Jul 19, 2016
When Lehigh County Valued History
Back in the early 1970's, a former teacher in Allentown's West Park neighborhood borrowed my photograph of a grain mill, and championed its preservation to the Lehigh County Commissioners. Her efforts resulted in Haines Mill being preserved. It was a time when the county commissioners understood the concept of history and uniqueness. The county now preserves farmland, with the pollyanna notion that farmers will spout there, wear straw hats, and sell organic vegetables on the weekends. Although 22,000 acres have already been preserved, the county just authorized additional $millions to that end. A comment in the Morning Call said that it will insure that we have food in the future. Amazing how little people know about how food gets to the supermarket in 2016. While there is nothing unique about this farmland, and nothing really guaranteed about the preservation, it seems like progress to the environmentalists. Meanwhile, the commissioners and Historical Society turn a deaf ear to Wehr's Dam and other irreplaceable structures, being needlessly destroyed.
That former teacher just passed away at 98 years of age. I still take photographs and champion for places that will never be again, but the current board of commissioners does not have the sense of history and esthetics of their predecessors.