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Although the modern history of the city of Allentown, Pennsylvania does not begin until the middle of the 18th century, Native Indians have inhabited the land for thousands of years. It is believed that the people of the Delaware Tribe lived in the area more than 8,000 years ago.
Allentown (originally named Northampton town) was originally founded in 1762, by William Allen, a colonial statesman of Pennsylvania. The idea for the town came from some of the hunting and fishing expeditions made by William Allen, who fell in love with the isolated area. The city’s name was changed to Allentown in 1838, years after the death of its founder.
Up until the 1830’s, Allentown was quiet and scarcely populated, but the pace of life changed and the city grew with the opening of the Lehigh Canal, which brought coal through the valley. During the late 19th century, amongst other things, Allentown had established itself as a silk industrial city.
In the early 20th century, Mack Trucks production was moved to the city, and the local economy began to prosper.
After the end of WWII, Allentown began to fade out of the industrial scene, as many new methods of production began to make the city’s production methods useless. A revival in the economy was last experienced in the late 1980’s.