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Located on Quittapahilla Creek, Lebanon was founded as Steitztown in the 1750s. Originally, it must have been rather like Schaefferstown with a market square in a grid of streets and a Lutheran church at its heart. With the addition of county government in 1813 Lebanon grew, but not much more than the county seats of the Ridge and Valley zone to the west. It was transformed when the steel industry that crossed the Kittatinny Valley linked it to Allentown, Reading, and Harrisburg's Steelton in an arc of iron. Into the 1980s Bethlehem Steel's plant provided thousands of jobs that turned Lebanon from a village to the characteristic small Pennsylvania industrial city. It reached its high point after the nation's centennial when two magnificent railroad stations were built on N. 8th Street ( LE9, LE10). When the Bethlehem works closed in the 1980s, the effect on the city and the east–west industrial corridor from Palmyra on the west to Myerstown on the east was as devastating as the loss of industry in Philadelphia.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas

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