In 1762, one of the wealthiest men in Pennsylvania, William Allen, laid out the boundaries for Allentown. What began as a summer retreat transformed into a prosperous city. This community even hid the Liberty Bell from the British during the American Revolution.
The folks in Allentown always had a way of both preserving history and building on it. The nation’s oldest civilian concert band, the Allentown Band, started here in 1828. Every summer, people look forward to another Allentown tradition, The Great Allentown Fair which began in 1852. That same year Napoleon III crowned himself emperor of France. Napoleon’s throne has long since crumbled, but the fair’s still going strong a century and a half later. In 1860 Solomon Dorney thought folks might enjoy some fishing, so he created a trout hatchery that became Dorney Park. This amusement park continues to entertain over a million visitors each year.
Allentown has always been about strong families. One generation after another helped write the city’s history. A history that features the reign of king coal, the boom-times of the silk mills and a legend written in cement. It includes the founding of museums, theaters, colleges and hospitals that serve the community to this day. Allentown remains a city of promise and a work in progress.