Welcome to Downtown Easton!
Easton was founded by Thomas Penn, son of William Penn in 1752, as the Northampton County seat. But had been known earlier by Native Americans as “Lechawitauk – The Place at the Forks.” Easton’s location at the confluence of the Delaware and Lehigh rivers shaped the city’s destiny.
During the early nineteenth century, Easton emerged as an industrial center because of its location near the rivers, Morris Canal, and later in the century, five major railroads. The city became home to wire mills, silk mills, foundries and many other types of manufacturing.
Six years after being founded by our citizens, the opening of Lafayette College in 1832 marked Easton’s rise as a cultural hub. By the 1860s, Easton was the largest city in the Lehigh Valley and later became its retail center.
Easton’s Great Square (now known as Centre Square) was, and remains, a gathering place for residents and travelers. On July 8, 1776, it was the site for one of only three readings of the Declaration of Independence. This event is commemorated by the town annually with its Heritage Day celebration.
About the Easton Main Street Initiative
A program of the Greater Easton Development Partnership (GEDP), The Easton Main Street Initiative (EMSI) works with the business and building owners, city government, the Chamber of Commerce and the community to promote Downtown Easton as a shopping and browsing destination by encouraging a healthy business mix. Easton’s riverfront will be better recognized as a city focal point and gathering place. With a stronger pull to shop and browse, the flow of traffic from the riverfront will follow to Centre Square, the shopping destination. The EMSI also intends to place occupants in the abundant office space and to increase the number of people living and working in the downtown district. The development of upper floor space for market rate housing will promote Downtown Easton as a desirable living community.