The Borough of Coplay is situated along the Lehigh River, about 5 miles north of Allentown. It is part of the 400 acres of land John Jacob Schreiber bought from the William Penn heirs in 1740. For a long time it was known as Schreibers. Later it was known as the Lehigh Valley, because of the Lehigh Valley Iron Furnaces that were located here. Lehigh Valley was then changed to Coplay. This name came from "Kolapechka". The son of the Indian chief, Paxanosa, who lived at the head of the creek near Schnecksville. The Borough of Coplay was formed out of a part of Whitehall Township in 1869 and was incorporated as a borough on April 7th, 1869.
Gradually Coplay changed from a farming area into an Industrial Community. The Thomas Iron Company started the change. They brought in workers and built homes for them. When the Iron Company was liquidated, other industries gradually came to Coplay; the Cement Mill, the Silk Mill, the Cigar Factory and Knitting Mill.
Coplay became a "melting pot" of many nationalities. The Pennsylvania Dutch and Germans, who were the agricultural element. Due to growth of the Iron Industry, immigrants from Ireland came. Then, in the early nineteen hundreds, the Cement Mills attracted immigrants from Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland and the Ukrainian Countries. It was thus that our town had its early beginnings.
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 3,387 people, 1,431 households, and 953 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,075.8/km² (5,373.1/mi²). There were 1,484 housing units at an average density of 909.5/km² (2,354.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the borough was 96.84% White, 1.56% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.53% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.27% of the population.
There were 1,431 households out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.3% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.4% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.90.
In the borough the population was spread out with 23.0% under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 20.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 86.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.3 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $38,679, and the median income for a family was $46,278. Males had a median income of $31,519 versus $24,983 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $18,580. About 5.6% of families and 7.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.8% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over.
The Borough is served by the Whitehall-Coplay School District.
Sources: Wikipedia, Borough of Coplay Web Site
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