2% of families and 3.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.2% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

Emmaus was settled in the 1740s and dates its founding to 1759. For approximately 100 years, until the mid-19th century, it was a closed community of the Moravian Church. The original land on which the town now lies was donated by Sebastian Heinrich Knauss and Jacob Ehrenhardt for use by the Moravian church. The founders and original residents of the town were members of the Lutheran and Reformed faiths, who joined the Moravian church when their own denominations were unable to provide ministers. Emmaus was one of the four leading Moravian communities in the northeast United States at the time of its founding; Bethlehem, PA, Lititz, PA and Nazareth, PA were the three others.

Origin and spelling of name[edit]

The borough was named for the biblical village of Emmaus[7] (now within modern Israel), where, according to the New Testament, Jesus was seen by disciples following his crucifixion and resurrection.

From its founding in 1759 until 1830, the settlement's name was spelled Emmaus. From 1830 until 1938, however, the community used the Pennsylvania Dutch spelling of the name, Emaus, to reflect local language and the significant presence of Pennsylvania Dutch. In 1938, after petitions circulated by the local Rotary Club, the borough formally changed the name's spelling back to Emmaus, reflecting the spelling in the Gospel of Luke in the English New Testament.

19th century[edit]

Iron ore was discovered nearby in the 19th century and served as a source of industrial growth for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1859, the East Pennsylvania Railroad (later part of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad) brought trains to Emmaus. That same year, the town was incorporated as a borough. In 1869, the town's first blast furnace opened. The largest iron company was Donaldson Iron Company, which made cast iron pipes and other products until the company closed in 1943. During the 19th century, Emmaus was also a center of silk and cigar manufacturing.

Population trends[edit]

In 1940, public census statistics showed that 6,731 people lived in Emmaus. The population of the borough has since nearly doubled to 11,313, as of the 2000 census. Housing construction has reached the borough line in all directions, so significant continued population growth in the borough is unlikely. Outside the borough line, however, the local population continues to grow, particularly in neighboring Lower Macungie Township.

Historical sites[edit]

Emmaus is home to several residences and other properties that were constructed in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and have been labeled historic sites by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Under historical preservation Commonwealth laws, the sites are protected from commercial and other development expansion in the borough.

Industry and commerce[edit]

Men's Health magazine, published by Rodale Press in Emmaus

Emmaus is the global headquarters of Rodale, Inc., one of the world's largest publishers of health-related books and magazines, including Men's Health, Prevention, Runner's World and Women's Health magazines. Buckeye Pipe Line, a United States petroleum distributor, also is headquartered locally, between Emmaus and Macungie.

The largest major shopping mall in the Emmaus area is South Mall, located on Lehigh Street on Emmaus' border with Salisbury Township and Allentown. South Mall is one of four major shopping malls in Allentown and its immediate suburbs.

Emmaus is also home of Shangy's, one of the nation's largest beer distributors, featuring over 3,000 domestic and import beer brands. Shangy's attracts thousands of beer enthusiasts from around the nation each year.

Yocco's Hot Dogs, the Lehigh Valley-based fast food establishment known for their regionally-famous hot dogs and cheesesteaks, maintains its corporate headquarters in Emmaus. One of its six Lehigh Valley restaurants is also located just west of Emmaus, on Chestnut Street near Buckeye Road in Upper Milford Township. Opened in the 1980s, the Emmaus Yocco's is known as Yocco's South. Traub's Doggies, formerly Traubs Market, also is based in Emmaus.

The Emmaus Arts Commission hosts art and film events in Emmaus, including "Art in the Garden," "Emmaus Art Walk," the "Student Horror Film Festival," and others. Each October, Emmaus also hosts an annual Halloween parade, one of the largest in eastern Pennsylvania, combined with a 5K Race,[8] held just before the parade's start and is a major fundraiser for the Parade Committee and the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Public education[edit]

Emmaus is served educationally by the East Penn School District, a public school district that accommodates kindergarten through 12th grade.

The district has one high school, Emmaus High School (for grades nine through 12), two middle schools, Eyer Middle School and Lower Macungie Middle School (for grades six through eight), and six elementary schools (for kindergarten through fifth grade), Alburtis Elementary School, Jefferson Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School, Macungie Elementary School, Shoemaker Elementary School, and Wescosville Elementary School. A seventh elementary school, Seven Generations Charter School, opened in 2009. A brick-and-mortar charter school, Seven Generations teaches approximately 300 students in the 2011-2012 academic year. The school district opened an eighth elementary school, Willow Lane Elementary School, in September 2010.

Governance[edit]

Emmaus is governed under a council/mayor system, with the Borough Council retaining the vast majority of governmental authority. After the 2011 municipal election, the borough government includes:

Borough council

  • Lee Gilbert - President
  • Wesley Barrett
  • Mike Waddell
  • Jeff Shubzda
  • Nate Brown
  • Brian Holtzhafer
  • Brent Labenberg

Mayor

  • Winfield Iobst

Borough Manager

  • Shane Pepe (Pending)

Water privatization controversy[edit]

On July 5, 2005, the Emmaus Borough Council voted in a 3-2 vote to authorize its Water Committee to work with the borough's consultant to draft an agreement of sale for its water system. Citizens had been especially concerned that if the borough chose to follow the consultant's advice to "monetize the system," that the system would be sold to a multinational corporation, as was an increasing trend throughout the region. Many Emmaus residents organized themselves under the group EFLOW ("Emmaus for Locally Owned Water"), and through a combination of letter-writing, petitioning and public comment at council meetings, in early September 2005 the council voted to take water privatization off the table of options. This controversy garnered regional and national attention, with anti-privatization non-profits such as Public Citizen noting the debate and outcome.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Emmaus, Pennsylvania at "Best Places to Live," Money magazine, 2007. Emmaus, Pennsylvania at "Best Places to Live," Money magazine, 2009.
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  3. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Pennsylvania". 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Pennsylvania: Population and Housing Unit Counts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  7. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 119. 
  8. ^ Emmaus5K.com
  9. ^ "Victory in Emmaus," Public Citizen

External links[edit]