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The origin of the name of the Lehigh River


The Lenni Lenape Indians (also called the Delaware Indians) were in both the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys when settlers began to arrive from Europe. Much of the settlement occurred along the Delaware River. In the 1600’s, the area where the Lehigh flows into the Delaware was known as the Forks of the Delaware (presently Easton). In the 1600’s the Lenape called the river "Lechauwekink" which translates into "where there are forks." The Pennsylvania Germans shortened this name to "Lecha" which the English proceeded to mistranslate into Lehigh (Zagofsky, 1997).

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