Borough of Alburtis
The construction of the East Pennsylvania Branch of the Philadelphia and Reading Railway began operation in 1859. A railroad station was established near what is now the southwest border of Lehigh County; this area became known as Alburtis. Undocumented legend has it that the borough was named after Edward K. Alburtis, the civil engineer responsible for construction of the railroad. The Norfolk Southern Rail line still actively runs through the borough several times a day.
The Thomas Iron Company purchased a tract of land near the intersection of the Catasauqua & Fogelsville and East Pennsylvania Railroads. The Lockridge Furnace puts its first blast on March 18, 1868; nearby development followed with a grand superintendent’s residence, two homes for foremen, housing for 34 workers’ families, a boarding house for single men, and a church. this entire area, abutting Alburtis, became known as Lockridge.
The combined area was collectively referred to as “Alburtis” – officially incorporated as such on May 9, 1913.
The small borough’s Main Street still offers some of the greatest samples of its German heritage in its preservation of architecture. Stepping into Alburtis is stepping back in time. From its unique outhouses to its immaculate wooden porches, doors, and windows – the downtown’s inherent charm has been safeguarded against the cultural trends of generations.
Following WWI, the price of iron fell and could be imported at lower prices than that of local production. By the end of 1921, Lockridge Furnace was no longer in operation.
Today – the shell of the Lockridge Furnace, along with some of its outbuildings, have become the lifeblood of one of Lehigh County’s recreational parks. The Lockridge property’s castle-like appearance has been an inspiration to photographers and has offered a fairy tale wedding to brides throughout the Lehigh Valley.