For generations, the way of life changed little. Life centered on the family, the farm, and the church. Lutheran and Reformed churches were established soon after the first farmsteads. German was the predominant language of the farming community, specifically a dialect from the Palatinate region of Germany, with High German used in church.

General mixed farming was the occupation of most of the residents of Lower Macungie Township until the twentieth century. Cattle, poultry, pigs and various grains, primarily corn, rye, oats and wheat, were raised on all farms. The first generations of farmsteaders also raised sheep and grew flax for clothing and household textiles.


During the twentieth century, some specialization began when potatoes became a very important crop throughout Lehigh County, and hogs began to be raised in huge numbers by individual township farmers and at company farms along Mertztown Road for the Arbogast and Bastian (A&B) company in Allentown. Large dairying concerns included Timothy Gehman's, just west of Macungie where Mack Trucks is today, Hess-Lehigh Farms, which had five farms in the Cedar Crest Boulevard-Lower Macungie Road area including the one where Camp Olympic is, and Kidd Brothers on Spring Creek Road, which was the last to operate. William S Weaver grew peaches and apples in large orchards close to Orchard Road.

Farm Preservation

In recent years the township's Board of Commissioners has been able to preserve several farms and has purchased outright the Kratzer Farm, Camp Olympic (formerly part of the Hess-Lehigh Farms) and a large tract of farmland along Sauerkraut Lane that was one of the parts of the township settled earliest.


The first of many water-powered grist mills in Lower Macungie that served the needs of farmers were built in the mid-18th century. Most of them were along the Little Lehigh Creek and required dams across the creek to direct water into long headraces. In the last decades of the 19th century some millers installed water turbines or steam engines for power. Grinding stones gave way to rollers, which made a finer wheat flour, in many mills.

Cornmeal, a popular product for home consumption, continued to be ground in stones. Some mills remained in business as suppliers of feed blends for chickens and cattle after they were no longer used to grind grains. Many of the mills in Lower Macungie are still standing, some converted into residences.

Laudenslager's Mill

The 1831 grist mill most recently known as Laudenslager's Mill, circa 1975 can be found on Mill Race Road.