Easton has a diverse and colorful history dating back to its inception in 1739, when Europeans settled at the confluence of the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers. The town itself was formally founded in 1752.
William Penn, an entrepreneur in his own right and original owner of the land upon which Easton sits, named the town after his father-in-law’s estate in England, Easton Neston near Towcester, Northamptonshire, England. It eventually became the county seat for Northampton County. Its fortunes have survived the economic fluctuations over time, while playing pivotal roles in our country’s transition from colony to country. It was the site of the signing of the Treaty of Easton, during the French and Indian War. It served as a critical military center during the Revolutionary War, leading to it being one of only three sites where the Declaration of Independence was read.
In the 1800′s, Easton’s geographic assets made it a transportation hub for the steel industry, first utilizing its canals and later the railroads, linking coal regions in the North, ironworks to the West, Philadelphia’s seaport and New York’s business district. During Prohibition, Easton’s proximity to The Big Apple, a mere 67 miles by train, earned it the nickname, “The Little Apple” because of its flourishing nightlife fueled by the availability of booze at a time when it was largely unavailable everywhere else. Ironically, Easton has also been known as “The City of Churches,” boasting the highest church-to-population ratio in the nation at the time.
Easton continues to be a rare blend of contrasts, viewing challenges as opportunities, reinventing itself many times over during its colorful history. That mindset has spawned luminaries from nearly every discipline, including entertainment, sports, literature, education, science and politics.
So it’s no wonder that it decided to hold its second annual film event again at an old silk mill dating back to 1892, thereby paying homage to its celebrated past while ushering in yet another chapter of its future.
As one departing attendee from last year said, “We may do things differently here in Easton, but we definitely do it with style and flair.”