South Whitehall Township is a township in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is a suburb of Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley area of the state. The population of South Whitehall Township was 19,180 at the 2010 census. It is home to the Lehigh Valley interchange of the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
The first settlers of the Lehigh Valley region were Germans who emigrated from earlier settlements along the Perkiomen Creek. The earliest settlers arrived in the region over a 20-year period beginning in about 1732. The immigration of the Germans and other Eurpoean natives, including Swiss and Huguenots, was aided by William Penn in 1713 by the Lenni Lenape Indians. The land of Lehigh County lying between the Blue Mountain and the Lehigh Mountains was given to Penn's sons by the Lenni Lenapes in 1732. Emigrants sought the fertile, limestone valley flanking rivers and streams such as the Jordan Creek.
South Whitehall Township was established in 1810 by a petition to the Northampton County Court to divide former Whitehall Township into two areas, North Whitehall and South Whitehall Townships. In 1812, Lehigh County was divided off from the original Northampton County, establishing South Whitehall Township within and nearly at the center of Lehigh County. At that time, according to historians, "...many prominent and influential men who lived in the vicinity of Guthsville exerted themselves to secure the selection of the village as the palce best adapted for the county seat on account of its situation in the geographical center of the large area of territory to be erected into a separate county, but their efforts proved unavailing and the advocates of Allentown were successful." (The quotations from Roberts History published in 1914.)
Agriculture was the backbone of the economy of the township for many years. Much of the land today still is under cultivation. For more than a century at least six grain mills flourished on the Jordan and Cedar Creeks.
In the arly 19th century iorn ore was discovered at different places in the township and mining opertaions were carried on from 1820 to 1890. In 1867, the eastern portion of South Whitehall and the southeastern portion of North Whitehall were detached and formed into Whitehall Township. In 1966, South Whitehall became a First Class Township. Main entrance to Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in South Whitehall Township, 1950.
The Dorneyville Crossraod Settlement, Haines Mill, Manasses Guth Covered Bridge, and Wehr Covered Bridge are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
According to the United State Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 17.2 aquare miles, of which, 17.1 square miles of it is land and 0.1 square miles of (0.46%) is wter. The township is located immediately west of Allentown and approximately 55 miles northwest of Philadelphia. It is drained by the Jordan Creek and the Little Lehigh Creek into the Lehigh River.
The Lehigh Valley interchange of Interstate 476 and U.S. Route 22 is in the western part of the township. Other north-to-south throughfares are Highway 309, Cedar Crest Boulevard, and Mauch Chunk Road, while other east-to-west thoroughfares are Walbert Avenue and Tilghman Street. South Whitehall's villages include Cetronia, Crackersport, Dorneyville, Greenawalds, Guthsville, Mechanicsville (also in North Whitehall,) Meyersville (also in North Whitehall,) Orefield (also in North Whitehall,) Parkway Manor, Scherersville (also in Whitehall Township,) Sterlingworth, Walbert, and Woodlawn.
South Whitehall Township is best known as the home of Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, a popular area amusement park.
The Township is served by the Parkland School District. Students in grades 9 through 12 attend Parkland High School, located on Cedar Crest Boulevard in the township. Both of the middle Schools (Orefield and Springhouse) are in South Whitehall, as are Cetronia, Kratzer, and Parkway Manor Elementary Schools. Some of the township's students attend Kernsville Elementary just over the North Whitehall line. Kratzer is located in Greenawalds.
More information is available at
and the Township’s official website at www.southwhitehall.com/
Township Office: 4444 Walbert Ave, Allentown, 610-398-0401