GUIDE-BOOK

 

OF THE

 

LEHIGH VALLEY RAILROAD

 

AND

 

ITS SEVERAL BRANCHES AND CONNECTIONS;

 

WITH AN ACCOUNT, DESCRIPTIVE AND HISTORICAL

 

OF THE

 

PLACES ALONG THEIR ROUTE;

 

INCLUDING ALSO

 

A HISTORY OF THE COMPANY FROM ITS FIRST ORGANIZATION AND INTERESTING FACTS CONCERNING THE ORIGIN AND GROWTH OF THE COAL AND IRON TRADE IN THE LEHIGH AND WYOMING REGION.

 

HANDSOMELY ILLUSTRATED FROM RECENT SKETCHES.

 

PREFIXED TO WHICH IS A MAP OF THE ROAD AND ITS CONNECTIONS.

 

PHILADELPHIA:

 

J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO.

1873

 

CATASAUQUA.

 

 

This town takes its name from the creek which here empties into the river, and whose signification is, parched land. In 1839 there were but two houses, one at each extreme end of the town plot. During that year, a company of gentlemen, mostly of Philadelphia, proposed the erection here (because of the proximity of the iron and limestone beds) of an iron furnace for the purpose of making iron with anthracite coal, which had been successfully accomplished in Wales a few years before by Mr. George Crane. The services of Mr. David Thomas, who was engaged there with Mr. Crane, were secured, and in 184o the first furnace was completed under his direction and superintendence. Since then, the town has steadily progressed, until now it bids fair to become one of the most important in the Valley. It is lowed in the midst of a rich iron-ore and limestone region, and possesses unusual railroad and canal facilities, thus marking it out as a peculiarly favorable opening for manufacturing establishments. It was incorporated as a borough in 1853, and contains a population of 6ooo. The town is well supplied with gas and water, and few places can boast of so perfect a drainage. It has twelve public schools, contained in four buildings, and comprising about 700 pupils. Its high-school will compare favorably with any in the State. It has a fine town-hall, erected at a cost of $15,000. On the western bank of the river, opposite the borough, there is a beautiful cemetery, called “Fair-View," commanding a magnificent view of the town and surrounding country. In it there has been erected a very handsome marble monument to the memory of the soldiers who fell in the late civil war, costing $6000.

 

In enumerating the industrial works coming properly under the head of Catasauqua, we include not only those actually located in the borough, but all, whether on one side of the river or the other, stretching from Allentown Furnace to this station.

 

The Crane Iron Company is a stock company, with a capital of $1,200,000, and has six furnaces. The size and capacity of each are as follows:

No. 1, 11 feet boshes

47 feet high

140 tons per week

No. 2, 11 feet boshes

47 feet high

150 tons per week

No. 3, 11 feet boshes

47 feet high

175 tons per week

No. 4, 11 feet boshes

55 feet high

250 tons per week

No. 5, 11 feet boshes

55 feet high

250 tons per week

No. 6, 11 feet boshes

60 feet high

250 tons per week

 

The hematite ore is obtained from Northampton, Lehigh, and Berks Counties, the magnetic from Lehigh Mountain, Pa., and Sussex and Morris Counties, New Jersey, and the limestone from the neighborhood. For the year 1872 this establishment consumed 108,274 tons of coal, 138,392 tons of iron Ore,, and 82,401 tons of limestone. Iron made during the year 54,037 tons. In connection with and for the use of the furnaces, there are car-shops, foundry and machine-shops, employing a large number of hands. Exclusive of miners, this company gives employment to about 1000 men.

 

The Catasauqua Manufacturing Company has a capital of $300,000. Its rolling-mill is engaged in manufacturing bar-iron, sheet-iron, and railroad-axles. It has a capacity of 13,000 tons per annum, and employs 350 men, using exclusively the pig-iron made in the Lehigh Valley. This company has recently bought out the Lehigh Manufacturing Company. In this branch of their works they employ 150 men, and make merchant bar-iron of various sizes. The ore for fettling the puddling furnaces is obtained from Port Henry, Lake Champlain, N.Y.

 

The amount of wages paid by the various manufacturing establishments in the borough averages $32,000 per month.

 

In the Catasauqua Car Works (Frederick & Co.) are made all kinds of cars, except passenger cars (coal, ore, freight, flats, etc.). They employ 130 men, and construct the whole of the car, except wheels and axles, having a foundry of their own, where castings of different descriptions are made. For the body of the cars, white oak exclusively is used, the lining being of white and yellow pine. In the foundry, nineteen tons of pig-iron are used per week, and twelve tons of forged iron. The capacity of the establishment is one hundred and fifty coal cars per month.

 

The Lehigh Car-Wheel and Axle Works employ 85 men, and consume from twenty to twenty-five tons of charcoal pig-iron a day. The capacity is 25,000 car-wheels per annum. Their iron comes mostly from Salisbury, Connecticut.

 

The Lehigh Fire-Brick Factory, owned by David Thomas (burnt in 1872, rebuilt same year), employs 40 men and boys, and has a capacity of 2000,000 bricks per annum, which are used in the Valley. The clay comes from New Jersey, and the sand from the neighborhood.

 

In addition, there are other smaller foundries and machine-shops, in which all manner of castings, steam engines, etc. are made; also, a shovel-factory, where thirty-five different shovels, spades, and hoes are made; a factory of circular, cross-cut, and other kinds of saws; a saw-mill, with which is connected a planing mill, sash and door factory, etc. Very large limestone quarries abound in this neighborhood, and are being extensively worked.

 

Of churches, there are 2 Presbyterian, 2 Rornan Catholic (English and German), 1 Lutheran, 1 Methodist, 1 Evangelical, 1 Reformed. The Episcopalians, Free Methodist, and Welsh Baptists each have a mission here. There are two weekly papers published in the town. There is a national bank, with a capital of $500,000.

 

The Catasauqua and Fogelsville Railroad connects at Catasauqua with the Lehigh Valley Railroad. This road was built in 1856, and opened in 1857; it is twenty miles long, and has several branches. It cost $500,000, and was built by the Lehigh Crane Iron Company and the Thomas Iron Company, for the purpose of reaching the great iron-ore beds owned by these companies, the ore being now brought from the mines direct to the mouth of the furnaces. About four miles from Catasauqua, this road crosses the Jordan Creek on a splendid iron bridge, said to be one of the largest and handsomest in the country. It is 1100 feet in length, with 11 arches. Each truss is 16 feet nigh. The cost of the bridge was about $78,000

 

Near the junction of the Catasauqua. Creek and the Lehigh River, just above Catasauqua, stands an old and crumbling stone house, which is rendered of interesting importance by having once been the residence of George Taylor, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. The walls of the building are nearly two hundred years old, and when laid were very thick and strong. The house was frequently used as a place of refuge and defense against attack of Indians.

 

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Rev. February 2010