For many, downtown Emmaus it the perfect place for a Sunday stroll with it’s morning Farmer’s Market. I also look forward to hopping into the car an driving to one of my client’s homes to work on a new project. I guess that is just the interior designer in me. Emmaus has amazing homes that inspire great interior design for the area.
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.
1803 or Ehrenhardt House
In 1803 Jacob Ehrenhardt, Jr. built this stone, Federal-style home for his wife Susanna and their four daughters. He located it just south of the Moravian Church, on a plot of land owned by his father; outside of the confines of the “congregational village” of Emmaus, but close to the heart of the settlement – the church. For us, the story of Jacob and his house begins with his father.
On land originally granted to William Penn and his father by King Charles II of England, German settlers began to settle into this area (known by the Lenni Lenape as “maguntsche”, or feeding place of the bears) in the early 1700′s. Moravians had established the industrial settlement of Bethlehem in 1741, and local settlers Jacob Ehrenhardt and Sebastian Knauss found themselves drawn to the church. So much was their desire to have the Moravian church establish a congregation in this area, that they donated a large portion of their land warrants for the creation of a “gemein-ort”; this was a closed congregational village in which people of similar spiritual needs could live and work together in harmony.
They also built a small log church in 1742 on what would become the settlement’s cemetery – God’s Acre. In 1746 a schoolhouse was built, and in 1747 the local Moravian congregation was founded. Eleven years later the village was surveyed and a map drawn up. And in April of 1761 the name Emmaus was given to the settlement by Bishop Spangenberg, in a hymn he’d written recalling Christ’s appearance to two of his disciples on the road to Emmaus (in part: “Now here we build a village small; toward it’s completion we give all. Here, too, our hearts within shall flame – Emmaus, then shall be it’s name!”).
More about the down and history of Emmaus, PA