A Brief History of Northampton County 1752 to Present

History of the land mass of Northampton County

Northampton County was a large land mass founded in 1752 as it became practical to distinguish the needs of the settlements that were father North in what was known then as Penn's Woods.

On March 6, 1752, an act was passed for the formation of Northampton County out of what was Bucks County at the time. Governor James Hamilton signed the act on March 11, 1752, officially making Northampton County the eighth county to form in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

William Penn's son Thomas granted the patent to Northampton County and established the county seat at the forks of the Delaware and Lehigh River in a city that would become known as Easton.

Eventually 14 additional Counties would be carved from the original 1752 land grant to Thomas Penn. The County Government was a traditional county until adopting a home rule charter in 1978 which established a strong executive form of government as well as a County Council to take on a legislative roll for the county.

From the 1860's until late into the 1990's the area was know as an industrial power house due to its manufacturing of steel at the Bethlehem Steel Plant as well as the production of the world famous Portland Cement. These companies and vast natural resources built the skylines and transportation system of the United States.

Since the decline of steel production the County has promoted the areas historic appeal as well as small town charm. Bethlehem affectionately called Christmas City USA has been featured worldwide as a tourist destination. Bethlehem also host the largest free music festival in the United States yearly called Muskiest.

The county seat is still the City of Easton which maintains the original center square that was deeded to the county for a courthouse and town common. This is also the site of several festivals yearly.

We look forward to you looking at Northampton County's website invite you to enjoy our open space, rich history and the picturesque Lehigh Valley.