A History of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania
Published by James J. Haurer 1902
Washington Township is bounded on the north by Carbon county, northeast by Northampton county, southeast by North Whitehall, west by Heidelberg. Population in 1900 was 3,096. It was organized as a township in 1847. The surface is generally level, the soil is very fertile and the grains raised are similar to those of the surrounding townships.
Slate quarrying is the principal industry, the slate is found in large quantities all over the township. The slate is used for roofing, school slates and black board surfaces, etc. The principal streams that drain the township are the Trout and Little Trout creeks. The first settlement was made in 1742, between Unionville and Slatington by Casper Peters.
The first school of which there is any record was established in 1712, and the schools at the present time are equal to the schools of the surrounding townships, and they are steadily advancing.
Villages-Friedensville, founded in 1847, contains a store and a church (Lutheran and Reformed.) Population in 1900 was 100. Slatedale is on the Berks and Lehigh R. R, and contains two stores, two hotels, two churches and a post office. Population is 500. Williamstown contains a store, hotel and church. Population in 1900 was 150. Franklin contains a store, hotel and slate mantel factory. Population in 1900 was 400.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 23.8 square miles (61.6 km), of which, 23.7 square miles (61.3 km) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km) of it (0.46%) is water. It is drained by the Lehigh River, which separates it from Northampton County, and Blue Mountain separates it from Carbon County.
Its villages include Best Station, Emerald, Friedens, Lehigh Furnace, Lehigh Gap (also in Northampton County,) Neffs (also in North Whitehall Township,) Newhard, Newside, and Slatedale. Washington Township is served by PA 873, which crosses north-to-south from PA 248 in Lehigh Gap to PA 329 in Neffs and PA 309 in Schnecksville. An important east-to-west thoroughfare is Mountain Road, which proceeds west from PA 873 in Lehigh Gap to PA 309 north of New Tripoli.