Easton, Pennsylvania

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Easton, Pennsylvania
nickname =
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption =


mapsize =
map_caption = Northampton County's location in Pennsylvania

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 = Easton's location in Northampton County|subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name = USA
subdivision_name1 = Pennsylvania
subdivision_name2 = Northampton
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Sal Panto
established_title =
established_date =
area_magnitude =
area_total_sq_mi = 4.7
area_total_km2 = 12.0
area_land_sq_mi = 4.3
area_land_km2 = 11.0
area_water_sq_mi = 0.4
area_water_km2 = 1.0
area_urban_sq_mi =
area_urban_km2 =
area_metro_sq_mi =
area_metro_km2 =
population_as_of = 2000
population_note =
population_total = 26263
population_metro =
population_urban =
population_density_km2 = 2380.3
population_density_sq_mi = 6165
timezone = EST
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd=40 |latm=41 |lats=18 |latNS=N
longd=75 |longm=12 |longs=59 |longEW=W
elevation_m =
elevation_ft = 211
postal_code_type = ZIP Codes
postal_code = 18040, 18042-18045
area_code = 610
website = http://www.easton-pa.com
footnotes =

Easton is a city in Northampton County, in the eastern region of Pennsylvania, in the United States. The population was 26,263 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Northampton County.GR|6

Along with Allentown and Bethlehem, Easton is one of three primary cities that comprise the Lehigh Valley region, the state's third most populous metropolitan area. Easton is the easternmost city of the Lehigh Valley, sitting on the confluence of the Delaware River (which separates Pennsylvania from New Jersey) and the Lehigh River, for which the Lehigh Valley is named. Easton is the smallest of the three Lehigh Valley cities with the possible exception of Phillipsburg, with approximately one-fourth of the population of the largest Lehigh Valley city, Allentown.

Easton is almost equidistant from Philadelphia, which is 60 miles (100 km) to the south, and New York City, which is 70 miles (110 km) to the east.

Air transport to and from Easton is available through Lehigh Valley International Airport, which is located approximately 15 miles west of the city, in Hanover Township.

The city is split up into four primary sections: Historic Downtown, which lies directly to the north of the Lehigh River, to the west of the Delaware River, continuing west to Sixth Street; The West Ward, which lies between Sixth and Fifteenth Streets; The South Side, which lies south of the Lehigh River; and College Hill, a neighborhood on the hills to the north; home of Lafayette College. The boroughs of Wilson, West Easton, and Glendon are also directly adjacent to the city; the first and largest of which, Wilson, partially aligns in the same North-South Grid as the city of Easton.

The greater Easton area consists of the city itself, three townships (Forks, Palmer, and Williams) and three boroughs (Glendon, West Easton, and Wilson).


Easton is situated at the confluence of the Delaware and Lehigh rivers, a popular area long before it was settled by Europeans. The Lenape Native Americans originally referred this place as "Lechauwitank", or "The Place at the Forks". Thomas Penn was so inspired by the beauty of the place that he set aside a 1000 acre (4 km²) tract of land here for a town. Easton, settled in 1739 and founded in 1752, cite web |url = http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/bah/dam/counties/pdfs/Northampton.pdf |title = Northampton County - 4th class |accessdate = 2007-06-03 |publisher = Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission ] was so named at the request of Penn: he had recently married Juliana Fermor, the daughter of Lord Pomfret whose estate was called Easton Neston, near Towcester, Northamptonshire, England. As Northampton County, Pennsylvania was being formed at this time, Easton was selected as its county seat, at least partially because it was as far as possible from the Moravians who were settled further up the Lehigh River at Bethlehem.

Several Indian treaties were signed in Easton during the French and Indian War, contributing to the English conquest of the Ohio River Valley.

Declaration of Independence reading

Easton was also an important military center during the American Revolutionary War. In 1776, Easton was one of the first three places the Declaration of Independence was publicly read (along with Philadelphia and Trenton). It is claimed that the Easton flag was flown during that reading, making it one of the first "Stars and Stripes" to fly over the colonies. fact|date=June 2008 This flag, which is known to date to the War of 1812, currently serves as Easton's municipal flag.

Industrial history

Easton was a major commercial center during the canal and railroad periods of the 1800s, when it was a transportation hub for the steel industry. Three canals, the Delaware, the Lehigh, and the Morris, served to connect the coal regions to the north and west, the iron works to the west, the commercial port of Philadelphia to the south, and the New York City area to the east via the a connection with the Morris Canal across the Delaware River in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. When canal transportation was largely replaced by railroads, Easton was served by five railroads, and only lost its prominence in transportation with the rise of the automobile in the mid 20th century.

Like the Pennsylvania Dutch region to the southwest, Easton has a strong German heritage. The Pennsylvania Argus, a German-language newspaper, was published in Easton until 1917. As part of their heritage, the Germans put up one of the continent's earliest Christmas trees in Easton; Daniel Foley's book (page 72) states that "Another diary reference unearthed recently makes mention of a tree set-up at Easton, Pennsylvania, in 1816." There is a plaque in Scott Park (along the Delaware) commemorating this event, and it also mentions the 1816 date.

Most historians of angling believe that Samuel Phillipe, an Easton gunsmith, invented the six-strip split-cane fishing rod. A state historical commission plaque near Center Square commemorates this [http://www.flyfishinghistory.com/phillipe.htm] .

Refuge from Prohibition

During Prohibition, Easton earned a reputation for nightlife in an age when the rest of the nation was dry, and Easton was referred to colloquially as "The Little Apple." Easton was a speakeasy town where liquor flowed freely, brothels were common, and the local police were known to turn a blind eyeFact|date=March 2008. Following the end of many Friday Night fights in New York City's Madison Square Garden during this era, crowds were known to chant "Going to Easton" before boarding trains en masse for the short 67 mile trek to this Pennsylvania/New Jersey border town, where nightlife flourishedFact|date=March 2008.

Easton was also once known as the "City of Churches". At one time, it had the largest church-to-population ratio in the nationFact|date=March 2008.


Easton is located at coor dms|40|41|18|N|75|12|59|W|city (40.688248, -75.216458).GR|1

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.7 square miles (12.0 km²), of which, 4.3 square miles (11.0 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km²) of it (8.39%) is water. including Bushkill Creek and the Lehigh and Delaware rivers.

Downtown Easton lies at the confluence of the Lehigh and Delaware rivers, and is a low-lying area surrounded by hills to the north, west, and south. North of downtown is College Hill, the home of Lafayette College. South Easton, divided by the Lehigh River from the rest of the city, was a separate borough until 1898; it was settled initially by canal workers, and was later the home of several silk mills.


Post-secondary education

Easton is the home of one four-year college, Lafayette College, one of the older colleges in the United States (founded in 1826).

Primary education

The Easton area is served by two school districts: the Easton Area School District and the Wilson Area School District.

Easton Area School District

The Easton Area School District serves the residents of the city itself, along with Forks and Palmer Townships and two smaller non-contiguous communities: the borough of Riegelsville, Pennsylvania to the south and the village of Martins Creek, Pennsylvania to the north. The school district has six elementary schools (Cheston, Forks, March, Palmer, Paxinosa, and Tracy) for grades K-4, Easton Area Middle School Campus(in Forks Township) for grades 5-8, and Easton Area High School (in Palmer Township) for grades 9-12. Total student enrollment is about 9000 students in all grades.

Easton High School is known cite web |url = http://www.usatoday.com/sports/preps/football/2006-11-21-1a-cover-centenary-game_x.htm |title = Every year fields the game of the century |accessdate = 2007-05-29 |author = Erik Brady |publisher = USA Today ] for its long-standing athletic rivalry with Phillipsburg High School in neighboring Phillipsburg, New Jersey. The two teams play an annual football game on Thanksgiving Day that is considered one of the largest and longest-standing rivalries in American high school football. 2006 marked the 100th year anniversary of the Easton-Phillipsburg high school football rivalry The game was won by Easton.

Easton High School competes athletically in the Lehigh Valley Conference, generally considered one of the state's most competitive athletic conferences.

As of the 2000 census, the combined population of the municipalities in the Easton Area School District was 53,554

Wilson Area School District

The Wilson Area School District serves students of the neighboring boroughs of Wilson, West Easton, Glendon, and Williams Township.

As of the 2000 census, the combined population of the municiplalities in the Wilson Area School District was 13,671.

Wilson Area High School's football team won the 2006 Class AA State Football Championship against Jeanette 29-28 at Hershey Stadium


Easton is the home of Binney & Smith, the manufacturer of Crayola crayons, and was formerly the home of Dixie Cup Corporation, the manufacturer of Dixie Cups and other consumer products.


Easton's daily newspaper is "The Express-Times". But "The Morning Call", based in Allentown, also is widely read in the city. Easton is part of the Philadelphia DMA, but also receives numerous radio and television channels from New York City, and from the smaller Scranton-Wilkes-Barre media market to the northwest.

Two television stations are based in neighboring Allentown: PBS affiliate WLVT Channel 39, and independent station WFMZ Channel 69.

Among Easton-based radio stations is WODE-FM "The Hawk", a classic rock station broadcast at 99.9 FM, and WCTO "Cat Country 96", a country music station broadcasting on 96.1 FM. Other rock music stations within the Easton market include WWYY "The Bone", which broadcasts at 107.1 FM, and WZZO "Z-95", based in Lehigh Valley's Whitehall Township, which broadcasts at 95.1 FM.

Notable Easton residents and natives

*Eddie Alkire - music educator, inventor and Hawaiian guitar virtuoso.
*Chuck Amato, former Head Football Coach at North Carolina State University.
*Steve Aponavicius - placekicker, Boston College.
*Christian Bauman - novelist.
*James McKeen Cattell - first United States psychology professor.
*Jack Coleman - actor, NBC's "Heroes".
*Joseph F. Crater - Associate Justice, New York Supreme Court.
*George Daniel - Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of the National Lacrosse League.
*Don Dixon - astronomical artist.
*Larry Holmes - boxing's former world heavyweight champion (who fought under the nickname "The Easton Assassin").
*Frank Reed Horton - founder of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity.
*Greg Howe - Guitar virtuoso.
*Daniel Dae Kim - actor, ABC's "Lost".
*Christopher Lennertz - Film, TV, and Video Game Music Composer, Alvin and the Chipmunks (film), Supernatural (TV Series)
*J. Robert Lennon - novelist.
*Lisa Ann - actress.
*Dennis Mammana - nationally-syndicated (U.S.) astronomy columnist, lecturer and sky photographer.
*Francis March - academic.
*Peyton C. March - former U.S. Army Chief of Staff.
*Kristen McMenamy - fashion model.
*Robert B. Meyner - former Governor of New Jersey.
*Mulgrew Miller - jazz pianist.
*Randall Munroe - writer, XKCD comic series.
*Sally Jessy Raphaël - television talk show host.
*Andrew Horatio Reeder - former Governor of Kansas.
*Richard Sher - host, National Public Radio's "Says You!" (radio quiz series).
*Charles Sitgreaves, (1803-1878), represented New Jersey's 3rd congressional district from 1865 to 1869. [ [http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=S000458 Charles Sitgreaves] , Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed August 18, 2007.]
*Samuel Sitgreaves - U.S. commissioner to Great Britain, U.S. Congressman.
*Dana Snyder - Voice of "Master Shake" on the hit adult swim cartoon "Aqua Teen Hunger Force".
*Robert Sun - inventor of 24 Game game.
*George Taylor - signer of the Declaration of Independence.
*Harry Clay Trexler - industrialist, businessman.
*Jim Trimble - former professional football coach, inventor of standard slingshot goalposts.
*Bobby Weaver - gold medalist 1984 Summer Olympics, freestyle wrestling.
*Bob Weiss - former professional basketball coach, Seattle SuperSonics.
*Charles A. Wikoff - the most senior ranking U.S. Army officer killed in the Spanish-American War.

ee also

* 2007 triple homicide in Easton, Pennsylvania


*Daniel J. Foley. "The Christmas Tree". Chilton Co., Book Division: Philadelphia 1960.

External links

* [http://www.easton-pa.com/ Easton Official Web Site] .
* [http://www.mcall.com/community/guide/community/ "Living in the Greater Lehigh Valley," by "The Allentown Morning Call"] .

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