Nicholas Kern is reported to have been the first settler in the area in 1737. His first land warrant is dated 24 November 1737 and a second warrant is dated 5 March 1738, and he lived in the area where the Main Street bridge crosses Trout Creek. His log house, built in 1741, was located approximately on the site where Henry Kuntz later built his house in 1858 (northeastern corner of Diamond and Main Streets). Kern also set up a grist mill and saw mill. When Nicholas Kern died in 1748, the property was divided between his widow and children. Eventually, the property consolidated in the hands of two sons, William and John Kern. There were no other settlers in the immediate area until the later discovery of slate in the nineteenth century. The Kern family lived as farmers and millers until that time.
Here is a twentieth-century photo of Kern's mill.
Sources: Pictorial Souvenir Scenes of Slatington and Vicinity; History of the Counties of Lehigh and Carbon in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1884), pp. 556-569