What eventually would be Catasauqua began as a river landing known as Biery's Port at the confluence of the Lehigh River and Catasauqua Creek, where a gristmill was built in 1752. Some decades later and one mile to the north, the village of Cranesville was formed around the Lehigh Crane Iron Company. A riverfront road soon tied the two villages together, which merged in 1853 and took the name Catasauqua after the Indian name for the creek. The town is laid out on an attenuated grid parallel to the river. At first the town focused on iron manufacturing, but by the turn of the twentieth century the textile industry dominated. Only traces of those industries remain, with mill buildings either abandoned or adapted for new uses.
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