In 1736, Thomas Penn, son of William Penn, and Beniamin Eastburn, surveyor general, selected and surveyed the “Thousand Acre Tract” of land at the confluence of the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers. In the 1750′s Easton was born, at this sport the Indians called “Lechawitauk” or “The Place at the Forks”. The Great Square (now known as Centre Square) was, and remains, a gathering place for residents and travelers, in fact, on July 8, 1776, it was the site for one of only three readings of the Declaration of Independence.
Easton PA Historic Homes
Herman Simon Mansion
Herman Simon, a wealthy silk manufacturer of the early 1900’s built his mansion on North Third Street (now home to The Third Street Alliance for Women & Children), The Simon mansion was designed by noted Architect William Michler and is of a High Renaissance French Chateau style. The exterior of the building is graced with Indian limestone, granite base, and a red Vermont Slate roof with cooper ornamentation. Elaborate carved woodwork and d’ Ascenzo stained glass grace the interior skylight and stairwell; an original Delft Kitchen also remains. The mansion was built at a cost of $250,000. Directly adjacent, Simon built a home for his daughter. Massive cast iron gates remain, which once led to the formal gardens. Carved images of Simon’s wife and daughter are still distinguishable on pillars outside the mansion.
Jacob Nicholas House
In 1807, Jacob Nicholas, a Delaware River Boat Captain, built his home at Fifth & Ferry Streets. Nicholas plied the riverboat on the Delaware River, hauling goods from Philadelphia to Easton. The boat sailed or drifted down the river to Philadelphia, then long wooden poles were used for “poling” the boat back up the river to Easton. The Nicholas house has been restored with most work completed in 1990. It is furnished with authentic furnishings provided by the Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society. The building is one of the very few restored structures in the nation that illustrate life at home for a typical working person or family.
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