Sunday, October 3, 2021

Allentown Circa 1828 to 1985 (Repost)

Reposted From Jan 17, 2013

"These postcards were from the private collection of the John Stopp family from Allentown, Pennsylvania, whose ancestors pioneered near the Jordan Creek prior to the Revolutionary War, later built civic and commercial buildings in Allentown, and were involved with several of the institutions depicted in the postcards."

Video Courtesy jmackel



"Sheila Evans of the Allentown Symphony Association gives the
history of Symphony Hall and its influence on the surrounding area."


History & Tour by ViaCastTV


A BRIEF TIMELINEMarch 12, 1867- Allentown was officially "incorporated".

July 4, 1828- The first documented performance by the "Allentown Band"

1832- M.S. Young & Co. 724 Hamilton Street (later 740 Hamilton) (Mark Young & Stephen Barber). Stephen died in 1860. The store was huge. It's 5 story building was connected by tunnels and an overhead bridge to it's other buildings at 11,13 & 15 S. 8th Street.

June 1, 1848- Allentown had a population of 3,700 people living in 619 houses (6 per home).Today 118,032 are living in 45,960 houses (2.56 per home)
1847- Appel Jewelry, originally opened on E. Hamilton street. It relocated to the 600 block on Hamilton in 1860. In 1930 Carl W. Appel then became owner after his father passed away. Carl passed away at 94 years old on June 24, 1997.

1850- Henry Leh (an Allentown native). At 20 years old started H. Leh & Co at 626 W. Hamilton St.

1887- Allentown Steam Heat Company (23 S. Hall Street) was founded by Harry C. Trexler (his 1st business venture). It ceased operations in 1968

July 1, 1891- Electric trolley car service began in Allentown on Hamilton Street by the Allentown and Bethlehem Rapid Transit Company.

February 19, 1897- Hess's (9th & Hamilton) founded by Charles and Max Hess. Max died in 1922. Charles ran the store between then and 1932. Max Hess, Jr., from 1932 through 1968.

Oct. 19, 1899- The Soldiers and Sailors Monument at Center Square in Allentown was unveiled

Sept. 17, 1908- The Bandshell in West Park was dedicated (The Allentown Band performed at the dedication)

1910- Zollinger-Harned replaced the hardware store (W.R. Lawfer & Co.) at 605 W. Hamilton St.

November 17, 1913- 8th Street toll bridge opened for traffic (5 cents). The plans for the bridge were started in 1911 by the "Allentown Bridge Company" (formed by the "The Lehigh Valley Transit Company"). In 1906 Harry C. Trexler bought the forerunner to what became the LVT.

1912- Benioff Furs opened. The store was later run by his son, Abraham J. Benioff who at 91 passed away on Nov. 27, 1997. The store at 10th & Hamilton along with it's storage locker at 410 N. 6th Street closed on Friday, Feb 2, 1996.

1914- Harry C. Trexler started "Romper Day"

1897- Harry J. Trexler (lumber dealer), George Ormrod (coal/iron-like in Ormrod, Pa.) and Col. Edward M. Young (hardware) formed the Lehigh Portland Cement Company. On April 23, 1919 Lehigh Portland Cement Company' became reincorporated.

1922- Yoccos (Liberty Grill) founded by Theodore Iacocca (uncle of Lee Iacocca). Currently being run by the 3rd & 4th generation.

1923- Kern's Restaurant (Stooges) founded by Charles and Arlene Kern.

1926 to 1928- The PPL building was built.

1931- The Brass Rail opened it's first stand. It was started by Philip Sorrentino. Later, in 1933 it's location moved to 1137 W. Hamilton Street (since then closed). In 1961 a second store was opened at 3015 Lehigh Street where it is now run by his grandson.

1933-1934- The Allentown post office was built.

Other misc. businesses:The Allentown National Bank
The Lehigh Valley Trust and Safe Deposit Co.
The Second National Bank
Allentown Boiler Works
Shafer's Popular Book Store
Allentown Brewing Co.
Daufer & Co., 16 South 8th St.
Arbogast & Bastian, 7-23 Hamilton St.
Koch Bros (Clothiers) 7th & Hamilton
The Vulcan Brass Works, 716 N 4th St
Lehigh Knitting Mills, Court and Hall Sts.
Allen Steam Laundry, S 7th St.
Eastern Light
Allen Stamp and Stencil Co., 104-106 N 7th St.
Kramer's Music House, 544 Hamilton St.
Good's Pharmacy, 803 Hamilton St
Dolly Madison (soda/ice cream)
Adelaide Silk Mills
Wolfe Shoe Mfg. Co., Hall and Court Sts.,
McCrory's Five & Ten
Woolworths Five & Ten
A&P Food Store
Mohican Market
Movie Theaters:
The Boyd, The Towne, The Jeanette, The Rialto, The Colonial, The Earle, The Capri, The Eric, The Strand (12 N. 8th circa 1917), Orpheum Theatre (6th St. and Linden St.), Boulevard Drive-In, Westend Drive-In
The Rialto Theatre was built from 1918 to 1921.
Fire severely damaged it 1946.
It reopened and remained open till it's closure in 1979.


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