Historic District Walking Tours
Catasauqua has two National Historic Districts. The Biery’s Port District represents the earliest period of development when the community served as a river crossing site between Whitehall and the Craig/Irish Settlement, the Revolutionary War perriod when George Taylor built a country estate here, the early German farming period, and the early days of the Lehigh Canal.
The second historic district, the Mansion District, contains the elegant homes of the early industrialists who built the iron and iron-related industries in the borough and lived here along with those who worked the furnaces, foundries, lumber yards,and other manufacturing and commercail enterprises. More photos of these homes can be viewed on the Hopkin Thomas Project website page of Catasauqua Residences. A recent presentation on the homes in the Mansion District can be viewed here: Homes in Catasauqua’s HISTORIC mansion district.
Come back and visit the site often, as we add segments, and update segments based on additional research.
Feel free to access these on your smart phone and conduct your own walking tour. as you explore the neighborhoods of Catasauqua.
As and introduction to the town, the 1860 history of the Lehigh Valley by M. S. Henry had this to say about the town.
“There is an apparent comfort in the place very unusual in an iron manufacturing town. The dwellings of the workmen employed in the furnaces are not the low hovels usually found at such establishments, but, with a few exceptions, have an air of neatness and order which is pleasant to behold. There is also a large number of very handsome cottages and private residences, on which are displayed considerable taste in architectural design. The grounds. surrounding them are very prettily laid out, and planted with trees and shrubbery. Buildings of this kind give an air of beauty and refinement to a town. There are perhaps few manufacturing towns where so much intelligence is displayed by the working classes. It appears to have been one of the first efforts of Mr. Thomas to instill in the minds of his workmen the great necessity of sobriety and self-culture; and the truths inculcated in the minds of these men at that time appear to have spread and grown up with the place. There are several debating societies in the town, which are well attended, a temperance society, masonic lodge, and several literary and benevolent societies. A newspaper was established here in 1857 by Kelchner & Fry, and is still published; the present editor is Mr. A. C. Lewis; the paper is called The Catasauqua Herald.