September 11, 2019
Q&A with Emmaus Mayor Lee Ann Gilbert
With its charming downtown area and picturesque parks, the Borough of Emmaus gives off a sense of home and tranquility.
Emmaus is a quaint historic community of 11,500 nestled on the northern slope of South Mountain. Formed in 1759 as a closed Moravian village on land owned by the church, Emmaus became incorporated as a Pennsylvania borough in 1859. Arrival of the railroad that same year expanded the town’s opportunity for manufacturing and other business. Its initial industries included iron mining, iron furnaces, a foundry, and a machine company. In the late 1800s, additional industries included silk manufacturing, cigar factories, bottling companies, and others.
In the first half of the 20th century, Emmaus significantly expanded its borders through a series of annexations of land that was previously a part of Salisbury and Upper Milford townships. By the 1960s, the Borough reached its current size and completed infrastructure improvements that modernized Emmaus into a full-service municipality with a comprehensive park system, municipal water and sewer service, highway and police departments, and public library.
Today, Emmaus is a vibrant community with a diverse mix of residential, commercial, and light industrial uses. It is a hub of productivity in southwestern Lehigh County that offers a variety of housing opportunities in a true community atmosphere.
The borough’s current mayor is Lee Ann Gilbert, a woman making strides in the world of politics who is keen on ensuring her town continues its path of progressive growth and recognition. In the interview below, Gilbert reveals what makes Emmaus special, what the Borough has to offer residents and visitors, as well as what it means to her to be the Borough’s first elected female mayor.