In the early 1700s, the land now occupied by the city of Allentown and Lehigh County was a wilderness of scrub oak where neighboring tribes of Native Americans fished for trout and hunted for deer, grouse, and other game. In 1736, a large area to the north of Philadelphia, embracing the present site of Allentown and what is now Lehigh County, was deeded by 23 chiefs of the five great Native American nations to three sons of William Penn: John, Thomas, and Richard Penn. The price for this tract included shoes and buckles, hats, shirts, knives, scissors, combs, needles, looking glasses, rum, and pipes.
The land that ultimately became Allentown was part of a 5,000-acre (20 km2) plot William Allen purchased on September 10, 1735 from his business partner Joseph Turner, who was assigned the warrant to the land by Thomas Penn on May 18, 1732.
The land was originally surveyed on November 23, 1736. A subsequent survey done in 1753 for a road from Easton to Reading shows the location of a log house owned by Allen, situated near the western bank of Jordan Creek, which was believed to have been built around 1740. Used primarily as a hunting and fishing lodge, Allen also used the log house to entertain prominent guests, including his brother-in-law James Hamilton and colonial Pennsylvania governor John Penn.