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Approaching Sterners Island
40 36' 57 N
75 25' 55 W

The history of the 12.3 acre Sterner’s Island begins in the 18th century with Solomon Jennings. Jennings was a participant in the Walking Purchase of 1737. In 1736, Jennings settled land on both sides of the Lehigh River with the island in the middle. When Jennings died, he willed his land to his son John. The land was sold to Jacob Geissenger in 1764 and was farmed for years. The deed recording Jennings’ sale to Geissenger is one of the earliest recorded deeds in the county. Geissenger sold the portion of land north of the Lehigh River to John Sterner in 1786. There are a few references that indicate Sterner owned the island, including maps which label the land “John Sterner Island.” After Sterner’s death in 1843, his son took ownership of the land and farmed it until 1865. Two transactions concerning the land on either side of the river were made after Sterner’s death. However, neither one mentions the island. Therefore, from the time of John Sterner’s death until the acquisition of the land by the City of Allentown, Sterner’s Island was unclaimed and forgotten.

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