Catasauqua Press

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Coplay Column

Thursday, January 10, 2013 by AL RECKER Special to The Press in Columns

Coplay offers much to its residents

There is plenty of civic pride to go around in Coplay, a town with a population between 3,300 and 3,500 residents. The one-square-mile borough is sandwiched in by Whitehall Township on three sides, Hokendauqua, Stiles and North Coplay and the Lehigh River on its eastern border.

The borough offers its people much more to do than some other communities and townships with large homes situated on big lots.

However, there is a missing link in the borough, which involves recognition of the town's history and an effort to preserve its past, including artifacts and designating buildings with signage that have played a major role in the evolution of the town.

In neighboring Whitehall Township and Northampton there are historical preservation societies. Northampton has gone one step further with a museum targeting the once thriving Atlas Cement Company and the cement industry.

One sign of local interest in preserving the past is the Saylor Cement Kilns located on the northern strip of the borough. Later this year the kilns could be restored.

Realizing the town is not the same as it was when our parents and grandparents raised their families, many people today have no roots in the borough, but nonetheless call the borough their home and their town.

Something Northampton and Whitehall does every two years following elections and seating of the elected officials, council and commissioners is taking a class picture, which is then hung in the municipal building. Coplay does not following such a practice, which might be a good way to tie together past and future generations.

Looking back to 1969 when Coplay celebrated its centennial, an event which caught the eye of the entire Lehigh Valley and which has not been replicated by communities in the region to signify their founding, much has changed in the borough.

Civic and social organizations in the borough continue to do their part in making Coplay unique, such as having a parkway, swimming pool, library, full-time police department, a quasi recreation center at the borough hall, a fitness center, a food bank for the needy, its own refuse collection system, tot lot, community events such as the Halloween parade, Christmas concert, Community Days, three active churches and two social clubs with their brand of community service. All of these makes residents proud of being called a Coplayite. More to come on the borough's history in subsequent columns.