The History of Upper Milford

A HISTORY of LEHIGH COUNTY PENNSYLVANIA Published by James J. Haurer 1902

Upper Milford is bounded on the northeast by Salisbury and Upper Saucon, southeast by Lower Milford, northwest by Lower Macungie, southwest by Berks county. The form is rectangular and was formed into a separate township in 1852. Population in 1900 was 2,712. The surface is hilly and the soil is fertile being principally gravel and red shale. Iron Ore of different kinds are found. Perkiomen creek flows through the western part in the form of a horse shoe. Leibert’s creek is in the northeastern part and flows through Leibert’s Gap and empties into the Little Lehigh creek. Fetterman’s creek is in the northern part empties into Leibert’s creek at Vera Cruz. Miller’s creek is in the northern part empties into the Little Lehigh creek. The first settlement was made at or near Old Zionsville in 1733, by the Mennonites. The township was organized in 1734.

The first road was the King’s High road leading through Shimerville and Zionsville

from Trexlertown to Goshenhoppen, 1736, the second road was the Great Philadelphia road laid out in 1740. The third road was laid out at the same time from Emaus to Chestnut Hill. Among the old sites is Fisher’s tavern between Shimersville and Macungie, on the King’s High road, opened prior to 1795, by Jacob Fisher, the property being now owned by Ambrose Schantz. Seider’s tavern opened in 1785 by George Seiders, on the Great Philadelphia road upon the property now owned by U.H. Wieand. The early churches were Zionsville Reformed church, founded in 1750, Rev, John E. Hecker was the first pastor. Zionsville Lutheran church was founded in 1735. R ev. L. H. Schrecke, was the first pastor. The Mennonite church was founded in 1735. St. Peters church was founded in 1843. R evs. D. Kohe and H. Bassler were the first Lutheran and Reformed ministers. The Evangelical church was founded in 1830 by Bishop John Seybert.  The Mennonite Brethren church was founded in 1857 by the Rev. William Gehman, who had withdrawn from the Mennonite church on account of differences of religious doctrine. Peter Walbert was appointed the first constable of Upper Milford

Township, in 1739.

The first schools were established in connection with the founding of the first settlements in 1735 by the Mennonites at Zionsville, the schools of the township compare well with the schools of the rest of the county. There are at present fifthteen schools both graded and upgraded.

VILLAGES-Old Zionsville founded in 1734 on the old Kings High road, Hereford & Shimersville turnpike, contains four stores, hotel two, churches and post office. Population in 1900 was 160. Zionsville founded in 1876, on the Perkiomen R. R, and contains a store, hotel, coal yard, flour and feed store and post office. Population in 1900 was 100. Shimerville on the old King’s High road and Hereford and Shimersville turnpike, founded in 1734 by Durk Jasen, contains a store, hotel and post office. Population in 1900 was 140. Powder Valley, on the Indian creek, contains a store, pottery and post office. Population in 1900 was 125.

Sigmund, situated in the Perkiomen valley and on the site where Hampton Furnace stood and whose ruins can still be seen contains a store, creamery and post office. Population in 1900 was 120. Vera Cruz on the Great Philadelphia road, founded in 1763, contains a store, hotel, creamery and post office. Populalion in 1900 was 200. Vera Cruz Station, on the Perkiomen R. R., contains a flour and feed store, coal yard and depot. Population in 1900 was 130. Dillinger’s on the Perkiomen R. R., contains a store, flour and feed store, coal yard and post office. Population in 1900 was 120. West Emaus, a suburb of Emaus, contains several hotels, printing office, pipe works, furnace, meat market, 2 coal and lumber yards and Miller’s Park. Population in 1900 was 500.