The History of Upper Saucon Township

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

Upper Saucon Township is bounded on the northeast by Lower Saucon Township, Northampton county, southeast by Springfield Township, Bucks County, northwest by Salisbury, southwest by Upper Milford. Population in 1900 was 1,721. The surface is diversified; the Lehigh or South Mountains are in the northern part. The valleys are of limestone formation the soil is very fertile and highly cultivated and large crops are raised. Iron ore, limestone is found in quantities, and the famous zinc mines of Friedensville are in this township. The township is well drained by the numerous small streams that flow through it, Saucon creek is the principal one and a number of mills are turned by it. The first settlement was made near Coopersburg in 1730, by English, German and Welsh settlers. It was organized as a township in 1743.

The first public road was laid out in 1750, from Heller’s tavern, Lanark across the Lehigh Mountains. The Mennonite Meeting House near Coopersburg was built in 1738; Blue Church, (Lutheran and Reformed) founded in 1740. The first Lutheran minister was Rev. Henry M. Muhlenberg; the first Reformed minister was Rev. Hoffmeir. Friedensville church founded in 1793. The first Lutheran minister was Rev. John C, Yeager, the first Reformed minister was Rev, John H. Hoffmeier. The Mennonite Brethren in Christ Meeting House was founded in 1863. The Rev. Abel Strawn; was the first minister. M. E. church Friedensville was founded in 1863 by Rev. M. B. Durrell; Free Methodist church, Centre Valley was founded in 1883 by Rev. Manshart.

Allentown and Coopersburg turnpike passes through the township, The North Pennsylvania branch of the Philadelphia and Reading R. R. also passes through it, affording an easy outlet for the products of the township.

The first school was established in 1738 near Coopersburg. The schools are in an excellent condition and keep apace with schools of the other townships of the county.

VILLAGES-Centre Valley on the North Pennsylvania R, R., contains two stores, three hotels, two churches, a mill and a post office. Population in 1990 was 327. Freidensville, contains several stores, two hotels, two churches and a post office. The famous Zinc mines are located here. Population in 1900 was 363. Locust Valley, Spring Valley and Lanark, are small post villages and contain a store and a hotel. There are also several creameries within the township.

The following anecdote of the early settlers has been told the writer by one whose grandfather had been at the place where it happened. On a certain day an Indian came to the blacksmith at Lanark, to have some work done, when the blacksmith told him that if he would furnish the fuel he would do the work. The Indian said if that was all that was required he would get some coal, He went away and soon returned with coal enough to have his work done, where he got his coal is a mystery to this day. Rumor has spread time and time again that the Lehigh Mountains contain a deposit of coal. Search for it has been made in vain thus far to discover the place where the Indian got his coal.