The Borough of Walnutport
The borough was incorporated in 1909. The name Walnutport was developed from the vast numbers of walnut trees that line the canal. The Lehigh canal, a center piece of the community, was built in 1829 by the Lehigh Navigation Company and the Central Railroad. The rail services both passengers and freight and supported the steel manufacturing industry in the region. Centrally located, Walnutport grew as the industry flourished and where people had easy access via rail. The borough had 4 hotels, a big deal back then. The Anchor hotel as well as the Pennsylvania House still stand! The Diamond Fire Company is a volunteer fire department for the community. The community used to have their own sustainable power company driven by river current back in the 1900’s but sadly this was shut down in 1910.
The Official Borough of Walnutport Website
Walnutport is a borough formed from an unincorporated settlement in the northwest corner of Northampton County. This area was established by the formation of Lehigh Township in 1754 by land grants from William Penn’s heirs in 1752 forming Northampton County. The first settlers were German immigrants who cleared the land, raised livestock, and established their homesteads. Many of the descendants of these early settlers would later become prominent businessmen and politicians. In the 1820’s the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company built the Lehigh Canal. Farmland was sold and would support the canal businesses along the Lehigh River and Canal area. From the 1840’s to the 1860’s many business and homes were built to support the canal trade in the area
During the canal era, the town of Walnutport was used as a boat repair center and a stopping point for the boat crews, but by 1952 much of the canal was empty and neglected and breached in many places. Several young fishermen in the area wanted to improve their fishing by building a dam on the canal. The Blue Ridge Rod and Gun Club, led by its secretary Earl F. Snyder, assisted the fishermen and in 1953 restoration work began. The restored Walnutport section of the Lehigh Canal is 4½ miles long, beginning at Lehigh Gap and ending at Bertsch Creek, just below Walnutport.