[ Main ] Educator's Guide
Outreach Initiatives
[ Site Map ]
Geology | Lehigh River Watershed Explorations | Weather | Environmental Issues | Data Collection Activities

Settlement in Catasauqua began in 1752 when the first grist mill was built on Race Street. In 1801, this settlement was called Briery’s Port after Frederick and Henry Briery, who purchased the grist mill. The name then became Craneville in 1839 in honor of the Crane Iron Works. This changed once again to Catasauqua in 1846 because mail was accidentally being sent to Craneville, NJ. The name of Catasauqua remains today.
Catasauqua was a highly industrialized town in its early days. As already mentioned, Crane Iron Works was located in Catasauqua. In 1840, David Thomas discovered that the water power of the canal could be used to provide energy for the blast furnaces in the Crane Iron Works. This signaled the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in America. The Dery Silk Mill was also a prominent business in Catasauqua. It was known for its silk production from 1897 to1923. The company went under due to competing prices from China. Catasauqua was also the home to various other companies, including the Davies and Thomas Company (manufacturer of tunnel lining) and the Catasauqua Manufacturing Company (manufacturer of armor plate for vessels).
The town of Catasauqua is proudly referred to as "The Million Dollar Town" by its citizens. During World War I, the US government forced towns to help finance the war through the sail of stamps and bonds. Catasauqua was the first town to raise $1,000,000 in the United States.
The canal did not begin to affect the town of Catasauqua until 1840, when David Thomas discovered that water power could be used to provide energy for a blast furnace. This meant that anthracite coal could be used to make iron. The canal was destroyed through the years by a series of floods. Today, restoration of the Catasauqua section of the canal remains something for the future (Burkhardt and Gemmel, 1992).


The Basics of the Lehigh River | Early Life along the Lehigh River | The Canal | Cities on the Lehigh River | Industry

Curricular Activities | Lehigh River Photojournal | Water Quality | GIS | History | River Exploration | Fast Facts
LEO EnviroSci Inquiry is brought to you by the Lehigh Environmental Initiative at Lehigh University.
Copyright ©2000-2011 Lehigh Environmental Initiative at Lehigh University. All rights reserved.