Immigrant entrepreneur Aaron Levy laid out Aaronsburg in 1786 on a grid plan with two wide intersecting streets. Although Levy intended an industrial and perhaps political future for the town, the lack of water in the immediate vicinity, development of other towns, and demise of road transport destined Aaronsburg to remain a small agrarian village. Consequently, the village has an unusually strong visual coherence. Typical housing includes four- or five-bay buildings executed in log, brick, or stone, especially in the 200 block of Aaron Square. Most have end chimneys, while a significant number also have double doors or side-hall plans. Levy was also noteworthy for his ecumenical vision. Though Jewish, he set aside land to be available to any religious association, and he donated a pewter communion set preserved at the Salem Lutheran Church (138 E. Plum Street). The larger town of Millheim to the west had grist, planing, and woolen mills along Elk Creek in the nineteenth century, and retains a variety of brick and frame residences from that period.
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