Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania

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Lackawanna County Courthouse is located at 200 Adams Avenue, Scranton PA 18503; phone: 570‑963‑6800.


Beginnings [1]

Formed August 13, 1878; named for the great Lackawanna coal basin; an Indian word, signifying "The Forks of a Stream." Chief industry, anthracite coal mining, confined to the long-depressed trough forming the Lackawanna Valley and to the mountains bordering it on both sides, with Bald Mountain, in Lackawanna Range, 2250 feet high, and Big Stoney among the Moosic Mountains, 2230 feet. Originally settled by Connecticut people who disputed the right of Pennsylvania to jurisdiction; life and growth have been the result of the coal-mining industry, which brought into it large numbers of Welsh, Irish, German, English, and Scotch, whose descendants dominate the region; latterly have come Polish, Slavs, Italians, and Lithuanians, a heterogeneous but rapidly assimilating mining population.

The mining of anthracite coal began at Carbondale in the early twenties; the old No. 1 plane is marked with monument and tablets; coal was taken over the Moosic Mountains to Honesdale, Wayne County, by steep inclined planes, up which the loaded cars were drawn by ropes or cables, and the empty cars let down; thence by canal to Roundout, on the Hudson; on the levels, between planes, cars were drawn by horses; later a descending grade was given to the tracks over which the cars ran by gravity; a similar gravity railroad near Scranton, carried coal to the Delaware & Hudson Canal at Hawley, below Honesdale, both now abandoned for steam roads.

  1. Archambault, A. Margaretta, ed., A Guide Book of Art, Architecture, and Historic Interests in Pennsylvania, John C. Winston Company, Philadelphia, 1924


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