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Northampton County is a county located in the eastern part of Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1752 and named after the English county of Northamptonshire. Here are seven interesting facts about the history of Northampton County:

1. Bethlehem Steel: One of the most prominent features of Northampton County’s history is Bethlehem Steel, which used to be one of the largest steel producers in the world. The plant employed thousands of workers and was a vital part of the Lehigh Valley economy for more than a century.

2. Moravian Settlement: Bethlehem was founded in 1741 by the Moravian Church, a Protestant denomination originating from the Czech Republic. This settlement was part of the church’s effort to bring Christianity and education to Native Americans and African Americans.

3. Declaration of Independence: The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence in Pennsylvania occurred on July 8, 1776, in Easton’s Centre Square. Easton was the county seat of Northampton at that time.

4. Martin Guitar: C.F. Martin & Company, the world-renowned guitar manufacturer, was founded in Nazareth in 1833. The company is still located in Northampton County, and its guitars are played by musicians all over the world.

5. First Canal in the United States: The Lehigh Canal, which was completed in 1829, was the first hand-dug canal in the United States. It was constructed to transport coal from the mines of the Lehigh Valley to Philadelphia.

6. Sand Island: Sand Island, located in the Lehigh River in Bethlehem, has a fascinating history. During the Civil War, it was used as a training ground for Union soldiers. Later, it became a popular amusement park, featuring a roller coaster and other attractions.

7. Historic Homes: Northampton County has several historic homes that are open to the public. One of the most well-known is the Bachmann Publick House in Easton, which served as a tavern and inn during the Revolutionary War. Other notable homes include the Henry Schulyer Mansion in Bethlehem and the Parsonage Museum in Nazareth.

Northampton County has played a vital role in shaping the history of Pennsylvania and the United States. From Bethlehem Steel to the Moravian Settlement, from the Lehigh Canal to Sand Island, the county has a rich and diverse history that is worth exploring.

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