Emmaus is a borough in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania
Welcome to the Borough of Emmaus
Emmaus (em-AY-əs) is a borough in Lehigh County. It is located 5 miles (8.0 km) southwest of Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of the state. It is 50 miles (80 km) north of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's largest city, and 20 miles (32 km) west of the Delaware River. Emmaus is located in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The population of Emmaus was 11,211 in 2010. The borough has been given many awards, including the Delaware Valley Green Building Council's Sustainable Community Award. In 2007 and 2009, Emmaus has been listed as one of the top 100 "Best Places to Live" in the United States by Money magazine.
The borough has a total area of 2.9 square miles (7.5 km2), all land, though part of the Little Lehigh Creek, a tributary of the Lehigh River, flows just outside the Emmaus border with Salisbury Township. Emmaus borders South Mountain, a large mountain range. The town's elevation is 436 feet above sea level. It has a hot-summer humid continental climate (Dfa) and is in hardiness zone 6b. Average monthly temperatures in the downtown vicinity range from 28.9 °F in January to 73.5 °F in July.
Emmaus was one of the four leading Moravian communities in the northeast United States at the time of its founding; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Lititz, Pennsylvania and Nazareth, Pennsylvania were the three others.
Emmaus is a quaint town at the base of South Mountain in the Lehigh Valley. Known for its Moravian beginnings, we are rich in history and natural assets. Enjoy the historic sites, parks, charming shopping areas, and our passionate, committed residents.
Our community is bursting with activities and events. You can always find something to do – from our weekly farmer’s market of fresh produce to Sunday’s concert in the park series, art and sporting events – and so much more. In the evenings, enjoy a movie at our local theater, visit the many restaurants, micro breweries or distillery and wine tasting rooms.
Emmaus is home to several residences and other properties that were constructed in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and have been labeled historic sites by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Under historical preservation Commonwealth laws, the sites are protected from commercial and other development expansion in the borough.
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As of the census of 2010, there were 11,313 people, 4,985 households, and 3,155 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,918.8 people per square mile (1,511.4/km²). There were 5,186 housing units at an average density of 1,796.4 per square mile (692.8/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 95.89% White, 0.70% African American, 0.06% Native American, 1.81% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.88% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.51% of the population.
There were 4,985 households, out of which 26.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.9% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.7% were non-families. 31.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.85.
In the borough, the population was spread out, with 21.2% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 19.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there are 91.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.8 males.
Origin and spelling of name - The borough was named for the biblical village of Emmaus (now within modern Israel), where, according to the New Testament, Jesus was seen by his disciples Luke and Cleopas following his crucifixion and resurrection.
From its founding in 1759 until 1830, the settlement's name was spelled Emmaus. From 1830 until 1938, however, the community used the Pennsylvania Dutch spelling of the name, Emaus, to reflect local language and the significant presence of Pennsylvania Dutch. In German into the early twentieth century, the name had been spelled with a line above the m, which indicated a doubling of the letter, which had also been the usage in English into the sixteenth century. Since this tradition had died out in English, the line was often omitted in spellings of the name, which became confusing to the now more prevalent English speakers. In 1938, after petitions circulated by the local Rotary Club, the borough formally changed the name's spelling to Emmaus, reflecting the spelling in the Gospel of Luke in the English New Testament.
The median income for a household in the borough was $55,139, whereas the estimated median household for the state of Pennsylvania is $52,007, and the median income for a family was $54,120. Males had a median income of $38,659 versus $25,331 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $23,245. About 2.2% of families and 3.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.2% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.
19th century - Iron ore was discovered nearby in the 19th century and served as a source of industrial growth for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1859, the East Pennsylvania Railroad (later part of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad) brought trains to Emmaus. That same year, the town was incorporated as a borough. In 1869, the town's first blast furnace opened. The largest iron company was Donaldson Iron Company, which made cast iron pipes and other products until the company closed in 1943. During the 19th century, Emmaus was also a center of silk and cigar manufacturing.
Population trends - In 1940, public census statistics showed that 6,731 people lived in Emmaus. The population of the borough has since nearly doubled to 11,313, as of the 2000 census. Housing construction has reached the borough line in all directions, so significant continued population growth in the borough is unlikely. Outside the borough line, however, the local population continues to grow, particularly in neighboring Lower Macungie Township. Consequently the growth is found within the Emmaus ZIP code but not its borough limits.