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Lackawanna County, PA History

Lackawanna County

We are happy to offer our first items of local history from Lackawanna County, PA, and we hope to offer additional items of historical interest soon.


Now Available for Download

The Settlement of Providence Township and Reminiscences of Early Scranton, by B. H. Throop, MD (1887)

The document re-published here was originally published by the Lackawanna Institute of History and Science in the “Saturday Argus” and later reprinted as their Special Publication No.1, “Dr. B. H. Throop’s Historical Notes.”  Providence Township appears to have been more or less where North Scranton is today, and to have contained the community called Razorville. 

Several interesting items caught the eye on a first reading of the paper.  For example, there is an account of the beginnings of the Delaware and Hudson Canal – the D&H Canal that subsequently crossed the Delaware River and took anthracite coal to Kingston, NY, for shipment to New York City.  The author makes no secret of the fact that he was a strong proponent of railroads as preferable to canals, and we read some railroad history of the area as well.  His interest in the development of the technology of making iron using anthracite coal (as opposed to the charcoal that was in use in New England at the time) is clear.  That their successful use of anthracite in the 1840s suggests that their Connecticut cousins with their determination to stick with charcoal may have been misguided if not blind.

All in all, it’s a fascinating read, and rather notable in its absence is much discussion of the mining of anthracite, which, of course, was what the ares was best known for.

Download now as a PDF file.  22 pages, $4.00.


--If you are interested in the history of the Scranton area and the Anthracite region, please see also our information about the Molly Maguires, found on our Pennsylvania page.


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