World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Lehigh County, Pennsylvania

Lehigh County, Pennsylvania
Seal of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania
Seal
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded March 6, 1812
Named for Lehigh River
Seat Allentown
Largest city Allentown
Area
 • Total 348 sq mi (901 km2)
 • Land 345 sq mi (894 km2)
 • Water 3.1 sq mi (8 km2), 0.9%
Population
 • (2010) 349,497
 • Density 1,013/sq mi (391/km²)
Congressional district 15th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website .org.lehighcountywww

Lehigh County is a county located in the Lehigh Valley region of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 349,497.[1] Its county seat is Allentown, the state's third largest city behind Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.[2] The county, which was first settled around 1730, was formed in 1812 with the division of Northampton County into two counties. It is named after the Lehigh River, whose name is derived from the Delaware Indian term Lechauweki or Lechauwekink, meaning "where there are forks".[3]

Lehigh County is included in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the New York City-Newark, New Jersey, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area.

It is currently the fastest growing county in the entire state of Pennsylvania, and among the fastest growing nationwide from 2010 to 2012, ranking in the 79th percentile overall for that time period.[4]

Contents

  • Geography 1
    • Topography 1.1
    • Adjacent counties 1.2
    • Climate 1.3
  • Demographics 2
  • Politics and government 3
    • County executives 3.1
    • Commissioners 3.2
    • Other county offices 3.3
    • State House of Representatives 3.4
    • State Senate 3.5
    • United States House of Representatives 3.6
  • Education 4
    • 4-year colleges and universities 4.1
    • 2-year colleges and technical institutes 4.2
    • Public school districts 4.3
    • Public charter schools 4.4
    • Private high schools 4.5
  • Transportation 5
    • Air 5.1
    • Bus 5.2
    • Roads 5.3
      • Interstates 5.3.1
      • US Highway System 5.3.2
      • Pennsylvania Highway System 5.3.3
      • Other roads 5.3.4
  • Media 6
    • Television 6.1
    • Print 6.2
    • Radio 6.3
  • Telecommunications 7
  • Recreation 8
  • Communities 9
    • Cities 9.1
    • Boroughs 9.2
    • Townships 9.3
    • Census-designated places 9.4
    • Unincorporated communities 9.5
  • Notable people 10
  • See also 11
  • Notes 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 348 square miles (900 km2), of which 345 square miles (890 km2) is land and 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2) (0.9%) is water.[5]

Topography

The Lehigh River near Slatington at the Lehigh County–Northampton County line, 2007

The Lehigh Valley, which includes all of Lehigh and Northampton counties, is bounded on the north by Blue Mountain, a ridge of the Appalachian mountain range with an altitude of 1,300 to 1,604 feet (489 m), and on the south by South Mountain, a ridge of 700 to 1,100 feet (340 m) that cuts through the southern portions of the two counties. The highest point in Lehigh County is Bake Oven Knob, a mass of Tuscarora conglomeratic rocks that rise about 100 feet (30 m) above the main ridge of the Blue Mountain in northwestern Heidelberg Township.[6]

Lehigh County is in the Delaware River watershed. While most of the county is drained by the Lehigh River and its tributaries, the Schuylkill River also drains regions in the south of the county via the Perkiomen Creek and the northwest via the Maiden Creek.

Adjacent counties

Climate

Most of the county's climate is considered to fall in the humid continental climate zone. Summers are typically hot and muggy, fall and spring are generally mild, and winter is cold. Precipitation is almost uniformly distributed throughout the year.

For the city of Allentown, January lows average −6 °C (21 °F) and highs average 1.3 °C (34.3 °F). The lowest officially recorded temperature was −26.7 °C (−16.1 °F) in 1912 . July lows average 17.6 °C (63.7 °F) and highs average 29.2 °C (84.6 °F), with an average relative humidity (morning) of 82%. The highest temperature on record was 40.6 °C (105.1 °F) in 1966 . Early fall and mid winter are generally driest, with October being the driest month with only 74.7 mm of average precipitation.[7]

Snowfall is variable, with some winters bringing light snow and others bringing numerous significant snowstorms. Average snowfall is 82.3 centimetres (32.4 in) per year,[8] with the months of January and February receiving the highest at just over 22.86 centimetres (9.00 in) each. Rainfall is generally spread throughout the year, with eight to twelve wet days per month,[9] at an average annual rate of 110.54 centimetres (43.52 in).[10]

Demographics

Allentown, Pennsylvania in Lehigh County, 2010

As of the 2010 census, the county was 71.6% White Non-Hispanic, 6.1% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American or Alaskan Native, 2.9% Asian, 0.0% Native Hawaiian, 2.9% were two or more races, and 8.6% were some other race. 18.8% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.

As of the census[18] of 2000, there were 312,090 people, 121,906 households, and 82,164 families residing in the county. The population density was 900 people per square mile (348/km²). There were 128,910 housing units at an average density of 372 per square mile (144/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 87.02% White, 3.56% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 2.10% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 5.28% from other races, and 1.83% from two or more races. 10.22% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 27.1% were of German, 7.9% Italian, 7.7% Irish, 6.2% Pennsylvania German and 5.6% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 85.0% spoke English, 8.4% Spanish and 1.2% Arabic as their first language.

There were 121,906 households out of which 30.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.00% were married couples living together, 10.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.60% were non-families. 27.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.90% under the age of 18, 8.10% from 18 to 24, 29.20% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 15.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.60 males.

Politics and government

As of January 2010, there are 223,867 registered voters in Lehigh County:[19]

Lehigh County and neighboring Northampton County are part of President, and in 2008 the county gave all statewide Democratic candidates significant leads and Barack Obama a victory of more than 15 points over John McCain, 57.1% to 41.5%. In 2012, President Obama carried the county again, but by a narrower margin: 53.17% to 45.52%.[20]

All five statewide winners carried it in November 2004. Although the Republican Party has historically been dominant in county-level politics, the Democratic Party has made substantial inroads this decade. In 2005, Bethlehem Mayor Don Cunningham unseated incumbent County Executive Jane Ervin to become the first Democrat to be elected to the office. Four of the nine commissioner seats and all row offices except for the District Attorney have held by Democrats since winning two at-large seats in November 2007. Lehigh County has a home-rule charter with four at-large and five district commissioners. In 2006 Lehigh County voters approved a county-charter amendment to combine the offices of Clerk of Courts, Register of Wills, and Recorder of Deeds into the office of the Clerk of Judicial Records. Clerk of Courts Andrea Naugle won the new office in November 2007.

County executives

Lehigh County Executives
Name Party Term start Term end
Jane R. Ervin Republican 2002 2006
Don Cunningham Democratic 2006 2012
William H. Hansell, Jr. Democratic 2012 2013
Matt Croslis Democratic 2013 2014
Tom Muller Democratic 2014 Incumbent

Commissioners

Office Holder Party
County Commissioner Amanda Holt Republican
County Commissioner Thomas C. Creighton III Republican
County Commissioner Percy Dougherty Republican
County Commissioner Michael Schware Republican
County Commissioner Lisa Scheller (chair) Republican
County Commissioner Vic Mazziotti Republican
County Commissioner David S. Jones Sr. Democratic
County Commissioner Geoff Brace Democratic
County Commissioner Brad Osborne (vice-chair) Republican

Other county offices

Office Holder Party
Clerk of Judicial Records Andrea Naugle Democratic
County Executive Tom Muller (Acting) Democratic
Controller Glenn Eckhart Republican
Coroner Scott Grim Democratic
District Attorney James B. Martin Republican
Sheriff Ronald Rossi Democratic

State House of Representatives

District Representative Party
131 Justin Simmons Republican
132 Michael H. Schlossberg Democratic
133 Daniel T. McNeill Democratic
134 Ryan E. Mackenzie Republican
135 Steve Samuelson Democratic
183 Julie Harhart Republican
187 Gary Day Republican

State Senate

District Representative Party
16 Pat Browne Republican
18 Lisa Boscola Democratic
24 Bob Mensch Republican
29 Dave Argall Republican

United States House of Representatives

Education

4-year colleges and universities

2-year colleges and technical institutes

Public school districts

Map of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Public charter schools

Private high schools

Transportation

Aerial photo of ICAO: KABE) in Hanover Township, Lehigh County, 2005

Air

Lehigh County's primary airport, ICAO: KABE), is located three miles (5 km) northeast of Allentown in Hanover Township.

The county is also served by Allentown Queen City Municipal Airport, a two-runway general aviation facility located off of Allentown's Lehigh Street. Queen City is used predominantly by private aviation that was awarded General Aviation Airport of the year by the Eastern Region of the Federal Aviation Administration in 2006.[21]

Bus

Public bus service in Lehigh County is available through the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority, known as LANTA. Several private bus lines, including Bieber Tourways, Susquehanna Trailways and Trans-Bridge Lines, provide bus service from Allentown to New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal, Philadelphia's Greyhound Terminal, Atlantic City's Bus Terminal, and other regional locations.

Roads

Interstates

US Highway System

Pennsylvania Highway System

Other roads

Media

The Lehigh County is part of the Philadelphia broadcast media market, though numerous New York City radio and television stations also are available in Allentown and its suburbs. Lehigh County-based media include The Morning Call, a daily newspaper in Allentown, and two Allentown-based television stations: WLVT Channel 39 (a PBS affiliate) and WFMZ Channel 69 (an unaffiliated, independent television station).

Television

The four major Philadelphia-based network stations serving Lehigh County include KYW-TV (CBS), WCAU (NBC), WPVI (ABC) and WTXF (Fox). The four major Scranton/Wilkes-Barre-based network stations serving Lehigh County are WNEP-TV (ABC), WBRE-TV (NBC), WYOU (CBS), and WOLF-TV (Fox) The four major New York City-based network stations serving Lehigh County include WABC (ABC), WCBS-TV (CBS), WNBC (NBC), and WNYW (Fox). Lehigh Valley-based television outlets include WFMZ-TV Channel 69 (an Allentown-based independent station), WBPH-TV Channel 60, and WLVT-TV (a Bethlehem-based PBS affiliate).

Print

The primary newspaper for the county is The Morning Call, based in Allentown.

Radio

Lehigh County-area radio stations include WAEB-AM, a news, talk and sports station (in Allentown), WAEB-FM (known as B104), a Top 40 music station (in Allentown), WZZO, a hard rock music station (in Whitehall Township), and others. Some major New York City stations and every major Philadelphia station also can be heard in the county.

Telecommunications

Lehigh County was once served only by the 215 area code from 1947 (when the North American Numbering Plan of the Bell System went into effect) until 1994. With the county's growing population, however, Lehigh County areas were afforded area code 610 in 1994. Today, Lehigh County is covered by 610. An overlay area code, 484, was added to the 610 service area in 1999.[22] A plan to introduce area code 835 as an additional overlay was rescinded in 2001.[23]

Recreation

Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom's Steel Force and Thunderhawk roller coasters, just outside Allentown. Steel Force opened in 1997 as the tallest and fastest roller coaster on the East Coast of the United States, with a first drop of 205 feet (62 m) and a top speed of 75 miles per hour (121 km/h).[24]
Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, home of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs

Most municipalities in the county have set aside at least some land for public recreation, from neighborhood parks and playgrounds to the more expansive parkways developed by the county, city and several townships. Following are the public parks within the county of more than of 25 acres (100,000 m2), including listings of their primary activities:

  • Cedar Creek Parkway, Allentown, 127 acres (0.51 km2). City-owned park along Cedar Creek that includes Lake Muhlenberg and Malcolm W. Gross Rose Gardens. Activities: hiking/walking, jogging, basketball, fishing, swimming and picnicking. Mayfair, an annual arts festival, is held in the Parkway each May.
  • Cedar Creek Parkway East, South Whitehall Township, 37.5 acres (152,000 m2). County-owned park along Cedar Creek that includes Haines Mill Museum. Activities: hiking/walking, soccer, fishing, nature study and picnicking.
  • Cedar Creek Parkway West, South Whitehall Township, 261 acres (1.06 km2). County-owned park along Cedar Creek. Activities: hiking/walking, jogging, baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, basketball, swimming, nature study and picnicking.
  • Covered Bridge Park, South Whitehall Township, 165 acres (0.67 km2). Township-owned park along Jordan Creek that includes two historic covered bridges. Activities: hiking/walking, jogging, football, soccer fields, volleyball, handball, fishing, disc golf, playground and nature study.
  • Jordan Creek Parkway, Whitehall & South Whitehall Townships, 296.1 acres (1.198 km2). County-owned park along Jordan Creek. Activities: hiking/walking, jogging, bicycling, softball, baseball, soccer, tennis, fishing, cross country skiing and nature study.
Jordan Creek Greenway in Lehigh County
  • Leaser Lake, Lynn Township, 540.5 acres (2.187 km2). County-owned park (227.6 acres (0.921 km2)) and Pennsylvania Fish Commission-owned (312.9 acres (1.266 km2)) recreation area that includes a 117-acre (0.47 km2) lake. Activities: hiking/walking, fishing, hunting, boating (sail, other non-motor and small electric motor), cross country skiing, ice-skating, nature study and picnicking.
  • Lehigh Canal Park, Allentown, 55 acres (220,000 m2). City-owned park along the Lehigh River. Activities: hiking/walking, fishing and non-motor boating.
  • Lehigh Parkway, Allentown, 999 acres (4.04 km2). City-owned park along Little Lehigh Creek that also includes the Lil-Le-Hi Trout Nursery. Activities: hiking/walking, bicycling, fishing, disc golf, nature study and picnicking.
Lehigh Parkway in Lehigh County
  • Lock Ridge Park, Alburtis, 59.2 acres (240,000 m2). County-owned park along Swabia Creek that includes the Lock Ridge Furnace Museum. Activities: hiking/walking, baseball, bicycling, fishing, cross country skiing, nature study and picnicking.
  • Lower Macungie Township Community Park, Lower Macungie township, 56. acres (230,000 m2). Township-owned park along Spring Creek. Activities: hiking/walking, jogging, soccer and picnicking.
  • Bob Rodale Cycling and Fitness Park, Upper Macungie Township, 103.4 acres (0.418 km2). County-owned bicycle track and fitness area. Activities: Hiking/walking, bicycling, softball, cricket, soccer, basketball, cross country skiing, roller blading, jogging, nature study, playground and picnicking.
  • South Mountain Big Rock Park, Upper Saucon and Salisbury Townships, 57.1 acres (231,000 m2). County-owned park. Activities: hiking/walking, picnicking and nature study.
  • Trexler Memorial Park, Allentown, 134 acres (0.54 km2). City-owned park along Cedar Creek. Activities: hiking/walking, jogging and nature study.
  • Trexler Nature Preserve, North Whitehall Township, 1,108 acres (4.48 km2). County-owned park along Jordan Creek, formerly Trexler-Lehigh County Game Preserve, which includes the Lehigh Valley Zoo and is adding 18 miles (29 km) of trails in 2010. Activities: hiking/walking, mountain biking, jogging, fishing, hunting, nature study and picnicking.
  • Upper Macungie Park, Upper Macungie Township, 156.2 acres (0.632 km2). Township-owned park with nature trail. Activities: hiking/walking, baseball, softball, sand volleyball, horse shoes, playground, jogging, nature study and picnicking.
  • Whitehall Parkway, Whitehall Township, 110 acres (0.45 km2). Township-owned park connected to the nine-mile (14 km) Ironton Rail-Trail. Activities: hiking/walking, bicycling, jogging and nature study.

Communities

Map of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Cities and Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated places (blue)
Young people gather on 19th Street, in Allentown's West End, 2007
A farm in Lynn Township in Lehigh County, 2008
.

Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in only one case, towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Lehigh County:

Cities

Boroughs

Townships

Census-designated places

Census-designated places are geographical areas designated by the U.S. Census Bureau for the purposes of compiling demographic data. They are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law. Other unincorporated communities, such as villages, may be listed here as well.

Unincorporated communities

Notable people

Lehigh County is the birthplace of, or home to, several notable Americans, including:

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Official records for Allentown were kept at Allentown Gas Company from March 1922 to December 1943, and at Lehigh Valley Int'l since January 1944. For more information, see ThreadEx.

References

  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-lehigh-county-census-20130314,0,5663798.story
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Pennsylvania Department of State
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ NANP-Overlay of 610 (Pennsylvania) Numbering Plan Area (NPA) with 484 NPA PDF (359 KB)
  23. ^ PA 835 Implementation for 484/610 NPA Rescinded – 835 NPA Code Reclaimed PDF (20.8 KB)
  24. ^

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

  • Lehigh County Government Official Web Site.
  • The (Allentown) Morning CallLehigh County news at .

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.