In 1706 Nathan Allen settled and built three mills on York Road, where it crossed Doctors Creek. He had purchased 638 acres from Rob R. Burnet, one of the proprietors of East Jersey. It was then known as Allens Town, now to be referred to as Allentown.
Like most country villages in colonial days, Allentown developed around its mills. As the farms in the area grew, so did the need for blacksmith shops, wheel wrights, carriage makers, chair makers, shoemakers, and seamstresses. By the end of the 18th Century more than 24 commercial enterprises existed here.
Allentown was also a center for travel across New Jersey. The York Road now known as Main Street was a main road across Jersey from the Amboys to Burlington. The town became a busy stage stop and as many as four taverns or inns existed in the area. One known then as the Allentown Hotel still exists on Main Street.
Allentown produced six United States Congressmen, a New Jersey governor, a governor of the Washington Territory and the first Chief Justice of New Jersey, who was a signer of the U.S. Constitution.
There are currently 220 buildings and homes in the designated Historic District that date prior to 1860 and some dating back to the 18th century.
Today Allentown strives to maintain its past history while attempting to offer the best in unique community living.