Lehighton, Pennsylvania

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Coordinates: 40°49′55″N 75°42′53″W / 40.83194°N 75.71472°W / 40.83194; -75.71472
Borough of Lehighton
Settlement
Lehighton, Pennsylvania.jpg
Lehighton, Pennsylvania
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Carbon
Elevation 650 ft (198.1 m) [1]
Coordinates 40°49′55″N 75°42′53″W / 40.83194°N 75.71472°W / 40.83194; -75.71472
Area 1.8 sq mi (4.7 km2)
 - land 1.7 sq mi (4 km2)
 - water 0.04 sq mi (0 km2), 2.22%
Population 5,433 (July 2004)
Density 3,230.8 / sq mi (1,247.4 / km2)
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Code 18235
Area code 610/570
Location of Lehighton in Carbon County
Location of Lehighton in Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Website: "Lehighton", Borough Website

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 45 miles (72 km) south of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre or the Wyoming Valley.

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.

History[edit]

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.)

The Lehigh River was a source of water power for developing industries in the 19th century. Lehighton had silk and lace mills, a meat-packing house, shirt factory, automatic-press works, car shops, stoneworks, and foundries. In 1900, the population was 4,629 people. By 1940, it reached 6,615.

The coming of the railroad made it easier for businessmen to get their products to major markets. For many years, the Lehigh Valley Railroad had a major repair facility in Lehighton. The coming of the railroad was a major economic boost for the town. It was the area's largest company, employing several thousand workers at the repair facilities or operating and maintaining the railroad. Restructuring in the railroad industry led to the repair facilities being moved to another location. Lost jobs meant that some people had to relocate for work.

The Lehighton downtown declined after Carbon Plaza Mall was built in nearby Mahoning Township. Suburban housing developed, pulling more businesses from downtown. After struggling for three decades, the downtown is experiencing a rebirth as people appreciate the qualities of a compact central location and historic architecture.[citation needed]

The town holds an annual civic event, "Bike Night", featuring more than 28,000 motorcyclists.

In late September through October, the Country Junction store sponsors "The Great Pocono Pumpkin Festival". It features hayrides, walks in haunted woods, and cornfield mazes.

The town is also on a north-south bird migration pattern, and birds can be frequently seen flying south in mass in the fall. One particularly tall grey rooftop overlooking the Lehigh River on the Rt. 209 bridge is a frequent stop for migrating birds.[citation needed]

Geography[edit]

Lehighton is located at 40°49′55″N 75°42′53″W / 40.83194°N 75.71472°W / 40.83194; -75.71472 (40.831932, -75.714701).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2), of which, 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (2.22%) is water. Lehighton is located 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Jim Thorpe and 8 miles (13 km) northwest of Palmerton. Lehighton's mean elevation is 650 ft (200 m) but the elevation in the borough varies widely from 470 feet up to 800 feet.

Lehighton is primarily very green and hilly. Surrounding the town and enveloping its outlying communities are the Appalachian Mountains. The Appalachian Trail, providing extensive hiking along the East Coast, is located nearby and can easily be reached from the town. It is bordered on the north, west, and south by Mahoning Township and across the Lehigh River on the east by Weissport and Franklin Township.

Snowfall is variable, with some winters bringing moderate snow and others bringing numerous significant snowstorms. Average snowfall is 50.4 inches (128 cm) per year,[7] with the months of January and February receiving the highest at just over 15 and 13 inches each. Rainfall is generally spread throughout the year, with eight to twelve wet days per month,[8] at an average annual rate of 43.52 inches (110.54 cm).[9]

Climate[edit]

Region has large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Dfb" (Warm Summer Continental Climate).[10]

Climate data for Lehighton, Pennsylvania
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 61
(16)
68
(20)
80
(27)
88
(31)
92
(33)
97
(36)
100
(38)
96
(36)
88
(31)
79
(26)
71
(22)
65
(18)
100
(38)
Average high °F (°C) 30.2
(−1)
33.7
(0.9)
43.7
(6.5)
55.1
(12.8)
65.9
(18.8)
76.3
(24.6)
82.1
(27.8)
80.7
(27.1)
69.0
(20.6)
57.9
(14.4)
46.2
(7.9)
35.0
(1.7)
60.5
(15.8)
Average low °F (°C) 14.1
(−9.9)
19.0
(−7.2)
23.9
(−4.5)
34.8
(1.6)
44.3
(6.8)
50.7
(10.4)
58.6
(14.8)
57.7
(14.3)
49.7
(9.8)
41.1
(5.1)
29.7
(−1.3)
21.0
(−6.1)
40.6
(4.8)
Record low °F (°C) −21
(−29)
−17
(−27)
−10
(−23)
7
(−14)
23
(−5)
34
(1)
36
(2)
41
(5)
29
(−2)
17
(−8)
0
(−18)
−12
(−24)
−21
(−29)
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.50
(88.9)
2.75
(69.9)
3.56
(90.4)
3.49
(88.6)
4.47
(113.5)
3.99
(101.3)
4.27
(108.5)
4.35
(110.5)
4.37
(111)
3.33
(84.6)
3.70
(94)
3.39
(86.1)
45.17
(1,147.3)
Snowfall inches (cm) 14.1
(35.8)
12.4
(31.5)
8.5
(21.6)
3.8
(9.7)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
2.1
(5.3)
6.4
(16.3)
10.8
(27.4)
58.1
(147.6)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 11.2 10.2 11.1 11.3 12.4 11.2 10.5 9.4 9.9 8.7 10.0 11.0 126.9
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 8.7 7.9 4.8 1.4 0 0 0 0 0 1.1 3.8 5.3 32.0
[citation needed]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 267
1870 1,485
1880 1,937 30.4%
1890 2,959 52.8%
1900 4,629 56.4%
1910 5,316 14.8%
1920 6,102 14.8%
1930 6,490 6.4%
1940 6,615 1.9%
1950 6,565 −0.8%
1960 6,318 −3.8%
1970 6,095 −3.5%
1980 5,826 −4.4%
1990 5,914 1.5%
2000 5,537 −6.4%
2010 5,500 −0.7%
Est. 2012 5,435 −1.2%
Sources:[11][12][13]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 5,537 people, 2,362 households, and 1,506 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,230.8 people per square mile (1,250.2/km²). There were 2,546 housing units at an average density of 1,485.6 per square mile (574.9/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 98.32% White, 0.34% African American, 0.05% Native American, 0.45% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 0.04% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.67% of the population, but the illegal immigrant population has grown dramatically all over Pennsylvania. The plurality of Lehighton residents are of German descent. There are also substantial populations of Irish, Italian, and Polish heritage. Of the German inhabitants, most can trace their ancestry to Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, and the Rhineland-Palatinate.

There were 2,362 households out of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.8% were married couples living together, 13.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the borough the population was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 21.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.5 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $28,566, and the median income for a family was $35,673. Males had a median income of $30,590 versus $22,466 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $14,861. About 10.8% of families and 14.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.9% of those under age 18 and 6.0% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation[edit]

Lehighton is served by I-476, US 209, PA 248, PA 443, and PA 902.

Susquehanna Trailways provides daily bus service to destinations in New York and Pennsylvania.[14] Passenger rail service ended in 1961 when the Lehigh Valley Railroad, once a major employer in the area, discontinued all passenger service over its route.[15]

Jake Arner Memorial Airport (22N) is located 3 miles west south west of town, 3000' asphalt runway with 2 RNAV instrument approaches. Pilot services are available through Arner Flying Service.

Climate[edit]

Typically, summer lasts from late May until mid September. The humidity is high only for 1–2 days at a time. Winter lasts from November through March and varies greatly in length and severity. Average snowfall is 63 inches (1.6 m) per year and can occur anytime from mid-October to as late as April. Spring and autumn are both short and highly variable. The autumn foliage season is only 2–3 weeks long and is at its peak anytime from early to mid-October.

Winter daytime highs average 27.8 °F (−2.3 °C) in January and the lows are 13.9 °F (−10.1 °C) Summer daytime highs average 81.2 °F (27.3 °C) in July and the lows are 55.6 °F (13.1 °C)

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Borough of Lehighton". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 2 August 1979. Retrieved 5 February 2008. 
  2. ^ "History", Lehighton Borough Official Website
  3. ^ Thomas Brainerd, John Brainerd: The Life of John Brainerd: The Brother of David Brainerd, and His Successor as Missionary to the Indians of New Jersey ..., Presbyterian Publication Committee, 1865,p. 197. Footnote: "This was, doubtless, Gnadenhütten, founded by the Moravians in 1746. It was situated on the Mahoning Creek, near the Lehigh River,..."
  4. ^ "Lehighton", Encyclopædia Britannica
  5. ^ Clarence Marsh Case: The Social Psychology of Passive Resistance, PhD Dissertation, Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, 1915, p. 120
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ "Snowfall – Average Total In Inches". Retrieved 4 November 2006. 
  8. ^ "Average Days of Precipitation, .01 cm or more". Retrieved 4 November 2006. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Average Monthly Precipitation". Retrieved 4 November 2006. [dead link]
  10. ^ Climate Summary for Lehigton, Pennsylvania
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  13. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  14. ^ Susquehanna Trailways. "Schedule Routes". Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  15. ^ "New York Loses More Famed Trains". Ottawa Citizen. 3 February 1961. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 

External links[edit]