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Do You Know Forks Township's History?

Forks Township Historian Karl Miller gives presentation to Business and Commerce Association of Forks Township.

OK, a show of hands. How many of you know your history?

Karl Miller does.

The president of the Forks Township Historical Society gave a presentation at Tuesday's luncheon.

It all started with the chief of a Native American tribe during the French and Indian War. He wanted to speak with Pennsylvania representatives.

"Meet me at the Forks of the Delaware," Miller said the chief requested.

The "Forks" was where the Delaware and Lehigh rivers converged and it was a sacred place for Native Americans in terms of having powwows and holding treaties.

Miller went on to share more historical facts.

At one time, he said, Forks Township extended into Bucks County and went as far north as the Blue Ridge Mountains.

But when Forks Township was incorporated in 1754, constables complained that there was too much land to cover to collect taxes, Miller said.

So Forks Township was made smaller, extending to 15th Street in Easton and including Wilson, Bethlehem Township, , Tatamy, Stockertown and Martins Creek before becoming what it is today.

Miller said settlers found Forks to be a great place to live because it offered good farmland, rolling hills, some springs, the rivers and plenty of trees.

The Delaware was used for transportation while the Bushkill served as a perfect place to set up dams and grist mills.

Miller said that by 1854, Forks had seven flour mills, three grist mills and two saw mills.

In 1850, Forks Township boasted 291 homes, 418 families and 150 farms. (Today, the township's population is around 15,000.)

One piece of township history that still survives is the log cabin near the township's Community Center. It was built in 1766 and will be open for tours for weekend.

The Forks Township Historical Society meets the fourth Monday of every month at 7 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church.

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