Historical Emmaus PA

History of Emmaus PA


Emmaus, Pennsylvania is a quaint historic community of 11,500 nestled on the northern slope of South Mountain. It lies 50 miles north of Philadelphia and 20 miles west of the Delaware River. Formed in 1759 as a closed Moravian village on land owned by the church, Emmaus became incorporated as a Pennsylvania borough a hundred years later in 1859. Arrival of the railroad in the same year expanded the town’s opportunity for manufacturing and other business. Its initial industries included iron mining, iron furnaces, a foundry and a machine company. In the late 1800’s additional industries included silk manufacturing, cigar factories, bottling companies and others.

In the first half of the 20th century, Emmaus significantly expanded its borders through a series of annexations of land that was previously part of Salisbury and Upper Milford Townships, which broadened the opportunities for residential development. By the 1960’s the Borough reached its current size and completed infrastructure improvements that modernized Emmaus into a full service municipality with a comprehensive park system, municipal water and sewer service, highway and police departments, and public library.

Today, Emmaus is a vibrant community with a diverse mix of residential, commercial, and light industrial uses. It is a hub of productivity in southwestern Lehigh County that offers a variety of housing opportunities in a true community atmosphere.