Hellertown History: In 1885 Borough Was the ‘Most Perfectly Neat, Clean, and Comfortable Village’

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Credit: Hellertown, Pa. Centennial, 1872-1972

The Park Hotel stood on Main Street in Hellertown in the vicinity of where Dunkin' Donuts is located today. This photo dates from.1908. In 1885, when this letter was written, it was known as the Hellertown Hotel.

Note: The following letter to the editor was originally published in The Bethlehem Times on April 16, 1885. It was reprinted nearly a century later in “Hellertown, Pa. Centennial, 1872-1972.”

Hurried Impressions of Hellertown

To the Editor of the Times:

It may please your Hellertown subscribers to know what impression their little borough made upon me during an hour’s visit there this morning. On stepping from the cars at the neat Hellertown station, the first thing that strikes the eye is the lovely Saucon Valley stretching out along the southern slope of the Lehigh mountain. The entire valley is thickly settled; farm adjoining farm, with fine comfortable houses and large imposing barns everywhere to be seen. A prominent house, a short distance to the northwest, I am told, is that of Mrs. Riegel, formerly of Philadelphia. There is a small church with its cemetery standing opposite it.

After enjoying the view I started up the track to the furnace, which lay quietly like a man of war ready to sail into business. While looking around I met a young gentleman who on nearer acquaintance turned out to be Horace Boyd, the new manager of the furnace. Under his genial guidance your correspondent was taken into the works where many busy hands are making repairs and getting things into ship-shape order, in order to blow in as soon as possible. Mr. Boyd’s father, Reed Boyd, will also be located here as an accountant.

Hellertown itself I found to be the most perfectly neat, clean, and comfortable village (should I say borough?) I have seen in many years. The sidewalks are excellent and the streets are kept in apple pie order.

The principal street, about a mile long, is made up of fresh, clean, comfortable-looking homes. I cannot remember of ever having seen so many beautiful flowers in the windows of any place except Lititz, and even there this beautiful custom is not as universal as in Hellertown. Here it is without exception; not at single windows, but every house and every window is a perfect bower of plants and flowers. What is more, there does not seem to be a single house out of repair or in need of paint. Oh, that some of our coal towns could catch a glimpse of this sweet auburn-like place!

Three good sized hotels offer excellent accommodations to their summer boarders from the city. The grounds of the Hellertown Hotel are exceedingly tasty. There is a fine large spring that flows into a pool full of trout.

The charming home of Dr. Brown, among many others of equal beauty, attracts the visitor’s attention. The churches, also, must not be overlooked in this Hellertown picture of peace happiness. I doubt not that they are well filled whenever there is a service in them.

My time being limited, and having to return by the next train, it is just these few delightful impressions that I desire to jot down and which Hellertown made on me, a perfect stranger. People who show such taste for flowers, neatness, and cleanliness, must be endowed with all the other virtues which go to make life long and happy.

W.H.T.F.

Credit: Hellertown, Pa. Centennial, 1872-1972

The Park Hotel stood on Main Street in Hellertown in the vicinity of where Dunkin’ Donuts is located today. This photo dates from 1908. In 1885, when this letter was written, it was known as the Hellertown Hotel.

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