Many historians enjoy photographing today's views of yesterday's landmarks. Comparing what time has done to a location is a great way to see the progression of time. It allows people to imagine what an area looked like long ago by connecting those old images to the views that they are familiar with today. After years of doing this on her own, Kelly Ann Butterbaugh set out to document the changes in her home of Lehigh County through rephotography.
In 1895 Lehigh County’s population was 93,893. By 2009 the population was 343,519. Less than 30 years ago the county seat of Allentown rarely appeared on national maps. Today it is a major city known nationwide with a city population of 107,294 in 2006. Since its inception on March 6, 1812 Lehigh County has been ever-changing, and the changes have proven to be successful. Originally beginning as part of Bucks County, the 347 square mile county was absorbed into Northampton County before breaking away on its own. Many of the buildings still standing in the county today must access their original land deeds at the Northampton County courthouse since their foundations are older than the county in which they preside.
After gathering photos from her personal collection and those of other county residents, author Kelly Ann Butterbaugh enlisted the help of area historical societies to provide their "best of" photos to round out the "then" photos. She then spend the summer of 2010 finding the exact locations and angles of the original photos in order to gather contemporary views of the original sites. Then, came the task of selecting which photos best represented the character of the county that she loves.
Flip through the pages of Lehigh County and see its changing face from then to now.