About Easton, PA

easton pa map
Written by NJroute22

About Easton, PA

For those that live near the western part of Route 22, Easton PA is a viable destination.

It has history, it has culture and many other aspects that make it stand out in comparison to other venues in NJ.

People (used) to have good reasons to head over to Pennsylvania in the past. Most often it was lower prices due to lower taxes (on things like cigarettes), as well as legal fireworks. But much of that has been siphoned away from PA. As cigarette prices are similar now, and low-caliber fireworks are now being sold in places in NJ like supermarkets!

One can only wonder what will happen to our western neighbor over time – as they’ve been know to have both economic issues – as well as a little narcotics problem.

But we like heading into other territories – so we’ll share some of our wisdom about Easton and other Pennsylvania municipalities for you all.

Easton, Pennsylvania

easton pa perspective map

Easton is not in New Jersey.

Easton is a city in and the county seat of Northampton CountyPennsylvaniaUnited States. The city’s population was 26,800 as of the 2010 census. Easton is located at the confluence of the Delaware River and the Lehigh River, roughly 55 miles (89 km) north of Philadelphia and 70 miles (110 km) west of New York City.

Easton is the easternmost city in the Lehigh Valley, a region of 731 square miles (1,893 km) that is home to more than 800,000 people. Together with Allentown and Bethlehem, the Valley embraces the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton metropolitan area, including Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon counties within Pennsylvania, and Warren County in the adjacent state of New Jersey. Easton is the smallest of the three Lehigh Valley cities, with approximately one-fourth of the population of the largest Lehigh Valley city, Allentown. In turn, this metropolitan area comprises Pennsylvania’s third-largest metropolitan area and the state’s largest and most populous contribution to the greater New York City metropolitan area.

The city is split up into four 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 which is the home of Lafayette College. The boroughs of WilsonWest Easton, and Glendonare 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, three townships (ForksPalmer, and Williams), and three boroughs (GlendonWest Easton, and Wilson).

Centre Square, the town square of the city’s Downtown neighborhood, is home to the Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Monument, a memorial for Easton area veterans killed during the American Civil War. The Peace Candle, a candle-like structure, is assembled and disassembled every year atop the Civil War monument for the Christmas season.

History

Colonial era

The Lenape Native Americans originally referred to the area as “Lechauwitank”, or “The Place at the Forks”. The site of the future city was part of the land obtained from the Delawares by the Walking PurchaseThomas Penn set aside a 1,000 acres (4.0 km) tract of land at the confluence of the Lehigh and Delaware rivers for a town. Easton was settled by Europeans in 1739 and founded in 1752, and 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 TowcesterNorthamptonshire, England. As Northampton County was being formed at this time, Easton was selected as its county seat.

During the French and Indian War, the Treaty of Easton was signed here by the British colonial government of the Province of Pennsylvania and the Native American tribes in the Ohio Country, including the Shawnee and Lenape.

Revolutionary War

Easton was an important military center during the American Revolutionary War. During the Revolutionary War, Easton had a military hospital. On 18 June 1779, General John Sullivan led 2,500 Continentals from Easton to engage British Indian allies on the frontier. On 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. 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 19th century, 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 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 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 River) commemorating this event.

Historians of angling believe that Samuel Phillipe, an Easton gunsmith, invented the six-strip split-cane Bamboo fly rod. A Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission plaque near Center Square commemorates this event.

Geography

Easton is located at 40°41′18″N 75°12′59″W (40.688248, −75.216458). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.7 square miles (12 km), of which, 4.3 square miles (11 km) is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km) (8.39%) is water, including Bushkill Creek and the Lehigh and Delaware rivers.

Downtown Easton lies at the confluence of the Lehigh River and Delaware River 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 Native Americans, later by canal workers, and then was later the home of several silk mills.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 708
1800 1,045 47.6%
1810 1,657 58.6%
1820 2,370 43.0%
1830 3,529 48.9%
1840 4,865 37.9%
1850 7,250 49.0%
1860 8,944 23.4%
1870 10,987 22.8%
1880 11,924 8.5%
1890 14,481 21.4%
1900 25,238 74.3%
1910 28,523 13.0%
1920 33,813 18.5%
1930 34,468 1.9%
1940 33,589 −2.6%
1950 35,632 6.1%
1960 31,955 −10.3%
1970 29,450 −7.8%
1980 26,027 −11.6%
1990 26,276 1.0%
2000 26,263 0.0%
2010 26,800 2.0%
Est. 2014 27,052 0.9%

As of the 2010 census, the city was 67.2% White, 16.8% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 2.4% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian, and 4.9% were two or more races. 19.9% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.

As of the census of 2000, there were 26,263 people, 9,544 households, and 5,735 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,168.4 per square mile (2,380.3/km). There were 10,545 housing units at an average density of 2,476.7 per square mile (955.7/km). The racial makeup of the city was 78.48% White, 12.71% African American, 0.24% Native American, 1.66% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 3.67% from other races, and 3.13% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.79% of the population. The increase in Hispanic/Latinos—from less than 10% of the population in the 2000 census, to nearly 20% in the 2010 census, is a significant change in the city’s demographics. The growth in Hispanic residents is similar to increases in Allentown and Bethlehem, the two other major cities in the Lehigh Valley.

There were 9,544 households, out of which 30.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.7% were married couples living together, 16.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.9% were non-families. 31.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the city the population was spread out, with 23.3% under the age of 18, 16.3% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.1 males.

Easton
Crime rates (2008)
Crime type Rate
Homicide: 7.7
Forcible rape: 49.9
Robbery: 299.2
Aggravated assault: 245.5
Total violent crime: 602.2
Burglary: 602.1
Larceny-theft: 3,068.4
Motor vehicle theft: 253.2
Arson: 42.2
Total property crime: 3,923.8
Notes
* Number of reported crimes per 100,000 population.
2008 population: 26,072
Source: 2008 FBI UCR Data

The median income for a household in the city was $33,162, and the median income for a family was $38,704. Males had a median income of $32,356 versus $23,609 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,949. About 12.3% of families and 16.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.3% of those under age 18 and 11.2% of those age 65 or over.

Industry

 Easton’s Two Rivers Landing is the home of two interactive children’s museums, the National Canal Museum, which focuses on the importance of canals in the region, and the Crayola Factory, which is owned by Crayola LLC (formerly known as Binney & Smith), a major toy manufacturer based in nearby Forks Township. The global headquarters for Victaulic is also based in nearby Forks Township. The city was also once the home of Dixie Cup Corporation, the manufacturer of Dixie Cups and other consumer products. Majestic Athletic, the current provider of uniforms for Major League Baseball, is based in Easton.

Transportation

Easton is served by I-78US 22PA 33PA 248 and PA 611Trans-Bridge Lines provides regular bus service to New York City.

Air transport to and from Easton is available through Lehigh Valley International Airport, which is located approximately 15 miles (24 km) west of the city, in Hanover Township.

Bus transportation is provided by LANTA Metro bus services.

Easton has no passenger rail service. Until 1983 New Jersey Transit‘s Raritan Valley Line terminated at Phillipsburg, New Jersey, on the other side of the Delaware River from Easton. The line now stops at High Bridge, New Jersey, roughly 20 miles (32 km) to the east. Under NJT’s I-78 Corridor study this service would be restored.

Notable people

easton pa map

 

About the author

NJroute22

NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.

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