Roads & Trolleys
Where there is an old inn there was an early road. In Lower Macungie Hunan Springs, formerly the Wescosville Hotel, was along the King's Highway that went from Easton to Reading, and the Buckeye Tavern, formerly the East Macungie Hotel, was on a well-traveled road that connected the Route 100 highway with the Easton to Reading highway. Other early township roads were little more than narrow dirt tracks connecting farms and villages.
Many were not named until well into the 20th century, when Lehigh County appointed a commission to name roads. Sauerkraut Lane is so-called because there was an old farmhouse in the section between Brookside Road and Willow Lane where large quantities of sauerkraut was made every year, and a wide area in that vicinity reportedly smelled of sauerkraut. Some names of roads reflect past activities. For example, there had been a creamery at Creamery Road, orchards at Orchard Road, a mill at Mill Creek Road, iron mines along Minesite Road, and a community with the same name.
The section of the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike through Lower Macungie was built in 1955. The road, connecting Scranton with Philadelphia, was begun in 1954 and completed in 1957.
When trolley lines were extended to Lower Macungie, they did not create "trolley suburbs" such as those found on the edges of cities. They served existing communities. Both the Allentown and Reading Traction Company and the Lehigh Valley Transit Company built lines through Lower Macungie in the late 1890s. The Allentown and Reading Traction Company went from Allentown to Dorney Park to the County Home at Cedarbrook before reaching Wescosville. From there it continued to East Texas to Trexlertown to Kutztown, where riders had to switch to a wide-gauge line to go on to Reading. Service as far as East Texas ended in 1934.
The Lehigh Valley Transit Company was the region's major trolley system. Its tracks from Emmaus were extended through Lower Macungie, past the East Macungie Hotel, in 1899, and ended at a hotel at the far end of Main Street in Macungie, near the railroad tracks. The Emmaus to Macungie extension ceased operating in 1929.