Forks Township

It’s all about old and new in Forks Township. A case in point is the restored merchant’s wagon which grabs the spotlight within the clean architectural lines of the Forks Township Municipal Building on Sullivan Trail.

And Sullivan Trail itself, still one of the municipality’s main thoroughfares, marks the route taken by Major General John Sullivan in June 1779 as he marched his troops northwest toward the Susquehanna River to destroy the villages of four Iroquois tribes who had sided with the British during the Revolutionary War.

Taverns were among the first buildings as the area was settled in the 1750s and they often were used as public meeting houses. Interestingly enough, Forks supervisors continued to meet in a tavern into the mid-20th Century – a far cry from the elegant 2004 municipal building.

Adjacent to the building is the impressive Forks Township Community Center which houses three gyms, five meeting rooms, a snack bar and a fitness center.

Forks Township is the fastest growing township in Northampton County and certainly one of the top growth “hot spots” in the Lehigh Valley. Since 2000 its population has just about doubled to 14,570, and the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission forecasts a slower but steady growth to about 20,000 by the year 2030.

Even as the township grows, the bridge between past and present has been getting stronger. The influx of “new people” actually spurred the founding of the Forks Township Historical Society 10 years ago.

“So many of the people didn’t know anything about Forks history,” said Karl Miller, founder and president of the society. Miller and his wife, Gloria, both Forks natives, still live on his family’s property, and across the street from hers, in a restored barn near Sullivan Trail and Zucksville Road, just doors away from a newer housing development.

In 2002 Miller recruited his friends and neighbors to form the society, which has taken a lead role in preserving the town’s history. The society’s 30 members have collected items ranging from Lenape Indian spear points to the Civil War diary kept by a Forks soldier.  Right now the treasures are in the homes of individual members but Miller said he hopes to have a museum where they can be exhibited.

Miller said the society is especially proud of the merchant’s wagon made by Forks blacksmith and wagon builder Cyrus Graver in the early 1900s. The handsome wagon, which would have been horse-drawn, was restored in Lancaster County at a cost of about $17,000. The society raised funds for the job, and a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development picked up the rest.

Forks originally was part of Bucks County and before it was incorporated in 1754, it included Wilson, Glendon and Palmer.  The early settlers were Germans who farmed and lived peacefully with the mostly friendly Lenapes.

Most of Forks remained  farmland until the 1960s when making a profit from farming became increasingly difficult and investors began buying land to turn into housing developments.

Forks occupies a broad plateau that drains into the Delaware River to the east and Bushkill Creek to the west. Once the creek waters powered mills and distilleries; today, a few stone ruins pop through the trees along Bushkill Drive, which follows the twisting  creek, providing a pleasant drive.  A wildflower preserve runs along the creek from Zucksville Road to Northwood Avenue.

Now industry is mainly centered in several industrial parks clustered around Stockertown Borough. One of the township’s major industries is Crayola which has had a plant in Forks near Tatamy, since 1900. The tiny borough is named after Moses Tatamy, a Lenape translator and guide. Crayola is best known for its crayons and Silly Putty and the Tatamy site is now Crayola’s world headquarters.

Victaulic USA on Uhler Road manufactures piping systems and along with Crayola is among Northampton County’s largest employers. Victaulic restored the handsome 18th century stone building that once was the Uhlers Hotel. It now serves as the company’s corporate guest house.

Other local corporations have made huge contributions in the restoration of historic buildings, according to Miller.

The log cabin in the township park was built by German immigrants Michael and Gertrude Fraes in 1766. Ownership changed many times over the generations and school children often visited the cabin. In the 1980s the owners donated the cabin to the township with the proviso that it be moved from the property. Forks-based Frick Transfer, a moving and rigging company, moved the cabin to the park and donated $30,000 for its restoration. The cabin, with its gigantic fireplace and sturdy stone and log walls, is open to the public during Forks Community Days in September.

The Spring House in the 3300 block of Bushkill Drive also has been saved as a result of a joint effort. Built around 1790 over a fresh water spring, it also housed a family and had a loft for sleeping. The property was eventually sold to Lafayette College and later the township and college agreed to maintain the building and the historical society has upgraded the area around it and improved the interior. Eagle Scouts also worked on the project.


Love Italy?  You’ll love DeLorenzo’s Italian Restaurant and the Sunday Brunch Buffet or the feast-like Sunday gravy served with pasta, a centuries-old tradition among Italian families and a specialty of the house. Sunday brunch features fresh fruit, scones, croissants, muffins, eggs, French toast or pancakes, bacon, sausage, potatoes, grilled chicken salad, soup, imported cheeses and olives, entrée and pasta, topped off with a variety of desserts.

The atmosphere in this home-style restaurant is warm and friendly with a welcoming staff.  It’s child-friendly with children’s prices, and the menu, broad as an Italian smile, includes St. Luke’s Heart Smart meals. 1210 Knox Ave., 610-438-6026,

The Widow’s Tavern & Grille appears to have everything an old tavern should offer—including a ghost named Marvin who’s been hanging around since stagecoach days. Specialties include homemade chips, crab cakes and she crab soup. A huge sandwich menu is matched with an entrée menu just as extensive. It’s a lively but comfortable tavern with an interesting array of cocktails and wines.  Happy Hour runs Monday through Friday and there’s live entertainment on Saturday nights. 200 Main St., Stockertown. 610-365-8890,


If you’d like a true overview of Forks, Braden Airpark, a Forks landmark since 1937, and a public airport, offers full service, including aerial tours and sightseeing. You can charter flights or attend its flight school. The airport, which parks about 60 aircraft, is operated by Moyer Aviation and owned by Lehigh Valley Airport Authority. 3800 Sullivan Trail, 610-258-0473,

Relax and attend summer concerts planned by the township. It’s the first year for the concerts and a series of five, called “Sounds of Summer,” is attracting music lovers to the new amphitheater in Community Park on alternate Wednesday evenings. Check for details.

If you’re in an outdoors-y mood, head for the Forks Township Recreation Trail. It follows an old right-of-way of an abandoned branch of the former Lehigh and New England Railroad. It passes through open farmland and travels through a rock cut to a ledge high above the Delaware River. It’s part paved and part grass and perfect for hiking, running or biking. For more information, see


Karl Miller
423 Mece Road West
Easton PA 18040

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