The Saucon Valley Panther has been the school district’s beloved mascot for generations, but did you know that real panthers once prowled the Hellertown area?
On Jan. 9, 1873, the Reading Times reported on one such cat, which it said was menacing the chicken coops and other livestock enclosures of local farmers.
It is unclear whether the panther was ever successfully hunted or not, and according to a 2018 PennLive.com story, “no reports of black panthers have been confirmed in Pennsylvania.” So, it’s possible that the feline subject of the story was a mountain lion.
Note that “Saucon church” may be a reference to the historic stone church on Easton Road, which formerly was home to Christ Lutheran Church of Lower Saucon and today is home to Saucon Community Church.
In the neighborhood of Saucon church near Hellertown a panther prowls about the farms helping himself to chickens, pigs and other articles of food. The animal is being sought for, but has not yet been found by a party of hunters who are after it. At night the vicinity is aroused by its startling cries.
About this column: Olden Days is a Saucon Source series in which newspaper articles in the public domain are used to recall area news from the late 1800s and early 1900s. You can help support “Olden Days” by making a voluntary contribution and becoming a Saucon Source member today. Learn more here. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter, to receive the latest news delivered to your inbox three evenings per week.